The Goodness of God

I want to tell you about a lesson I’ve been learning.

It’s about God and His Goodness.

Sometime during the fast this past January, I had a real come to Jesus moment. I’ve always had, sort of, a vice-grip on my life. I’ve been so apprehensive to surrender some things. So deeply afraid to lose what’s valuable to me.

I have lost a lot of valuable things in my life. I’ve experienced the death of a parent, another parent facing life threatening illness, the fracture of deep friendships. I have learned to hold close the “good” things. I have tried to force good out of situations, to beg for, demand, and forcibly contrive any good I can out of any pain, out of any grief.

I, like a fool, have held broken things in my hand. On my knees, begging, pleading for them to become whole and light again. I’ve sat with the glue, to reconstruct the beauty.

The reality is that my eyes were not fixed on Jesus. My eyes were fixed on goodness.

I failed to see - I failed to receive and experience - Jesus, as the ultimate Good. But now I have, and I can say with full assurance, I don’t want anything or anyone else.

There is an old hymn that says, “And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

Over the past few years, God has been showing me more and more of His true character. And the thing that has impacted me most is His Goodness. He’s surprised me with miracles (ask me about them), with words of encouragement, with unexpected revelations and moments of joy. And everything around me started to dim, and bow to the brilliant light of Jesus.

And I think this is how it starts, just like Hebrews 12 says. Jesus is the “author and perfecter (finisher) of our faith.” Jesus woos us with His goodness, to the point of response, which is repentance. I love the verse in 2 Chronicles 16, that says, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” I find it so crazy that God is the one who makes it possible for our hearts to even be in that place of commitment. He initiates it. He hand-crafts our faith, changes our hearts, and creates the conditions in which we can even have the kind of hearts that He desires. And then he pours out His strength to us? Incredible!

Which brings me back to January. Something within me broke, where all of it shifted. Where all of a sudden I was overwhelmed. And the reality came crashing in. That my heart now was - beyond compelled - but entirely wanting to - surrender completely - my closed-fist on goodness, because all the goodness God had shown me points to Jesus, the ultimate Good. Now, I want to run, and only see Jesus.

I can testify and say that I have experienced Jesus as the Ultimate Good. As the ultimate Prize. And it has made me want to run, faster, further, with more endurance and intensity - just to know Him more. Just to do what He has called me to do.

Something I didn’t realize was that, as a consequence of fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Ultimate Good:

When we fix our eyes on Jesus, He takes care of what’s in the peripheral.

I think if I could take an aerial view of my life, what I would see is this beam of Goodness, coming from Jesus. And I am looking right at it, running right to it. And to my left, and right, that Goodness is radiating out, shining over into the whole of my life. Shining into every dark place. Isn’t that God’s regenerative work? Doesn’t the Lord make everything good, in due time? Doesn’t the Gospel change everything? Doesn’t Jesus tell us not to worry, when we seek Him first? All the good I was afraid of missing out on - God always has had SO much more in store for me, and for you. Maybe what’s in the peripheral is the “all these things will be added unto you” - which still pales in comparison to Jesus Himself. Even still, that is extraneous and must be thrown off, along with our sin, in order to run the race well.

Something the Lord spoke to me recently was that a move of God’s Power is always accompanied by His Goodness. It’s something only He can do. It’s so character-specific to God’s nature and how He moves. God’s goodness is an unmistakable, inimitable mark of His Lordship. He is a Good God. And He makes everything Good. And the way He makes everything Good and proves His Goodness (which is, His undefeatable power over all that is not Good) is not in spite of, but even through difficulty, trial, pain, and loss. He proves that none of it can stop Him from being Good.

But all that considered: I don’t even care about that peripheral good, anymore. Even that has been eclipsed. Because I have seen Jesus, the Ultimate Good, and I cannot look away. He is truly the Prize. And I can’t believe I get to receive Him as such.

I don’t want to ever move my gaze. But, when I get to glory, I hope the Lord will allow me to turn around, just once. And see, expand my vision: so I can see the replay - and see that everything in the peripheral of my life has been made good.

I hope that is your experience, too. And may it all point to and result in praise to Jesus Christ, our Ultimate Good.

by Kaitlyn Faraghan
Kaitlyn leads worship at our Cherry Hill location. She is passionate about writing and recording music, and has been a part of numerous recording projects; she has released one album and is now working on her second album! In her spare time, you will find her scouting out the best coffee and donuts in South Jersey and the Greater Philadelphia area. 

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