God’s goodness and love   Leave a comment

God is Good !

God is Good !

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.Great is his faithfulness;his mercies begin afresh each morning.I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;therefore, I will hope in him!”The Lord is good to those who depend on him,to those who search for him.So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline” Lam 3:21-27

When I fell in love with Jess, I started to discover God’s love, faithfulness and goodness in an unprecedented way. A decade ago, I have been praying for God to give me the right person. God knew more than myself what I really needed. These verses in Lamentations have been on my mind during this week and I thought I should write down about God’s goodness and love.

“God is love” and “God is good” have become cliché. Many people mechanically say these words without having themselves experienced God’s love and goodness. I asked myself many times this question “How can I know God loves me?”. My relationship with Jess made me discover more about God’s goodness and love.

Amidst all his troubles, griefs, sorrows, bitterness and distress, Jeremiah said “Yet I still dare to hope“. Remembering God’s goodness and love were enough to strengthen the distressed prophet. Why did the prophet still had faith? Why did he still dare to hope and rely on God?

These are his reasons:

1. The faithful love of the Lord never ends!

God’s love is permanent and stubborn. In another traduction it says God’s goodness does not deplete. His goodness and love do not get consumed. There’s not a daily quota of His love and goodness towards us. God does not count how many times He has been good to us and says “I have done enough”. There is no limit. His love is always ready to overflow us when our hearts open. It never occurs that one day God’s love loses its power or stops. Love is all about giving yourself to someone else. It is not selfish. God so loved the world that He gave. When I consider my love for Jess, I want to outpour my love to her and be good to her. I want to give myself totally to her to make her happy. I want her to emancipate and build her up in different aspects. But my love is a human love, it’s limited. I wish she could feel entirely the depth of my love for her but I am limited with time and resources to demonstrate kindness to her. My love cannot impersonate itself and speak. But God has been able to demonstrate entirely His love to us through His Son. The Son is God’s love manifested. The disciples heard Him, touched Him and experienced the fullness of God’s love (1 John 1:2).

John tells us:

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:9

If I were a millionaire, I would do more for her to demonstrate how much I cared for her. But I know she does not expect all this. But my Good Lord is not limited by money and resources. He is able to show me in various ways His goodness and love. It might not necessarily be through material blessings but through the wisdom He gives, the peace and happiness He lays in my heart. What do I need more?  I am a fulfilled man.

2. His mercies never cease.Great is his faithfulness

When we talk about God’s steadfast love, we make allusion to an enduring, resolutely firmed and unwavering love. God’s compassion and mercies never end. There’s not a single thing He gives that we will ever deserve. It’s all of grace.  In my heart, I know that I do not want to ever leave Jess. I want to be a faithful man to her and never share my love with anyone else. No one gets married with the intention to get divorced. Everyone expects a long lasting and fulfilled relationship when getting married. But many couples who once sincerely promised fidelity to each other eventually broke their covenant through divorce when going through storms.  But God’s commitment to us is in essence the very definition of faithfulness. He will never leave or forsake us as Hebrews 13:5 says. God stills loves us even when we fail Him.

3. His mercies begin afresh each morning.

God has original ways of demonstrating His love towards us. As a man, I am limited to demonstrate to Jess a plethora and diverse acts of love, tenderness, kindness and affection. But God is love, He is the Master of love and knows very well how to show us His love in new ways.I cannot fully express my love and tenderness in diverse ways to Jess. But God is able to overwhelm me by His love. I cannot comprehend why He loves me like that. There is no condition for His love for me. He loves me period.

Paul tells us:

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Eph 3:17-19

Jess does not understand why I love her that much. The funny thing is that I do not either. I love her period. My love for Jess allows me to understand why I do not comprehend God’s love. God’s love is not based on merits or conditions.

I feel so unworthy and there’s nothing I can do to love Him back equally because I am but a sinful man whose love is tainted by selfishness. God’s love is not a ‘used love’ but always refreshing and fulfilling. This love heals, builds up and causes no harm.

4. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;therefore, I will hope in him!

This is what the prophet wants to meditate constantly in his heart. God is all He needs to be fulfilled. He knows that on Him alone he can rely. He can blindly trust God and surrender everything to Him. Jeremiah hoped in God. God is His source, his greatest possession. Jess and I have the project to get married and we said we’ll hope in God to provide for all our needs. We want to walk on the road of faith hand in hand.

David said: “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.” Ps 73:25

On this earth there is no one else I love more than Jess. I am committed to Jess. But I know deep down my heart that God is the one who really owns me. God is the only one whom I know that I can have 100% trust in Him without ever getting confused when placing my hope in Him. I am but a sinful man and I will never be able to be someone who Jess can 100% trust (though I would like to!). Only God can be that person for her. David said in Psalm 43:5

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,my Savior and my God.”

God’s presence in my life is the only thing which satisfies my heart and soul. No one else can satisfy my soul. I will not trade anything else for God’s presence in my life.

I tasted and experienced God’s soothing and refreshing love and presence. There would be absolutely no reason for me to live a single hour without God’s indwelling presence in my heart. I would prefer to cease living if God was no longer indwelling me. God is my greatest treasure.

David said : “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.”  Psalm 51:11

5. The Lord is good to those who depend on him,to those who search for him.

Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God. God expects that we trust Him and depend on Him. God is not a poor god on whom we should have doubts on His ability to provide. We can depend on Him for our needs. God is rich and almighty. Jess and I trust each other. This mutual trust really helps us to strengthen the bonds between us.  The bible uses the word faith to explain this trust man needs to have in God. How can we have a relationship with God if we do not trust Him? Do you realise that God is the only being who is able to meet all your needs? Even things that you do not know, God will give them to you. God has been good to me whenever I depended on Him. My dependence on Him all had outstanding results. God blessed me beyond my expectations. If a loving father had all the possessions of the world, he would not appreciate that his kids asked for alms on the street to buy a piece of bread. That would hurt the loving father. How would a loving rich husband feel if his wife systematically ran after another man for her needs? How many times we refuse to trust God and act as if He does not exist?

Paul pictured the church as Jesus’ bride (2 Cor 11:2) for which Jesus gave His life for (Ephesians 5:22-31). There’s a boundless agape love bestowed on each one of His disciples.

Jesus said in Matthew 5 not to worry but have faith. Our Father in heaven knows what we need. Jesus said ask and you will receive, seek and you will find. Many refuse to trust God because they do not know Him. God wants to show His goodness to you, but how can He demonstrate it if your eyes are looking for other sources of hope? Mutual trust is a very important ingredient in a relationship. Without it it is impossible to be loved or love. Have faith, depend on God and trust Him. There is no other way to experience His goodness.

6. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.

The author first says that it is good. Good for what? Good to wait. How waiting? Quietly and silently. Why waiting? Waiting for God to rescue. That’s not always easy. It is not easy to wait and wait quietly for God’s rescue when going through the furnace. Daniel’s friend went into the furnace with serenity. Many of us are impatient when there are constraints ahead of us. The disciples said “Lord, Lord we are perishing!”. But did not the Lord know? Of course He did!

Jeremiah wrote a book entitled “The Book of Lamentations”. He expressed his pains to God and waited for God to rescue him. In his anguish and chaotic situation, he knew only God could save him. Many times we murmur and complain to others about all our troubles. But here we see Jeremiah saying that it is good to wait patiently and quietly for God to bring rescue. When we are under pressure, we quickly want to find a solution and end up like Saul who offered the sacrifice because he was faced with an army facing him. The genuineness of our faith is demonstrated when there’re constraints and adversity. Many times we try to figure out about option B because we lack faith to trust God. May God increase our faith so that we can wait quietly for Him to rescue us in our needs. It is a blessing to wait for God’s rescue. God is never late and is always in control.

7. And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline

No matter how skilful we are at planning, we have no control on future events. But our God knows everything. Is not it wiser to lay down at His feet all our plans?  It is good to submit at an early age to God’s discipline. It is good to start learning about depending on God when we are still young. This will help us not to get rid of our yoke/responsibilities when they are too heavy. We will not give up when facing hard times because we have seen Him intervene in our life when we were younger. We do not murmur but keep on carrying our cross and follow Jesus. God has given each one of us a task to do. It is a yoke and this yoke is easy and light Jesus said in Matthew 11:30. We stand solitary with the problems facing us because God wants us to look at Him. Let us obey God and let Him prune us.

It is :

Good to wait patiently and quietly for God’s rescue

Good to depend on God and have faith

Good to submit to God’s pruning process and will

Because:

His faithful love never ends

His mercies begin afresh each morning and never ceases

His faithfulness is great

He is our inheritance, treasure and provider

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