absence of bad, agathos, all things are not good, believing in God's goodness, God allows evil to exist, good, good originates with God, how can we believe God is good, Jesus, Romans 8:28, worshipping ourself
Have you ever heard someone comment, “How can God be good when thousands are killed in disasters and tragedies everyday. I can’t believe in a God who would allow situations like this to happen.”
Let’s say they are right in their observation… and God isn’t good. Let’s take it one step further and say God doesn’t exist. Thousands of people are still going to die tomorrow from tragedies, accidents, and disasters. Blaming God or getting rid of Him doesn’t solve the problem.
How do we answer the dilemma? If God is good, why do bad things happen?
The answer is – If an event isn’t good, then it didn’t have its source in God. In other words, He didn’t author it. Yes, God is totally sovereign and He is in control. God allows bad things to exist in our world for reasons we will never be able to fully understand. Our problem is we use the wrong standard for goodness. People use their own standard for what is good and bad. Good is whatever is personally good for them and the world in which they live. When we blame or accuse God for the bad in the world we are basically saying, “I know better than God and my standard for goodness is higher than His.” Are you going to believe in God only if He acts like you want Him to act? You would be better off carving a god out of a piece of wood or chipping one out of a rock.
Many today have become their own standard for goodness. In essence, they are worshipping themselves and their own standards. Once this happens we will never be able to discern the true source of good and bad. We will remain blind.
As I was saying in the previous blog, the proof of goodness cannot be discovered in our experience or circumstance. Good can only be discovered by going to the source. God’s goodness doesn’t mean that bad things will not happen to you. We live in a bad, evil world. Jesus even warned His disciples that even more bad things would happen to them because they were followers of Him. So the absence or presence of bad doesn’t prove or disprove anything. The only ones who struggle over this issue are those who refuse to come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The good news is found in knowing that God is good. He promises to take the very worst life has to offer, if we let Him, and create eternal good from it.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
This verse doesn’t say “all things are good“. All things are not good, but God can cause “all things to work together for good.” When we allow God to set the standard for good, then it doesn’t matter what happens. Circumstances and situations may get extremely difficult for us. But God’s goodness can be discerned even in the middle of evil situations.
I don’t always know what “good” God has in mind when He allows tragedy, heartache, and disappointments to come into our lives. But I am not in charge and I am not God. I can ask Him and He may answer. But I am not in charge and I may never know. My job is to trust in the Lord’s leadership. I have discovered that the worst thing to do in difficult circumstances is to consult other people before I consult the Lord.
Romans 8:28 reminds us all of what we need to know. “God causes all things to work together for good.” I may not be able to see how God is working for good… I may not be able to feel God working for good… I may not even understand how God could work out some terrible situations for good. If God says He will, then He will. It is His job. My job is to continue to love Him and stay in my calling as His child. God always knows what is best.
The greek word for good is agathós. It means what is inherently (intrinsically) good; as to the believer. Agathós describes what originates from God and is empowered by Him in their life, through faith.
Did you catch this? If we cannot intrinsically believe God is good, all the time, everywhere, in everybody, and especially towards us personally… then how can we ever, ever, ever pray and believe in faith towards Him. We cannot! Believing in the goodness of God is an absolute necessity. If you want to radically change your prayer life today, set God as your permanent standard for goodness. You will see Him and His Kingdom in a whole new light.
Blessings – From God’s Incubator,