This is a sermon my Dad, Jerry Trammell, preached at the church he pastored, First Assembly of God, Dumas TX on 9/12/2004.
THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD
Psalm 31:19 NIV – How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.
Psalm 107:21-22 NKJV – 21 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men! 22 Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare His works with rejoicing.
INTRO: Recently I read a story of a little boy who had gone to Sunday School. The teacher endeavoring to teach her little students that Jesus lived in their hearts asked the question, “Who can tell me where the Lord lives?” Immediately this little boy’s had went up as he said, “Teacher, I know, I know.” The teacher said, “Well, Charlie you tell me where does the Lord live?” Charlie’s reply was, “He lives in our bathroom.” The teacher asked Charlie, “Why in the world would you think that the Lord lives in your bathroom?” Charlie replied, “Because every Sunday I hear daddy banging on the bathroom door and hollering, Good Lord! Are you still in there?”
Now needless to say, Charlie was obviously confused about where the Lord lived, but church I think that we to sometimes are confused in some things about the Lord. We, at times, have the distorted idea that God is harsh, ready to pounce upon us with His judgment when we make the least mistake. But friend, that is not the case! Alvin Slaughter in a song he sings says, “God is good all the time, all the time God is good.” Church I believe there is more truth in that than what most of us realize.
For a few moments I want to preach to you from the subject, “The goodness of the Lord.”
1. The Scriptures declare Him to be good.
Notice what my Scripture text said, “How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men.”
Oh, listen friend, God is a good God! You need to know this. You need to believe this. You need to understand that God is good, because God is loving.
In 1 John 4:8&16 the Apostle John declares, “God is love.”
Someone may say, but Pastor, “What if I sin, what if I fail Him?” Your sin and failure does not altar the fact that God is good because God is love. And because He is good and loving, He stands ready to forgive, purge, and restore.
Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV – 21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
We need to realize that the Lord would not expect us to do something that He Himself was unwilling to do. If He said we need to forgive seventy times seven, don’t you suppose that His forgiveness goes far beyond even what He would expect of you and I? Because of His love, which is expressed in His goodness to us, His mercies are from everlasting to everlasting. It’s beyond our comprehension, because we have Him pictured like we are, but thank goodness God is not like men. I believe that we should praise Him and give thanks for His goodness. In fact, 5 times in the Psalms the Psalmist admonishes us to give thanks for His goodness. Twice He talks about how great His goodness is. In fact, in Psalm 33:5 he declares that the earth is full of His goodness.
But instead of being thankful for His goodness often times all the Lord hears is complaints. We complain about our jobs, we complain about our families, we complain about our schools, we even complain about our churches because we think it isn’t what we want it to be. Even though the most complainers never do anything themselves to make these things ever better. Complaints become habit forming, when we get caught up in a complaining spirit we will eventually get to the place where we don’t see any good in any thing. And the first thing you know will even be complaining about God because He supposedly failed you somewhere. Friend, the problem is not in God, or in others, the problem is in you.
You need to start seeing that God is good. And even though there is a lot of evil, wickedness and sin within the world, yet in the midst of it His goodness can be seen everywhere.
2. The actions of some reveal that they believe that God is neither loving, nor good.
Something bad happens and they blame God. Some believers have embraced the mindset of the world. The world calls great tragedies like hurricanes, or earthquakes that causes great damage and calamities – acts of God. But friend, I remind you again that God is good all the time; all the time God is good. Goodness is a part of His very nature, because God is love.
Look at His acts of goodness in the Scripture.
At the wedding of Cana of Galilee, when they had ran out of wine, He performs His first miracle and turns water into wine.
When the multitudes followed Him into the wilderness to hear the Word of God, He multiplied the bread and the fish, not wanting to send people away hungry.
When Jairus’s daughter had died, He went to the home of Jairus and raised her from the dead.
When the leper came to Jesus in Matthew 8:2-3, He cleansed him of his disease.
Again and again we see where Jesus was moved with compassion and met people’s needs because of His love and goodness.
Peter speaking to the house of Cornelius in Acts 10:38 says, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.”
These verses show that God is good.
But as I said earlier some believers blame God when unpleasant things begin to happen to them, but when we do what we are in essence saying, “God is not good.” And if we believe He is not good, then how can you believe He will deliver you and help you through your difficulties?
In Mark 6, we read the story where the disciples were on the Sea of Galilee when a ferocious storm arose that put them in danger of their lives. But where was Jesus? Well, according to the Scripture He was sitting on the mountainside watching over them. And when they had exhausted their energy in trying to row to boat ashore, Jesus came walking on the water to save them.
Oh, listen friend; Jesus is good. He is constantly watching over us too.
Matthew 6:25-30 NKJV – 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
The Lord is so good, and so concerned about you and your needs that according to Matthew 10:30 He has, “The very hairs on your head…all numbered.”
CONCL: Don’t allow the enemy to paint a distorted idea in your mind about God being harsh and unloving. He is good. Every thing that He does in His dealings with you is for your good, because He loves you and has proven His love again and again. Perhaps in your failings, you have blamed God for things that He is not responsible for. If you have I’m here to tell you that the Lord is lovingly reaching out to you, even though you don’t deserve it, He’s lovingly reaching out to you to renew and to bless you if you will but reach out to Him and lay bear your soul to Him.