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How is He good when a plane crashes in the Alps and all 150 aboard die—yet the national soccer team that was supposed to be on that plane missed their flight? Christians say, “Wow isn’t God good?” Or in my own personal life, I struggled with God’s goodness. In a span of two years, my husband and I both suffered major health complications. The hospital became a revolving door, and I was left to question how good is God in the midst of all this suffering? Others pointed out, “Thank God they found your brain infection in time, isn’t God so good?” Or “Thank God, Chris’ medical team was able to give him a defibrillator. God is so good.”
Yet, I questioned, why did He allow me to get that sick in the first place, or why couldn’t have God healed Chris’ heart before we got to this point. Perhaps the hardest circumstance is the death of a loved one. We lost our father-in-law in the midst of the pandemic. Instead of being surrounded by family for a funeral, we were isolated and left to question why he passed as tragically as he had. Yet, others pointed out, “Wow, isn’t God good to give you seventeen additional years with him?” But is this WHY God is good? Because He held our hands in the midst of our suffering? I say, yes. He revealed the good and His hand of goodness in all situations, even in our grief.
God is good because God Himself says He is Good. The Bible doesn’t just say that God does good things. It says that God IS good. It’s not just what He does; it’s who He is—and who He is never changes. In a world of change and inconsistency, He is constant, He doesn’t change.
What Does the Bible Say about God"s Goodness?
Jesus declared in Luke 18:19 and 1 John 1:5 that “No one is good—except God alone,” and “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” What does it mean? According to Merriam Webster, the definition of “God" is “the being in perfect power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe.” To say that God is good means God always acts in a way that is true, noble, right, and good. Goodness is a part of His nature and He cannot contradict His nature. Righteousness and holiness are a part of His nature too. He cannot do anything that is unholy or unrighteous. Let’s look at a few more key Scriptures:
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8).
”For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:5).
“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7).
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”(Romans 8:38-39).
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).
These are just a few verses about the intrinsic goodness of God. So, the question that begs to be asked is this: If God is good then why is life hard? Jason Helveston says, “life is hard because God is good.” Another writer states, “In other words, God has “intentionally shaped the world in such a way that effort would be required to accomplish significant change, progress, and renewal.” We should “never pray away … difficulty” but “embrace it, discern its purpose, look to Jesus, and pray to be made more like him through it all.”
God is good because He is God. It is our humanity that paints Him otherwise because weare the ones who created sin and evil. When sin entered God’s perfect creation, He had a plan to redeem humanity. The Gospel reveals this “good news,” where God sent His Son to become the perfect and blameless sacrifice so we could be forgiven of our sins. God does not want anyone to perish but everyone to come to have everlasting life in Him.
In His plan of salvation, He didn’t say our lives would be good all time. Instead, He warned us that in this life we will have trouble. We will have sickness, freak accidents, death, pain, hurt feelings, and face disappointments; but He promised He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. He promised He would walk with us and He promised to redeem us in this fallen world. Our walk with Him will lead us over mountains high and through valleys low.
The Lord doesn’t promise us a life of joy, without sorrow. However, He promised to stand beside us through it all. In fact, He reminds us in 2 Corinthians 9:8 that He wants to bless us abundantly so that we will have all we need and abound in every good work. But what does that really mean?What Is the Context of 2 Corinthians 9:8?
John MacArthur wrote, “God’s goodness is that He is the perfect sum, source, and standard (for Himself and His creatures) of that which is wholesome (conducive to well-being), virtuous, beneficial, and beautiful.” God has never stopped being good and He wants good for us. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
This passage tells us God will reward us for giving to others as He has commanded. Paul says that God is ableinstead of God willbecause we were assigned to do His will and reflect His glory in all that we do. At the same time, He tells us we will have all that we need. We don’t need to be afraid of loss, death, illness, and disappointment because He is with us in those times and He is working all things together for our good. He gives us good things both spiritual and earthly in nature.What Are Ways God Shows His Goodness to Us?
Not only is God with us in our joy, but He is also there in the midst of our pain and disappointment too. Think about what you have been through lately. Have you gotten a promotion, a raise, a new car, a new home, a healthy baby delivered into your arms? Have you finally gotten the job you’ve always wanted? Did you receive enough money to cover a bill, get groceries, or come home to a warm home? Did you wake up today with breath in your lungs? Then yes, God is good. These are just the infinitely little details He works out for each of us even in the middle of a pandemic or other major crisis.
The Bible paints a God’s goodness is wide brushstrokes of love even in dark times. And we all have faced dark times. Was God still good when He allowed Satan to afflict Job with suffering? Was God still good when He didn’t answer Paul’s prayer to remove the torment of Satan via the thorn in the flesh? Was He good when He allowed His Son to die a horrible death on the cross? Now personalize it. Is God still good if you lose your job, lose your home, can’t have a child, or the doctor says you have COVID or three months to live? Yes, because His goodness is deeply rooted throughout your trials and your joys. He loves you so much that He will grow you and sanctify you abundantly until eternity—then He will reward you for your faithfulness.
Yes, He is good.
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This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture"s context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God"s Word in relation to your life today.