Good is good, all the time.

“I am the Good Shepherd… I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8

When adversity strikes and the wolves are circling in for the kill, it is really easy to feel sorry for yourself, get angry at some innocent person, and blame God for these troubles. Why doesn’t He protect his children? We do not see the many times that He does cover us from harm. Amy Grant sings about “angels watching over me.” Jesus promised that adversity would come. “In the world you have tribulation. Take courage, I have overcome the world.” For me, this is the key to overcoming the temptation to doubt God’s goodness. Take my eyes off myself and onto Jesus. Easy to do. Hard to do.

If you were sold a bill of goods that God will bless you for following Him, and make the path straight and easy, then you need to read more of the Bible. Did Moses have problems? Did David have an easy time of it? How did it work out for John the Baptist? Then there was Jesus and Good Friday. It is easy to doubt that God is good when things go south. This is one of the favorite tricks of the enemy- to tempt you to believe that God is not good or not strong enough to help you in your trials. The heart of all heresies starts with a wrong view of God. (Tozer)

Prescription #2 (Number 1 was taking my eyes off me and onto Jesus): Find the Good. Give thanks to the Father for everything in your life that blesses you. Roses. Children. Food. A heart that keeps pumping. Wounds that heal. Shakespeare: “What wound did ever heal but by degrees?” Ann Voskamp writes about 1000 gifts, when she was feeling some of the weight that we all feel to doubt God, and she started writing down all the gifts that she saw from God’s hands. She didn’t stop when she reached 1000! It changed her for eternity.

Finally, Bill Johnson has said, “If your situation is not good, then God is not finished yet.” He didn’t leave Jesus in the grave. He will keep using the materials of your circumstance to build the new you, and your new world. This too will end.

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Lies and Damn Lies

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. http://www.york.ac.uk/depts/maths/histstat/lies.htm

“I delight in you more than you can imagine. I approve of you continuously, for I see you cloaked in My Light, arrayed in My righteousness.” Jesus Calling, page 262.

A.W. Tozer wrote that the source of all heresies is an incorrect view of God. If I asked you what God thinks of you, what would be your answer? What I hear most often is that God is disappointed with me; God wishes that I would be more zealous for Him, or that God wants me to do more. This is one of those damn lies.

God is the Father of all Truth. He cannot lie. (Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18) So when I reference the quote about lies, and damn lies (I will leave statistics out of this until another blog), I am saying there are lies that come from the enemy. These are damn lies that do spiritual harm to your soul. Let’s look at three of these.

God is angry. There is plenty of material for this in the Old Testament, but something happened at the cross. The anger of God turned into mercy and grace. Atonement happened at the cross. Jesus paid the price. We are living under a new covenant where God has done the work and we get to enjoy union with the Father. I was taught early on that atonement means AT ONE MENT. A position with the Father where we are one. Union with God means we are ONE not two. Nothing good that I do will bring me any closer to God and nothing bad that I do will take me further away from God. We are one. A person can understand why the devotional book Jesus Calling has become so popular because almost on every page it emphasizes that God is delighted with us because Jesus filters out the nasties. To believe that God is disappointed with us after we accept the Cross is a lie straight from hell.

Jesus + _____ = salvation. The blank is filled with phrases like works, or my faith, or repentance. However, in the word Jesus there is an accepted order where you don’t receive Jesus without repentance, without faith, and the future holds works that naturally come because of the Holy Spirit is within us. To believe that we have to repeat the atonement that happened on the cross is a damn lie. Jesus has done the finished work, and we don’t need to help Him out by being good. We make choices that honor Him, but that has nothing to do with our salvation. The correct equation here is only: Jesus= salvation.

God is not good. This argument usually takes on this weathered sequence: There are bad things happening in the world. Therefore, either God is not good or God is not powerful enough to make a difference. If He was good and powerful, He would obviously take action and prevent bad things from happening to innocent people. Books have been written about this. All that I really want to say here is that anytime that you start to doubt that God is good then know that this is a damn lie, that sneaks into your thinking from the enemy. Don’t go there. You would have to know as much as God knows to unravel this mystery, and that is not going to happen on this side of death. For now, hammer into the bedrock of your life and faith a sign that says: “God is good.”