“God is good…all the time. All the time… God is good.” Christians say this out of habit, but do believers truly believe that God is good? At last weekend’s service, Pastor Audrey Ng explained the importance of believing this.
Over the weekend of February 9 and 10, City Harvest Church pastor Audrey Ng delved into a core belief that every Christian professes—or has professed at some point—that God is good, and it is crucial to believe this, despite one’s natural circumstances.
In Genesis 3:1, the serpent in the Garden of Eden planted this thought into the minds of Adam and Eve: if God was really good, why would He withhold something as “good” as the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil from mankind? Adam and Eve’s doubt about the goodness of God was their downfall. Pastor Audrey urged the congregation not to be deceived or led astray by trials and temptation that may trick a believer into thinking wrongly that God is not good after all.
“We question God when we focus on our circumstances and allow them to lead us astray,” said the pastor. “Do not let your circumstances distract you from the goodness of God.”
PROOF THAT GOD IS GOOD
Pastor Audrey listed three ways to know that God is good. The first is to look at His gifts. God’s gifts are always good, and His intention for giving is always good. God’s motivation for giving always flows out of His love for them. As it says in James 1:17, “every perfect gift is from above.”
The word “perfect” in this instance signifies “complete”. Often, a believer is unable to recognise the goodness of God in his or her life because he or she has only received part of the gift—it is not yet complete. Using the analogy of ingredients for a dish, Pastor Audrey illustrated that in the same way a chef adds items to a dish, the process is not instant, but the end result is complete, perfect.
“It is in trials and tribulations that we need to look at God’s word by faith, instead of focusing on our feelings and circumstances,” explained Pastor Audrey.
The second way to determine that God is good is by looking His character, which is constant. This means that if God has been good once before, He will be good again, because He is a consistent God.
“When you can’t see God’s hands, trust His heart,” Pastor Audrey reminded the congregation.
The third way to certify the goodness of God is through the sureness of His salvation. The salvation one has in Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression of God’s goodness towards His people.
HOW TO COMPREHEND GOD’S GOODNESS
“How do we come to a place were we are fully able to grasp the understanding that God is good?” asked Pastor Audrey. “The only way to do that is by spending time with God. That is how we understand His character, and how we know His heart.
“We must have our moments with God, before we are able to comprehend the goodness of God,” she declared.
Pastor Audrey explained that it is such moments that one’s trust in God’s goodness is strengthened.
She drew an example from God’s punishment of King David for his affair with Bathsheba—the death of their child. While the child was still alive, David prayed and fasted incessantly, refusing to get off the ground where he lay. When the child eventually died, David’s men were afraid to break the news to him for fear that he would do something reckless.
However, when David eventually learned of his son’s death, he put on new clothes, went into the house of the Lord and worshiped God. Instead of spiralling into depression, he was able to move on and to worship God, because he had had his moment with God—David kept himself in the presence of God throughout his pain.
Pastor Audrey stressed the importance of always having moments with God, whether in good times or bad. It is this practice that strengthened David’s trust in God’s goodness, and it will strengthen any believer’s assurance that God is good.
The preacher taught the people to always Stop (or pause), which is Selah; to Listen (to God’s word)—what does the Bible say about one’s situation?—and to Believe (in God’s promises)—making a conscious decision to trust God.
In David’s pain and despair, he chose to listen to and believe God. In return, God gave him and Bathsheba another son: Solomon. Solomon was a reminder of God’s forgiveness of their past, and a promise for their future.
Pastor Audrey brought her message to a close, reminding the church that even in dark times, God’s goodness is unchanging.