Is God really loving and kind, even when things don’t seem to be going well?
We can easily fall into believing things about God that aren’t true. At times, we see things on social media or the news that make us question Him. So, what is true about God? Does He know what He’s doing? Is He really loving and kind, even when things don’t seem to be going well?
God Is Good
Good is a word we use to describe how our day is, how we’re feeling, or how a particular meal tasted. Yet, it’s also a word that we use to describe our mighty, majestic, and miraculous God. Seems odd, doesn’t it? To use a word to describe God that we’d also use to describe how we felt about our lunch.
We can see evidence of God’s goodness everywhere, in every day, and in every situation. Even when we’re not aware of His goodness, He’s still good. While God does do good things, His goodness is more than just what He does. It’s who He is.
Psalm 25:8 NLT says,“The Lord is good and does what is right; He shows the proper path to those who go astray.” The Hebrew word for good in this verse is towb, and it means “good, pleasant, agreeable, excellent, and valuable in estimation.” God is all of those descriptions!
When we get that promotion at work, we yell, “God is good!” When our lives are problem-free, we say, “God is good!” When someone has been healed, we shout, “God is good!” But, what about when times are troubling? Or when challenges come our way? Or when life just feels hard?
When our loved one passes away…
When we are furloughed from our job…
When the cancer report says “malignant”…
When our spouse betrays us…
When our child continues to rebel…
Is God still good in those situations? Are His ways still excellent? Is He still more valuable to us than anything?
The truth is that God’s goodness doesn’t leave when our circumstances change. He’s always the same. Not only that but God is truly good all of the time. He can’t not be good. It’s who He is. He’s the definition of good.
When something good happens, God is good. And when something bad happens, He is good. As hard as it can be to say that, it’s true. Even if and especially when…God is still good.
It’s much like the sun on a cloudy day. We say we can’t see it because it’s hidden behind clouds. But it’s still there. The same is true for the hurts and disappointments in our lives. They can cloud us from seeing God’s goodness, but rest assured, it’s always there because it’s who He is.
It’s usually in our disappointments and difficulties when we call into question the goodness of God. But turning from God in the midst of our pain removes the only truly good thing from our sad equation — God. So when we’re tempted to doubt and allow our current scenario to dictate what we believe, let’s dive into God’s Word to remind ourselves of this truth.
He’s a good God.
God Loves to Forgive
Webster defines the word grace as unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification. The word unmerited is key here, because it means undeserved. So, in the Christian faith, we’d say that grace is something we’ve been given that we don’t deserve. And one of the most amazing things we’ve been given by God’s grace is His forgiveness.
In Luke 15, Jesus told a parable about an ungrateful son who demanded his portion of his father’s estate. The father granted the request, and within a short time the son left with everything he received. Living frivolously and recklessly, he squandered it all away and eventually decided to go back home. Much to his surprise, the father was watching for his son, ran toward him, and met him with a grace-filled, unexpected welcome. This story is one we love to read because it’s a story of love toward the undeserved. It’s how God feels towards us.
But we also find ourselves navigating the disconnect we feel when this son returns home and is met with a celebration. There were no “I told you so” comments or lectures on what the father will do if this happens again. There was just immense love, stupendous grace, and overwhelming forgiveness lavished upon a very unworthy son. It’s beautifully uncomfortable, isn’t it?
That’s how God’s forgiveness works in the economy of the Kingdom of Heaven. God forgives us freely because of Jesus’ perfect act of selflessness on the cross. We receive forgiveness because He gave. Our good works don’t earn us anything; Jesus’ perfect work does.
We want forgiveness but honestly don’t know how to accept it. We know it’s a gift but we want to do something to earn just a little bit of it. Because receiving a gift that we not only never earned but can never do enough to pay back is more than our finite minds can grasp. Thankfully, God’s forgiveness is for everyone who calls on Him. Everyone.
Because God is a forgiving God, then it only makes sense for us to be conduits of that same forgiveness toward others. But forgiving others will cost us something. It will be hard. It will take effort. It will go against what we want. Our sin nature desires revenge. Not only that, but we think there is some kind of “sin system” where some sins are not as bad while others are extremely bad. All sin is bad. But not all consequences of sin are equal. Regardless of the intensity of the consequence, God hates all sin.
But praise God, He does not hate us! He’s waiting for us, looking off into the distance for us to come back home. He’s ready to run to us and celebrate and overwhelm us with His grace, acceptance, and forgiveness.
God Is Love
We’ve all heard that God loves us. Not only does God love us, but He is love. Our God is synonymous with love. Not the kind of love that we attribute to earthly possessions or temporary feelings, but the kind of love that is beyond us. This love is perfect because God is love. Not only is He love but He loves! The only reason we can ever truly love someone is because God loved us first.
From the beginning of mankind, God has loved His people. But in the Old Testament, there was a huge gap between our perfect God and sinful people. God’s wrathful actions often dealt with that sin, and because we know our God is a loving God, it’s usually something that our limited minds don’t get. If God is love, then why did He seem so mean? The truth is that sin had to be paid for. That’s why God sent Jesus to die once and for all to make people right with God.
Let’s talk about two aspects of this trait of God: His love and how He loves us.
The Love of God
God’s love is undeniable because of His miraculous works. We see evidence of His love every single day when a child is born, when the sun rises, and when we choose to be kind to others. God’s love came first. God’s love is undaunted when we mess things up. He’s not surprised or let down when we fail. God’s love is unrivaled above all else. Nothing compares to it. No words can adequately express it. No mind can fully comprehend it. But that doesn’t mean we can’t accept it and live in it.
God’s Love For Us
God’s love for us isn’t dependent on us loving Him back. According to 1 John 4:9–10, God showed His love for us by sending Jesus to the world as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. The apostle Paul told us in Romans 6:23 that Jesus died for us “while we were still sinners.” God doesn’t need us to get right with Him before we come to Him. The way we get right with Him is to simply come to Him.
He loves us that much.
God’s Heart For All People
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 NASB
The verse above is the essence of the Gospel. Simply stated, the Gospel means good news, and it’s God’s plan to save us — sinful human beings — from being eternally separated from Him. Before we can truly appreciate the Good News, we need to know why we need it.
God is perfect. He doesn’t condone sin or imperfection. And since we’re sinful, imperfect humans, He can’t be in relationship with us. Instead of expecting us to be perfect so that we can know Him, He sent Jesus to earth to make things right with us because He knew we couldn’t do it on our own. That’s why it’s called the Good News! Here are a few important things to remember about the gospel of Jesus Christ:
God Loves Everyone
Notice that John 3:16 didn’t say God loved some of the people in the world. It says He loves the world and that means the inhabitants of it. God’s heart is for all people. The Gospel is for everyone.
God Wants Everyone
2 Peter 3:9 NASB says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” We may think God is late but He is always on time. He loves us so much that he doesn’t want anyone to die without Him.
God Sends Everyone
The last thing Jesus told His followers before He left earth to go to heaven was to go and make disciples in all nations. We don’t all have to go into other countries, but we are called to be obedient where we are with the truth we know.
If Jesus is our Savior, then let’s live with Him as our Lord. If He’s our Savior, then it means He saved us. If He’s our Lord, then it means He leads us. So, as we go through each day, let’s offer our praise to God for who He is and let’s pray that we’ll be His hands and feet on this earth. Let’s worship Him for His miraculous works and ask Him to give us eyes to see how much He loves everyone regardless of their status, actions, or belief system.
There is a lost and dying world who needs the hope we’ve been given. They need the joy we have deposited into our heart as God’s kids. We have the answer to the hurts and heartaches people are enduring. Now’s the time to praise and preach.
That’s why we’re here.