Have you ever heard someone say, “God is good.” Then another adds, “all the time.” What does that even mean?
What does it mean that God is good?
God’s goodness is defined that God is the final standard of good and that all that God is and does is worthy of approval. Anything that is truly good should be worthy of our approval. However, ultimately God’s approval is the final measurement of goodness.
Jesus said that no one is good but God alone (Luke 8:19). The Psalms affirm that the “LORD is good” (Psalm 100:5; 106:1; 107:1; 34:8).
What is good?
God will show us what is good by His standard. There is no higher standard than God’s own character and His approval of whatever is consistent with that character.
Everything God does is worthy of approval. Creation was very good (Gen 3:1). His actions are good (Psalm 119:68). Psalm 104, 106, 107 speak of His goodness.
Paul wants us to discover in practice how God’s will for our lives is “good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Where does good come from?
God is the source of all good in the world (James 1:17; Psalm 145:9; Acts 14:17). God does only good things for His children, though in His omniscience we can’t see it all the time. Like a child going to the dentist to have a bad tooth pulled. It’s going to hurt, but ultimately will be a good thing.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11
Even His discipline is for our good (Hebrews 12:10).
“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
What does this mean for me?
You are to imitate it by doing what God approves and imitating His goodness. Paul writes, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men and especially those of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10; Luke 6:27, 33-35; 2 Timothy 3:17).
When we realize that God is the definition and source of all good we realize that God Himself is the ultimate good we seek.
“Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.”
God’s goodness is related to several other characteristics of His nature, like love, mercy, patience, and grace.
An overview is this: God’s mercy is His goodness towards those in distress, His grace is His goodness towards those that only deserve punishment, and His patience is His goodness towards those who continue to sin over time.
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem
Chapter 13: The Character of God; “Communicable” Attributes of God Part 2