By: Dn Ng Zhiwen
Is there any evidence for the goodness of God?
Yes, there are at least two.
The first is all of scripture. Don’t think of it merely as a written book – you can think of it as God communicating to all of us – offering good promises. He is not indifferent or distant, but wants intimacy with us.
Second, there is Jesus.
He is the expression of the goodness of God. Against all the odds of this sinful world (which mind you, He could have just as well destroyed with a flood), God has worked out a way of salvation for us in Jesus.
Go and study Ephesians 1 very closely, and you will realise that the promises of God, all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places are found in Jesus. In fact, they were conceived by God even before the foundation of the world. Did you think that God didn’t know what He was doing when He created the world? He knew that we were going to mess up, that we were going to sin. Yet He let this happen, and at the same time provided for the Means to deliver us out of that mess of sin, and of death and of destruction. Jesus came to do just that. In fact, in Him we have the hope of a blessed and glorious life beyond this earthly one – He has won the decisive victory over sin and death on the cross. By believing in Him, you do not have to worry about the effects of sin or impending death that faces us all. A glorious future awaits us behind the veil of death. The fulfillment of all this will be when Christ returns again and sets everything right – there will be no more tears, no more sin, and no more death.
Why is all this so? For the praise of His glory, according to the pleasure of His good will.
God had ordained it – that we His creatures should find our greatest joy and delight in our Creator, yes, through Jesus Christ.
I tell you the truth my dear reader, the problem with many of us is that we fail to consider just how great and marvellous are the things available and promised to us in Christ. We set our desires too meanly.
But when you take in this evidence, receiving scripture and considering Christ, how can it not outweigh all the things that suggest that God is not good?
Have you trusted fully in Him?
Ok, you may ask, since eternity is what we are destined for, what sense then shall we make of our lives in this world?
Well, firstly, our purpose is to glorify God and live out the purpose that He has set for us.
Secondly let’s recognise that we are pilgrims through this world. Thank God that the sufferings of this world will pass away – we are made for better things. As long as we are alive on this earth, we long for our heavenly destiny – being forever with God.
Thirdly, I tend to view this life as a trial, as a test. You see, God’s first interest is whether or not we will believe in Him and find our All in all in Him. It echoes John Piper’s favorite phrase – that God is most glorified, when man is most satisfied in Him. You see, held against this light, all the sufferings and sorrows of this world become mere shadows. In fact, they can even become foils to enhance God’s glory – How much pleasure and glory it gives God when His creatures, in spite of suffering and sorrow, choose to trust in Him.
As Jesus has promised, He will richly reward those who remain true to Him. We will be glorified too you know – as much as the student who proves himself in the examinations deserves more glory than the one who just says, “I think I can do it.” What’s the glory? Not least, it is to hear our Lord say, “Well done! Good and faithful servant!”
Finally, for those who have already fully trusted in Jesus, I would say that in spite of the suffering and sorrows of this world, they have so much to savour and to enjoy in the Lord even in thi life. I cannot begin to tell you how much joy there is to see creation as the work of the Father’s hand, or to see salvation take place before our eyes (as Jesus did when He stayed in Zacchaeus’s house). What joy there is to be an agent of the Lord in doing His work and walking in His will. What pleasure there is to prove Him faithful in situation after situation.
Perhaps most poignant of all, westand to experience the all-sufficient grace of God that can hold us through the deepest and darkest times. You see, God did not promise the absence of all evil in this life (it will be removed when Christ returns again). His promise is that He will give us the grace to persevere through everything we may encounter in life. He will sing His love over us. He is jealous for us. Our work is to cling to Him.