Psalm 27:13-14 (NLT)
Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.
How do I know that God is good? I do believe that He is good but how do I believe that His Goodness is for me? Especially when thrust into diverse circumstances with surrounding fear and imminent danger, how can I be completely certain that God is Good all the time and His Goodness is always for me? I better figure it out pretty quick if I am going to make it through the next few months of my life. The wet blanket of worry is hanging precariously over my head as my heart battles to keep doubt from penetrating is soft walls. This is not a battle of mind over matter or surely my stubbornness would win. This is faith and flesh warring within me. God is good! His Goodness fills His Presence with full perfection. I am not good. My flesh rebels every single day against the Holy Spirit in my life. How can I be confident that His Goodness can be mine in the land of the living? Why should I wait patiently for the Lord when I am not sure that He is coming? How can I be brave and courageous when all the odds and statistics are stacked high against me? It is a choice. A decision made in the heart and mind that can change my life forever.
Exodus 33:16-19 (NLT)
How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” The LORD replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.” Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.” The LORD replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.
Moses was struggling with the plan that God had laid out before him. Fear was overwhelming the man yet his heart cried out to follow the Lord. So Moses said, “Then show me your glorious presence.” Moses needed to see that God was in this. He needed tangible proof of the invisible God. The Lord replied, “I will make all My Goodness pass before you.” This was not some fancy light show or a display of bravado and beauty. This was God, Creator of the Universe and everything in it stepping out of His Kingdom to reveal Himself to mankind. One day the Lord God would do this again – wrapping His Word in flesh to reveal His Constant Pursuit of people. The Goodness of God is for you. He covers it in mercy and compassion. There is goodness to be found in the Presence of God – Lord, show us how to get there.
Psalm 23:6 (NLT)
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the House of the LORD forever.
The Lord is constantly pursuing us with His Goodness and Unfailing Love. The problem is we don’t turn around to find it. To live in the House of God means separating ourselves from sin. We cannot do this. God does this part too through His Son, Jesus Christ. Fear of death may lead many to the Cross, but only those who truly experience the Goodness of God found in repentance, salvation and holiness will never turn away. (Hebrews 6:4-6) It is impossible. The Lord withholds no good thing from the righteous. (Psalm 84:11-12) He especially likes to bless us in front of our enemies. (Psalm 23:5) When we make Jesus Christ the Lord of our life, He constantly blesses us before the “watching world”. (Psalm 31:19-20) Who is eligible for such goodness? Everyone! God always leaves behind evidence of who He is and how good He is to show others the Way. (Acts 14:16-17) We must learn to live in our Promised Land without defiling it and completely take possession without compromise. (Jeremiah 2:-10) What’s the problem? We want God’s Goodness but not His Way, Will or Word. These are inseparable. The only thing that we must give up to have more of God’s Goodness is sin.
Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
God’s Will for my life is good, pleasing and perfect whether I believe it or choose to receive it or not. His Plan holds a future and hope that is for my good. (Jeremiah 29:11) To have it, all I must do is wholeheartedly seek the Lord. (Jeremiah 29:13) There is a false definition of grace that is telling people that willful sin is allowable under some provision of God’s Mercy and Compassion. This is a lie. It is a lie that robs men and women, as well as their children of God’s Goodness. The Truth is that God’s Goodness is for you. It is accessible by His Grace as we enter His Presence. Sin is never allowed in the Presence of God. (Period) His Justice will not allow it. Everything God created is good. (I Timothy 4:4-5) Every good and perfect gift comes directly from the Lord and is not the result of fate or coincidence. (James 1:17-18) It is never by chance when something good comes our way but evidence that somehow we opened a window and let it come in. God’s Goodness renews us from the inside out. (Psalm 119:40)
Knowing all this – here are the basics of living in the Goodness of God. Repentance turns us from sin so we see His Goodness. Salvation separates us from our sin so that now we can have His Goodness. Holiness sets us apart from sin so that we can live in His Goodness. It really is that simple. The farther apart from sin we remain the more of God’s Goodness that makes it to us. It was there all along just waiting for the Word to work in us and His Spirit to revive us. The Holy Spirit is continually producing goodness inside of us to meet with God in His Presence. (Galatians 5:22-23) He takes God’s Word that we eat as daily bread and nourishes our soul with it until we begin to prosper. As our soul prospers, good things begin to happen as the Favor of God overtakes our life that is sacrificed to Jesus and moved far from sin. The only thing that can stop God’s Goodness is a lack of repentance, refusal of salvation, or ignorance of holiness that leads to uncompromising obedience to God, His Word and His Spirit. Otherwise, it is all systems go. Goodness belongs to you. It has pursuing you all the days of your life and will continue to do so until you draw your final breath. Why not advantage of it?
Psalm 145 (NLT)
I will exalt you, my God and King and praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever. Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness. Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness. The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. All of your works will thank you, LORD, and your faithful followers will praise you. They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power. They will tell about your mighty deeds and about the majesty and glory of your reign. For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The LORD always keeps his promises; He is gracious in all he does. The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in everything he does; He is filled with kindness. The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. The LORD protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked. I will praise the LORD, and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever.
What a great reminder of God’s Goodness in Psalm 145. When I cannot see His Goodness and become blinded by fear and doubt, His Word will wash over me. When I first began writing Pure Devotion detailing my daily encounters with God, I was criticized by people who wanted me to reduce the content. One person actually suggested that I make it fit on their Smartphone screen so it would be a quick read. This person was a pastor. There are others who ask why I include so much scripture. The truth is if I didn’t not many would take the time to look it up. I have struggled to meet the recommendations and requests of people or do what the Lord impresses on my heart. The Word of God is absolutely essential in discovering His Goodness for our life. It is the Light for our feet as we walk this journey called life. His Goodness sometimes takes a little while to discover. Think of Paul’s message to his fellow shipmates. Listen, God is good! We are going to live through this shipwreck after all. (Acts 27:23-25) Life is rough sometimes. Didn’t the Lord say it would be? It should come as no surprise IF you have spent some time in His Word. The Spirit of God is our God from our old life of sin to our new life in His Glorious Presence. We need to remind ourselves constantly of the Goodness of God through His Word and by His Spirit. We must wrap our heart and mind in the Truth and refuse to compromise in it. We accept lesser things unable to believe that God is that good and His Goodness is for us. I know that God is good but there are still times that I need a reminder that His Goodness is for me.
I Peter 2:9 (NLT)
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
God is good! Oh my, His Goodness is for me. Like refreshing water on a hot summer day, it renew my mind as faith flourishes and confident hope is revived. But it is not my job only to receive the Goodness of God, but to reflect in to others. We are the Light of the World. We are His City on the hill both set in place to shine His Love, Mercy, Compassion and Goodness to a dark, dying world. We will never be able to express God’s Goodness effectively until we actually experience His Goodness firsthand. God is pursuing you today with His Unfailing Love and Goodness. If you want it, just turnaround and pursue it. It will begin to seep from your life into the lives of others because it is more than you can contain. God will be glorified and more of His Goodness comes pouring out. It is a process that will bless your broken heart and promises to complete you both now and forever. Show us your Glorious Presence today! I know you are good! I know that Your Goodness is for me! Help me to find it today. Lord, rest on me so I can find rest within me.
Psalm 116:5-7 (NLT)
How kind the LORD is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! The LORD protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me. Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me.