There is a strange and wonderful feeling in the atmosphere for 2017. While many proclaim gloom and doom in the church, quote statistics of worsening iniquity and ongoing tribulation, I believe that 2017 will be a year of goodness.
I believe that a belief in God’s goodness directly opposes the fear that the enemy would try and cripple the church with.
When I believe that God is good, I cannot hold onto fear.
Fear starts with believing that God “might” not be good.
Then it grows.
It reminds us of when God appeared not to be good in the past.
It says “why should this be any different?”
It says “don’t have a fool’s hope.”
It says “be prepared for the worst.”
But God says, “be prepared for the best!”
See, our human need to goodness stems from our DNA first fashioned in the garden, when everything WAS good and abundant life was all around.
But ever since the fall, we see reasons to say that God is not good.
Our belief is birthed from our experience of hardship and depression.
And it directly opposes the truth of God’s goodness.
But Peter, you say, I’ve seen terrible things, I’ve been in hard times, and I’ve witnessed things that do not correlate with God’s goodness.
How can God really be good all the time?
In short, our tragic misunderstanding of God’s goodness is because we as a human race are shortsighted.
And we are obsessed with ourselves.
If we say God is good, most likely it’s because good things are happening to us.
But if we struggle with saying that, most likely it’s because good things are NOT happening to us.
But I’m here to tell you that good things are always happening to you.
That even in the darkest and hardest season of life, God is giving you good things.
Because God is good just as the ocean has tides.
It is his nature.
He cannot be anything else.
He cannot stop giving.
He cannot stop loving.
He cannot stop being good to us.
He just can’t.
When people we love die, he is good.
When our hearts are broken, he is good.
When wars rage, he is good.
When our families are a mess, he is good.
All the time, he is good.
The problem is that we have made God’s goodness synonymous with material blessing.
Does he long to give us material blessing?
But the lack of it at certain times does not negate his inherit goodness.
To say God is good is to acknowledge his identity, not to acknowledge his blessing.
And when we identify God as his true self, we prophesy the fruits of his nature in our lives.
If I acknowledge the tree as an apple tree, I will be able to act accordingly in season and pick of its fruits.
But if I fail to acknowledge its identity as an apple tree simply because I don’t see any fruit on it, then I will fail to pick its fruit in season.
God is good.
When we say that he is good all the time, we are not foolishly ignoring all the times life has been hard and we haven’t experienced his goodness.
We are simply acknowledging his nature.
We are telling God we know who he is.
And oh, how he loves that.
He loves it when his children tell him they know him and who he is.
A people that fail to recognize God’s goodness in hard times is a people who are telling God that they do not know him.
If we know him, we know his goodness.
Just because the world has been rough and life has been cruel does not mean God is not good.
How unfair to attribute every hardship of life to a Father who only wants your best!
He is always good.
And this year, I believe that if we acknowledge his goodness continually and praise him in dry and weary times, we will be ready to pick the fruit in season.
If we acknowledge the goodness of his character, we will receive from the goodness of his blessing.
We must first recognize his face before picking from his hand.
And fear flees when we believe in the goodness of the Lord.
It loses ground in the struggle against his good nature.
2017 will not be a year of fear but of God’s goodness.
I believe that.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”