In the simplicity of a childhood prayer, I was first introduced to the enduring notion that “God is good.” This belief, instilled by my grandmother, became a constant refrain—a source of strength through church affirmations and whispered prayers during Sunday rides home.
As I questioned the foundation of this faith, my grandmother, wise and rooted in her experiences, revealed that God’s goodness surpasses our understanding. A goodness that forgives, listens, heals, and remains steadfast even in the face of adversity. Her unwavering conviction stemmed not from a life untouched by hardship, but from a life molded in the crucible of displacement, war, and economic turmoil.
Nahum, aptly named the Comforter, proclaimed amidst the impending collapse of Assyria: “The Lord is Good!” In times of uncertainty, his words echoed a timeless truth—the refuge found in God’s goodness.
As we step into a new year, uncertainties abound, and the world undergoes profound changes. It’s easy to lose our sense of security, but Nahum’s declaration holds true for us today.
Sometimes, the goodness of God eludes us, especially in the face of heartaches and tragedies. We find ourselves dwelling on the ten bad things, overshadowing the thousand good things. Yet, goodness, as James 1:17 reminds us, emanates from above, unaffected by the variable nature of our experiences.
The Christian story reveals our rebellion against God’s goodness, a suspicion that taints our roots, culture, and relationships. Yet, amid our rebellion, God’s invitation to return remains. All we have to do is say, “thank you.”
Moses glimpsed God’s glory and saw His goodness. David, in the shadow of valleys, declared that goodness pursued him every day. We are beckoned to taste and see that the Lord is good.
In times of hardship, we often blame God, yet a preacher’s playful reminder echoes: “It could have been worse.” Assyria faced collapse, and everything they trusted crumbled. Still, the prophet’s refrain persisted: “The Lord is Good!”
Prophets consistently pointed beyond circumstances, reminding us that, despite our experiences, hope endures because the Lord is good. Even in the midst of suffering, goodness prevails, as Paul assures us in Romans 8:28.
Jesus, the embodiment of goodness, manifested generosity at every turn. His acts, from turning water into wine to feeding thousands, revealed the heart of God’s goodness. Generosity became the revelation of His goodness.
While acknowledging our inherent lack of goodness, we’re called to “do good.” Our goodness, empowered by God’s grace, silences ignorance and stands firm even in the midst of suffering.
As we move into 2024, the call remains—to do good, to be generous, and to embody the goodness the world needs to see. Our goodness becomes a testament to the goodness of the Lord.
So, love more in 2024, do good in 2024, and be generous in 2024. Let the goodness of the Lord be seen in you, a beacon of hope and strength in the ever-changing world.