The Baptist Magazine in New Zealand seems to have stopped posting their articles online. Therefore, I will post the ones I’ve written over the past few months here.
God is Good All the Time
What hope do you offer someone in your church when tragedy strikes? Sometimes we offer a cold, disconnected presentation of God as Sovereign – which He is – but impersonal. Sometimes we offer a personal, warm, lovable presentation of God as One Who couldn’t be behind such a tragedy.
I am concerned that we can present God as a distant Being not much better than the god of the deist, or an emasculated Being Who really cannot do much about what happens in our life – at least not tragedies.
I see within the pages of God’s Living Word, His Revelation of Himself, not an impersonal sovereignty, but a sovereignty that is directed toward a purposeful end – the glory of God and the good of His children.
God is good, all the time. He cannot cease to be good even for a moment or He would cease to be God, just as He cannot cease to be sovereign or He would cease to be God.
Romans 8:28 isn’t some kind of “hope so, hope.” Paul isn’t saying something different than Joseph told his brothers in Genesis. Paul isn’t saying, “well, sometimes bad stuff happens, but in the end God will find a way to bring good out of it all.”
See what Joseph says in Genesis 54:5-7:
5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.
6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.
7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.
How about in Genesis 50:20
20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Yes, what Joseph’s brothers did was evil, they meant evil against Joseph. Yet, God meant “it” for good. What is the “it?” Grammatically, the “it” is the “evil” intended by Joseph’s brothers. God isn’t just able to somehow take the evil and make good come from it; He is actually able to ensure that even the sinful evil of others is for the good of His children.
All through the pages of Scripture we see God orchestrating every detail to accomplish His good purposes in the lives of His children for His glory: Noah, Abraham, Job, Naomi/Ruth, Israel, etc.
There is no where we see this more clearly than the cross of Christ.
Romans 8:28 is followed closely by 8:32.
32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
The greatest act of evil to ever occur was designed and orchestrated to occur exactly as God intended for the magnificent good of His children and His Supreme glory.
Acts 4:26-28: 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’–
27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
My friend, if you are a child of God, know that He is good all the time. He can be trusted because He is Sovereign and therefore able to ensure everything that comes into the lives of His children will accomplish the good purposes for which it is intended.
“Beware… God is kind in ways that will not fit your mind.” (John Piper, JŌB – http://jobthefilm.com/)