I began last week’s letter with some tough questions, frequently voiced by people everywhere, concerning the existence of a good God in a world gone mad. In this letter, I pray you will receive some understanding regarding the ‘bigger picture’ of God’s goodness to all humanity, in spite of it constantly being questioned. It is a lengthy one, so take some time to pour over it, I believe it will be a great encouragement to you.
Having said that, as Christians, the basis of us believing in God’s goodness should never be in what we see around us, it has to be deeper and more concrete than that. With our spirits filled with the Holy Spirit, and our minds constantly renewed to the Word of God, we find a solid, sure foundation of what we know Him to be. As we put truly knowing the character of God as our first priority, we will see His goodness played out in our lives, and even when we walk in the shadow of the mountains we face, our trust and confidence in Who He is to us, never wavers. That’s because we have learnt that our trust is not in what we see, but in what we don’t see, yet know to be true. Just the same, we have an earnest expectation that no matter the circumstance, His Word is true and will always triumph. Whatever He has promised, He will do. Isaiah 64:4 says, “For from of old no one has heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who [earnestly] waits for Him.”
Of course, I could never, in one letter, and by my own limited understanding, do the full truth justice. I can, however, briefly skim across the pages of the Word, and ever so lightly summarise what it reveals when it comes to the question of God’s goodness in an evil world. My intention is to stir in you a hunger to dig deeper into God’s Word, by His Spirit, in your own time, to find the truth that is hidden for you. And when you find it - and you will - you will find it to be a treasure so precious and liberating, because you will discover a perspective that is beyond what you perceive in the natural.
The truth of the matter is, we live in a fallen world that has been suffering under the curse of sin (Genesis 3:17-19; John 8:24). This world is under the rule of the evil tyrant, the devil (1John 5:19), and He has been relentless in his efforts to destroy all that is good on the face of the earth. The sad reality, is that he was given the authority to lord over the earth and the kingdoms of this world by man himself. This happened when Adam, the first man, was deceived to exchange the dominion and authority he was given by God, for a lie. He was meant to rule and reign on this earth, to multiply and be productive in a world that was subject to his authority and an earth that would willingly yield to his will. It was mankind, not God, that threw it all away by choosing to question the authenticity of God’s good character (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12-15; Luke 4:5-6). Adam and Eve placed God’s goodness on trial and judged it, and acted upon that judgement by deliberately rejecting the truth they knew in their hearts about Him. Does this sound familiar? Is it possible, that even after the second Adam (Jesus), and all He did for us through the finished work of the cross, we have chosen to put God’s goodness on trial again? Can it be that even now, we so easily question the goodness of God by what we hear and see in the natural? When we have tasted and seen for ourselves, that God is good, how can we question His goodness based on the devastating results of sin we see all around us?
The devil and his despicable agents, work tirelessly, stirring up hatred and every evil thought and intention under the sun, in the minds and hearts of people everywhere. They continuously entice chaos and unrest wherever they roam. Famine and flood, sickness and death, calamity and devastation are their handiwork and their efforts are effective and touch all. Even the earth groans for her relief and release of the evil done and embedded in her. But the day will come, and is very near, when the devil and all his evil cohorts will be stopped and dealt with once and for all. The day of reckoning, a terrible day, where all will give account before God.
And in the meantime, because of His goodness, God, through the life and blood of His Son, made a way for us to live victorious in this cursed world. In spite of its evil, sorry state, because Jesus overcame the devil, sin and everything we will ever face in this world, we overcome too! John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” AMPC.
Now, in Christ, we no longer have to live as victims to our circumstances. In Him, we are victorious over sin and all its deadly effects! 1 John 3:8 says, “The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].” AMPC.
This is the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, In Him we are not only redeemed from the curse, we have been made the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 1:18-19). Our original authority has been reinstated through the finished work of the cross (Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:10-16; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22; John 1:12). God the Father said that all authority has been given His Son, and with His Spirit alive inside us, the authority of Jesus to enforce the devil’s defeat, and carry the resurrection power to heal, restore, and give life and love to all, lives in us!
Every day we surrender to the control of the Holy Spirit within us, and operate in the authority of His written Word, that is engraved on our hearts and minds, we live as God’s representatives and ambassadors on this earth. We have been given the Name of Jesus, the Name above every other name that - whether it be sickness, poverty, or bondage of any kind or form - must bow its knee to it. We are His vessels, full of the glorious treasure of His Holy Spirit, empowered, like skilful soldiers, ready to fight the good fight of faith. We push back the darkness by carrying the light and love and goodness of God everywhere we go, to everyone who is desperate to receive it. And we will keep pushing and fighting off the evil by demonstrating God’s goodness everywhere, by faith, in His love, until the day of His return.
What’s more - we don’t do any of this by our own strength. We do this by His power that is at work within us. That’s why we must constantly keep our hearts and minds vitally connected to His. The only way to achieve this, is by keeping the truth of His Word alive in our hearts and minds. We cannot afford to become ignorant of His truth. We must constantly build ourselves up in faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, guarding and keeping ourselves in the love of God, that never fails or weakens, under any kind of pressure. Just as it says in Jude 1:20,21, “But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith [make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit; Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God...”).
As children of the Most High God, and ambassadors of His eternal kingdom, we cannot repeat history, and once again stoop to deception and place God’s goodness on trial. Not when we know the Word and profess to live by it. It’s time to do what we know is right, to stand boldly for what we know to be true. We must be advocates of His goodness, not ignorant distorters of the truth.