Psalm 84:11 “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.”
The nature of God is so vast, I believe it requires an eternity to really know Him. Only those who want to spend an eternity with Him are the ones that will. The Lord affectionately calls those who desire to walk with Him His church. These are the ones referred to as the Bride of Christ, the Saints, the Redeemed, the Forgiven, those Blessed of God, or those who walk in the Way.
God loves the world, He showed it by sending His Son to die on the cross, He makes special consideration for those who are His. God’s people desire Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and He in turn lavishes love upon them. There are many ways that God shows love to His people, I could speculate on what we will understand one day or the magnitude of what that looks like now, but what I’ve experienced is enough. I have known God’s love and I have witnessed His love in others and I can tell you…..it is good.
The love of God reflects the measure of His goodness. When God shows love, it comes forth in ways that might be unexpected.
#1. The Lord is good when He chastens.
Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
Chastening conjures up the idea of a dad taking his son behind the woodshed for a good spanking that was necessary for discipline, unfortunately many have abused this form of discipline and brought more harm than good.
God’s chastening reflects a type of restraining or moderating influence in our lives. We can so easily rush headlong into trouble by our foolishness, (which was common in my youth), and this leads us quickly into trouble. The Lord will often times guide as from that trouble, especially if we make an attempt to listen. God moderates our lives. To moderate is to guide one in their course, like a conductor of an orchestra directing the parts into a symphony, the Lord directs us as we go.
Chastisement, to the children of Israel was one that had been very painful. Famine, pestilence, disease, oppression from cruel kings, the list goes on, and yet in each case the Lord was calling them to repentance. Some people take more chastising than others.
#2. The Lord hows goodness as He protects.
Psalm 37:40 “And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him.“
As a mother bird shields her young under her wings, so the Lord places us under His, Psalm 91:4 “And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler, keeping us from harm.” There are so many ways God protects us. His protection is an aspect of God’s goodness that was evident in my father’s life. Before I was born my dad was not a believer, but after he began to follow the Lord, He showed him all the times He protected him, including his time in Vietnam. Bombs exploded near tents he had just left and bullets that missed when they could have ended his life, God preserved his life for a reason.
2 Samuel 22:31 “As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”
Does God’s protection mean that no bad thing can happen to you?
I know of far too many faithful believers who suffer from all sorts of maladies, sicknesses, imprisonment, and even died from attack. When we hear of God’s protection, we see that it is our soul that is most valuable to Him, not your body. The body is only temporary. If you happen to live past 80 years, you’ve exceeded the average lifespan of an adult. Eternity has been set in our hearts, and the fact that we will dwell with God for eternity means everything. The reward of the redeemed is not just feeling good for a few more years on earth, it’s dwelling forever with Him. Faith in the Lord becomes our shield against the enemy.
#3. The Lord shows goodness in guidance.
Psalm 25:8-9 “Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
The humble He guides in justice,
And the humble He teaches His way.”
The leading of the Lord directs our paths. His path is one of profound joy and ultimately, freedom. There is peace in the midst of trouble when we know He is leading our way. The psalmist knew that God’s path wasn’t always easy, “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me”, in Psalm 23. Our focus shouldn’t be on the ease of the journey, but knowing the path we are on is leading us to Life. The path is narrow and the gate by which we enter through is small. Jesus is that gate and His way leaves no room for deviation, we don’t choose the path we only learn to follow. Isaiah 58:8 “Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.” The Lord not only leads us on the way, He protects us as we go.
Isaiah 30:21 “And whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.”
For those who desire to walk in the way of the Lord, look and listen, He is calling you.
#4. The Lord shows goodness when He is faithful.
Psalm 100:5 “For the LORD is good, and His loving devotion endures forever; His faithfulness continues to all generations.“
Faithfulness is a character quality highly valued in society. When sharing the gospel, ask people what goodness looks like and you’ll often hear the reply– faithfulness. God’s character has many aspects that we try to emulate but being faithful is what makes friendships strong. We see this in our relationship with Him, no matter what you go through God never leaves or forsakes you.
#5. The Lord’s kindness reveals His goodness.
Titus 3:4-5 “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,”
The kindness of the LORD is what His people know each day. For all who partake, they have found true riches.
Forgiveness and kindness often go hand in hand. The forgiveness of God cannot be earned through works, His goodness is only given and He has shown this to all who trust in Him. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit and it is a quality that is expected to shine forth from a believer who has His Spirit dwelling within them. When a person acts hateful, either in speech or in example, it does not reflect Christ—matter of fact, hatefulness in a person is likened to murder in God’s eyes.
Psalm 86:5 “For You, O Lord, are kind and forgiving, rich in loving devotion to all who call on You.“
How many people show hatred in regards to politics, or policy. There is hatred shown those who don’t agree with their values or those who undervalue what others deem as sacred. God’s people are called to love and love takes many forms, so if we are to represent Christ to the world we cannot fail in this charge, otherwise we blaspheme His name.
1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
#6. The Goodness of God leads to repentance.
For the world, the goodness of God is what is revealed by His grace and mercy. The world may not see it at first but for those who partake, the Lord shows them His faithfulness.
Romans 2:4 “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”
For God’s people, He leads them to daily repent. He doesn’t hammer them into submission but instead lovingly leads them to turn from their sin and know His goodness once again. This isn’t a loss of salvation but rather a loss of fellowship that He is restoring.
The goodness of God is unique only to Him. We do not have the capacity for goodness, our sinful nature compromises our position and leads us into darkness if we follow. When the Spirit of the Lord enters, the believer has the capacity experience God’s goodness come through their life.
Any good in God’s people is because of God.
If you have known His goodness—return your thanks in worship. If people see His goodness in your life, make sure they know that it is because of Christ in you.
Lift up Jesus before the world and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will come.