The “Good” Gap: Believing in the Goodness of God
A couple weeks ago my husband and I decided to watch The Shack by William P. Young. The book was captivating and beautiful, so I couldn’t wait to see it. As my husband made popcorn, I decided check out the bonus material. It began with Young talking about how the book came to be a movie and the impact it has had. I was crying before the movie even started. And, of course, I sobbed through the whole thing.
This beautifully written book and movie profoundly illustrates our misunderstanding of God’s character. In the story, “Papa,” or God, says that many people don’t believe He is good.
I have often looked at the many lukewarm Christians in American churches and wondered, how are they not in love with Jesus Christ? To know Him is to truly adore Him. So, what is missing?
Most Christians believe there is a God who created everything and revealed Himself in scripture. They believe that God hears our prayers and occasionally performs miracles. They don’t have to be convinced of that.
While not fully understanding, they know and have heard that He loves them. The concept of love is elusive, though. It is the most overused word in the English language and therefore, has lost its meaning. However, they still know that God loves us.
We hear preaching about our guilt as human beings and the grace we have been freely given. We know that God sent his son to die for us and by the blood of Jesus we have been saved. Most of us are familiar with the idea of grace and know the gospel story well.
To some in the church, their idea of God might look like this.
God created → God loves → we were Guilty → God saved → end of story
Each one of these statements are true and important elements of God’s story. But something is missing.
Being in love with someone does not come from head knowledge alone, it also comes from the heart. What is the missing piece? What is keeping so many Christians from radically falling in love with Jesus Christ?
We may believe in Him. We may believe that He is all powerful and all knowing and created our world. But, do we believe that He is good? The gap between being a lukewarm Christian and radically following Christ exists when we don’t believe that He is good.
Knowing that God is good is everything. Most of the people I know that are radically following Christ use the phrase, “God is good.” God is ALL good in ALL things at ALL times and gives peace and hope to an otherwise hopeless world.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. Psalm 107:1
For our faith to be radical, to be sold out Christ, we need to get to the “God is good” part.
God created → God loves → we were Guilty → God saved → GOD IS GOOD
Who is God to me?
God is loving, merciful, forgiving, and the great comforter.
I could say that He is loving and merciful, but that leaves out His great compassion.
I could say that He is kind and forgiving, but that leaves out His faithfulness.
I could say that He is strong and powerful, but that leaves out that He is perfect peace.
God is just so many things. One could say He is everything!
In other words . . . . . He is soooo good! Saying that God is good encompasses everything about His character. All the things of God fall underneath the umbrella of His “goodness.”
So, if your faith seems stale. If you can’t muster up the passion for Jesus that others seem to be able to. Focus on His goodness. Meditate on it. Pray that God would reveal His goodness to you. Everything He has for you is good. Everything He has for you is better than anything in this world.
If you’ve wondered where I’ve been over the last month and a half, why the blog has been radio silent, it’s because I’ve had my own dark path to navigate. My own cold and rough ” green mile” to traverse. However, I have been led by the promises of God’s goodness. His love and mercy illuminated my path. Hope told me that what’s on the other side is good, even better than before. And I trust in a God that has never left my side. I trust in a God that is good.
The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all he has made. Psalm 145:9
The good He has for you may be packaged in trials. His good for you may be on a rough road or walking through the valley of the shadow of death. His good for you might be facing piles of pain that you have carried your entire life. However, the road of His goodness, regardless of how messy or dark, leads to freedom. There is nothing better in this life than freedom. And true freedom only comes through one source, Jesus Christ.