How we define good can change what we mean when we say God is good, so let’s decide what we mean when we use this word to define Him.
In our English language, the word good has many meanings. A few ways we use it are:
- This ice cream is good. This shows an excellence in the taste of something.
- He is a good guy. This depicts a type of moral excellence, saying he isn’t too bad.
- He thought she looked good. this is a physical version of good, saying someone was above average in their physical appearance.
The point of this is to show that we have many different definitions of the word good, yet none of these common uses for good are the same as when we refer to God. What exactly do we mean when we say God is Good? What is that definition of good?
- His mercy
- His love
- His power
- His omniscience
- His omnipresence
All of these things join together to describe God. His mercy and His love. He loves us so much that He does not release His power against us in the form of wrath, but instead He shows mercy. He uses his power, wisdom, and presence to bring comfort to us, and to protect us and guide us.
When we say God is good, we are stating that everything He does is the standard we should live by. Everything He does is worthy of our approval, and better than we could ever dream of doing in our own wisdom and power. In the first chapter of the Bible we can see that Scripture starts to establish His goodness, “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).
The word good can mean many different things in the English language, but the one, true, most correct definition of the word is found in who God is. God’s attributes define the word good.
Scripture also tells us that God is the source of everything good: “Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights” (James 1:7). We can’t do anything good without His influence in that action. The only way we can do good is if He is working through us.
Not only does all good come from God, but He only does good things for those who are His children. When we are saved, we become a child of God, and in Psalm 84:11 it says, “He does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity” and, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God” (Rom. 8:28).
Look at Psalm 106:1-5:
This is a cool verse. In verse 1, it is proclaimed that God is good, and His faithful love will last forever. He will always be good, and always love you. He is always pursuing you, wanting you to draw near to Him. In verse 2, we see the words mighty acts. These mighty acts are the miracles He performs to help those He loves. One of the most popular examples was when God had mercy on those He loved–the Israelites. God performed many mighty acts to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Why did He do this? Because His character led Him to. He loves, and has mercy on those He loves. His character led Him to do these things. God is good, and only does good. He is all powerful, and has the power to do anything He wants, but His character is what leads Him to only do good. We see that God’s character leads Him to do mighty acts. These mighty acts are what bring salvation and prosperity to us. The salvation could be spiritual or physical, and it is the same with prosperity.
One of the biggest ways we can see His goodness is having a personal relationship with Him. Yes, it is an amazing thing to join together, worship God and learn about Him, but it is also necessary that we have our personal time with Him.
When we experience God firsthand, experience His goodness in the form of salvation, we truly see just how good He is. Once we are saved, we can see just how great His goodness is. When we are affected by this goodness, our response should generate two things. First, our response will be to praise Him, and thank Him for everything He has done for us, because we will know how good He is, and know that we do not deserve His love. Our second response will be the desire to reach those around us. The desire to help others experience that joy, the knowledge of His goodness, and the experience of His goodness in the form of salvation. Once we experience His goodness, we will not want to fall back into our old ways. We will fall, because that is our nature, but we will have the will to grow close to God once again.