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God is Always Good
We live in a sin cursed world with wickedness on the increase. Many are affected by the evil that we see around us, but one thing is for certain, God is not to be blamed.
Roman 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
A. Torrey knew the meaning of this verse, and he called it “a soft pillow for a tired heart.”
Many of us have rested in Romans 8:28 when faced with an unknown trial. “We know” is used about five times in Romans, and it refers to common knowledge of the Christian – that which God reveals to us. Charles Spurgeon used to say, “I do not need anyone to tell me how honey tastes; I know.” And we know God is good and is for those that love Him and trust Him.
Here are some things to consider:
1. God is not evil, nor the cause of evil.
1 John 1:5 “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
2. God is not responsible for the bad decisions people make.
James 1:13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”
3. God is aware of the evil that takes place.
Proverbs 15:3 “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
4. Nothing takes God by surprise. God is ALL KNOWING, but man must still be responsible for his actions and decisions.
John 6:64 “But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.”
5. It is God’s choice whether He desires to intervene in certain circumstances of people’s lives.
Proverbs 21:1 “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”
Philippians 2:27 “For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”
6. God, at times, disciplines His children in love when they stray.
Proverbs 3:11-12 “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD love the correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”
a. When Jonah rebelled, the Lord prepared for him a great fish.
b. David was judged (lost his son) because of his sin.
7. People suffer from the bad decisions they make.
Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
8. People suffer from the bad decisions of others.
Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
9. God is fully aware of our circumstances, and God can use the evil that is done to us for good.
Genesis 50:19-20 “And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”
Job 1:12 “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”
10. God knows what is best for us. The Lord may not always answer prayer according to what we would ask and hope for. Paul understood that God uses the trials in our life to help us stay humble and finish the course of God’s will.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient forthee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, thatthe power of Christ may rest upon me.
Outline of Psalm 119
The following subject headings for the various sections of the Psalm 119 are based primarily on F. W. Grant's notes:
vv. 1-8 The Blessedness of Obeying the Word
vv. 9-16 Cleansing By the Word
vv. 17-24 Discernment By the Word
vv. 25-32 Sense of Personal Insufficiency Through the Word
vv. 33-40 The Power of the Word
vv. 41-48 Victory Through the Word
vv. 49-56 Rest and Comfort Through the Word
vv. 57-64 Perseverance in the Word
vv. 65-72 The Pricelessness of the Word in Good and Evil Times
vv. 73-80 Insights Through the Word
vv. 81-88 The Afflicted One Sustained By the Word
vv. 89-96 Eternity of the Word
vv. 97-104 Wisdom Through the Word
vv. 105-112 The Word a Lamp and Light For All Occasions
vv. 113-120 The Wicked and the Word
vv. 121-128 Separation and Deliverance Through the Word
vv. 129-136 Joy and Communion Through the Word
vv. 137-144 Zeal For the Word
vv. 145-152 Experience Through the Word
vv. 153-160 Salvation Through the Word
vv. 161-168 Perfection of the Word
vv. 169-176 Prayer and Praise Through the Word
God is Good
(Psalms 65:11) “Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.”
As I read this verse it reminds me of the hymn “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.” With every year that passes, we are reminded of several blessings, and the conclusion of them all is that God is always Good.
Here are a few things to remember as we enter into the new year:
A. A Time to Remember our Creator
(Ecclesiastes 12:1) “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;”
It’s spiritually healthy to remember that God is the source of our life; without the Creator God we would not have life at all. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created…”
To forget our Creator is to forget the God that is over us.
(Psalms 100:2-3) “Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Vs3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
B. A Time to Reflect on the Works and Wonders of God
(Psalms 77:11-12) “I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. Vs 12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.”
God has been too good, and we cannot thank Him enough. Notice the goodness of God.
1. God has redeemed us from the bondage of sin which brings death and Hell. Revelation 1:18
2. God has attributed His righteousness to us through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
3. God has made us privileged people by putting us into the ministry to serve Him. 1 Timothy 1:12
4. God is preparing a place for us. John 14:1-4
We can go on and on about God’s works to us. Let us reflect on God’s goodness, not on our expectations, and we won’t be disappointed.
C. A Time to be Reassured that our Time on Earth is Short.
Time is short, especially when we compare it to eternity. (Psalms 89:47) “Remember how short my time is:” God’s people are encouraged by the Word of God to focus our desire on things above. Colossians 3:1-3
(Psalms 90:12) “”So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Wisdom is to live with Eternity in view. Wisdom is to live for God’s glory. Wisdom is to live by God’s power, and Wisdom is to live in the Will of God. Amen!
(James 4:14-15) “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. Vs 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”
D. A Time to be Refreshed to Press Forward by God’s Power
(Philippians 3:13-15) “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, vs 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. vs 16 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”
We are admonished to have the same mind that God renewed in the Apostle Paul. It is a mind to keep on keeping on, to keep growing in Christ, having our eyes/hearts fixed upon Him. It is a danger to come to a point where we think we have arrived. Our faith in Christ must always be stretched by God’s power to do God’s Work in a Christ-like way. God help us from going through the motions. God help us from going backwards. God help us press forward by His power. God is able.
The Blessings of Obedience
Proverbs 3:1-2 “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: vs 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.”
King Solomon once again is instructing his son to take heed unto Wisdom. This portion of Scripture among many is not only addressed to Solomon’s son but to us also, because the Wisdom given by Solomon is the Word of God.
Notice the first part of Verse 1. “My son, forget not my law…” We are to:
A. Remember the Word of God
The reason we are encouraged not to forget the Word of God is because we are forgetful people. We have the tendency to forget especially when it comes to God’s Word and the things of God. Here are some helpful ways which may help you remember the Word of God:
1. Purposely place yourself under the teaching of the Word of God.
2 Timothy 3:14 “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned…”
2. Understand that the teachings of the Bible are the very “WORD of GOD”
2 Timothy 3:14 “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
When you hear the preaching and teachings of the Word of God, keep in mind that your are being taught the Wisdom and Word of God. This will help in remembering the Word of God. 1 Thess 2:13
3. Delight in God’s Word
Psalm 119:15-16 “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. Vs.16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
B. Retain God’s Commandments
Proverbs 3:1 “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:”
The purpose of remembering the Word of God and keeping it in our hearts is for the vital purpose of keeping it! We are to keep God’s Word, not with our lips, but with our hearts. Warren Wiersbe has called the heart, “The master control unit of the body.” The heart controls our thoughts, emotions, and will.
C. The Result of Obedience
Proverbs 3:2 “For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.”
1. Length of day, and Long life.
It is God’s desire is to give quality of life here on earth - life and health to our families, marriages, churches, and relationships. But most importantly an abundant life through Jesus Christ.
True peace is found in Jesus Christ – John 14:27
True peace is found in God’s Word – Isaiah 26:3