The nearness of God is your good

Posted on January 5, 2018 · Posted in Godward Orientation

You often say that God is good. You often hear that he is good.

For these statements to be relevant, especially for your children, you must know why he is good.

It is a potentially unsettling to believe God is good based upon your interpretation of the circumstances of your life. God is good because that is who and what he is. He remains good regardless of how circumstances appear. His goodness is determined by his own character and nothing else!

You and I may affirm his goodness, but we do not determine his goodness. Why is this important? Because any attempt to understand the goodness of God without reference to his character will leave you with a twisted view of reality. This truth is essential to make sense of life. If your children do not know and love this truth, life will be an up and down roller coaster ride for them.

If your child’s favorite toy breaks, if a pet gets lost, if he is hurt or sick, if a loved one dies, these events do not mean that God is bad. If a series of events that makes her happy would occur, this, by itself, does not mean God is good. Your children must know that these events are not indications of God’s goodness or lack of goodness. God’s goodness is not determined by man’s interpretation of circumstances. This is huge for having a stable life! Of course, for this truth to have creditability with your children your life must be an example that is consistent with this reality.

The Bible provides you with a propositional statement of this truth in Romans 8:28. But in his kindness God also provides a personal and experiential example of this great truth in Psalm 73:23-28. Note especially verse 28:
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

The nearness of God is our good! Since we know that he is always near, we know that our well-being, our good, is connected to this wonderful reality. If there are hard moments, God is near and we are comforted by his goodness and nearness. If there are happy moments, God is also near and we rejoice in that blessed truth.

Give this vision of God’s goodness to your children. Life will make no sense without it. With this vision they will be able to rest in the reality that God does all things for our good and for his glory.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.