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The unwavering goodness and faithfulness of God

Pastor A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) wrote, “The goodness of God is infinitely more wonderful than we will ever be able to comprehend.” And author Jerry Bridges shared this insight: “The very first temptation in the history of mankind was the temptation to be discontent … that is exactly what discontentment is — a questioning of the goodness of God.”

Whenever our heart feels unsettled and restless, it is helpful to turn our attention once again toward the goodness of God. There is absolutely no limit to the Lord's goodness and faithfulness. The French theologian and Protestant reformer John Calvin (1509-1564) wrote, “Joy is a quiet gladness of heart as one contemplates the goodness of God’s saving grace in Christ Jesus.”

What in the world can even begin to compare to God’s saving grace? David penned these beautiful words: “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit” (Psalm 32:1-2).

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Are you living with deceit in your heart? If so, it is preventing you from rejoicing in the goodness and faithfulness of God. Grace is never appreciated and enjoyed by those who are living a double-minded life, or by someone who is completely sold out to sin. On the flip side, the grace of God floods our soul with peace and power whenever our heart is contrite and humble before the Lord. If there is some hidden sin in your life right now, ask God to forgive you as you turn away from anything that is grieving the Holy Spirit.

Since believers are both saints and sinners, we continue to struggle with our sinful nature (see Galatians 5:16-18). It is a daily battle that calls for vigilance and self-control. The moment we step outside of God’s will with our thoughts, words or deeds, we instantly lose the joy of our salvation and the gladness that comes from walking closely with the Lord and from contemplating the goodness and faithfulness of God.

You see, God’s goodness and faithfulness are unwavering, even though we sometimes cut ourselves off from the joy of the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is essential for those of us who know Christ to keep short accounts with God. The instant our soul begins dabbling with a sinful thought, we need to bring it to the Lord as we seek to walk in obedience and purity. Gossip, grudges, greed, jealously, lust, fits of rage and selfish ambition are some of the sins that prevent believers from rejoicing in the goodness and faithfulness of God.

And yet the more we celebrate God’s amazing attributes, the more power we experience to say “No” to those thoughts and sinful tendencies that come from the world, the devil and our own sinful nature. Our heart can remain pure to the extent that we say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions (Titus 2:12). The Lord wants to fill us continually with His joy and peace, and this of course requires that we think about those things that are wholesome and noble.

David wrote, “Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:12-14).

While our focus wavers at times, such is not the case with God. “As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is flawless” (Psalm 18:30). There has never been a single instance where God has wavered in His ability to handle everything perfectly. The fact that we do not fully understand our present circumstances in no way diminishes God's perfection, beauty, goodness and faithfulness. Wherever there is a difficulty in understanding something, it is always on our end. And since none of us are all-wise and all-knowing, we are called to trust the Lord even when we do not understand what is going on around us.

Are you confused today by certain developments in your life? It is perfectly natural to experience such confusion. Thankfully, the Lord loves us unconditionally in spite of our fears, doubts and confusion. Our challenge is to meditate on good things while earnestly seeking to avoid ungodly thoughts and bad behavior. With that in mind, how have things been going lately in your thought life?

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

Perhaps you are currently living as a prodigal son or prodigal daughter. God has not forgotten you or stopped loving you, in spite of your current rebellion. You can come home to the place where your heart will once again be at peace with God. Pastor Max Lucado said, “The difference between mercy and grace is that mercy gave the prodigal son a second chance, while grace gave him a feast.”

Would you like to once again feast on the goodness and faithfulness of God? It is available to any wayward son or daughter who comes to their senses and returns home to the heart of the Father. Perhaps you are a great distance from the Lord today. “Come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:8). The closer you walk with Christ, the greater the contentment in your heart.

You can confess your sins to the Lord right now and begin praising Him for His goodness, mercy, grace and faithfulness. The choice is up to you.

What would you like to experience in your heart and mind? Restlessness, or peace? Overwhelming anxiety, or the joy of the Lord? If you have been allowing your mind to drift and waver lately, you will be pleasantly surprised when you once again begin to focus your attention upon the unwavering goodness and faithfulness of God.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

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