God Is Good
November 21, 2023
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1 NIV
The fact that God is good means that He has no evil in Him, His intentions and motivations are always good, He always does what is right, and the outcome of His plan is always good.
But to truly understand God’s goodness, we must realistically see who we are. God is perfect and holy – we are sinful and imperfect. The logical conclusion is that God shouldn’t want to have anything to do with us. If we miss that, we will mistakenly believe we deserve the good things that happen to us. The truth is, far from deserving goodness, all of us have sinned and fallen far short of the standard. Every one of us has deserved the judgment of God, yet we find God patient, not treating us as our sins deserve. God is infinitely good, continuing to show us love, grace, mercy, generosity, and favor even when we don’t deserve it. This perfect God keeps demonstrating love to sinful people. This is a good God.
God’s goodness does not mean that only good things will always happen. We live in a sinful, fallen world. Hard things, bad things happen, but even in these circumstances, God’s goodness pushes through and shows up with mercy and grace. What makes God good is that in the midst of the worst – however it happened – He doesn’t desert you. He will carry you through them so they will not destroy you.
God’s goodness should lead to thankfulness on our part. It is Thanksgiving week. It is a wonderful time to be reminded of and develop one of the most important habits we can have –gratitude. We can all think of things for which we are grateful, but gratitude is more than a feeling – it’s a choice. And it’s a practice that can benefit us in many ways.
Gratitude gives us perspective. It reminds us of how God is working and active in our lives. It lifts our eyes off of the things that may be causing us stress or anxiety and reminds us of the good things God desires to do and is doing.
I am encouraging myself and I want to encourage you to practice gratitude in the following four simple ways. Whether you’re in a season of ease and celebration or a season of weariness and challenge, practicing gratitude is always a promising idea.
Recognize – What do you need to thank God for? Spend time remembering what God has done. Think about what He’s doing now. Write it down.
Release – Let go of anger, fear, frustration, and bitterness. Ask God to help you release anything that is not helping you.
Receive – Open your heart. Accept the love God wants to give you. Let yourself accept the support and encouragement of those around you.
Remain – Apart from God, it’s easy for any of us to lose perspective and let doubt and fear cloud our vision. Before you spend time serving and leading others, spend time with Jesus. Let your heart fill with gratitude and watch how He gives you peace.
Thanksgiving season can be anything but that. If we don’t maintain an attitude of gratitude, the joy of celebration can feel like chaos. We can end up jaded and weary instead of encouraged and hopeful. I pray that this week we will deliberately choose to live gratefully and receive the refreshment that results.