If there is one thing that we as Christians need to know, and know assuredly, it is the goodness of God.  It is only when we possess the knowledge of His goodness, and the way He feels toward us as His children, that we will truly be comforted in the times of sorrow. It is with confidence that I can say that were it not for this knowledge we, Christians, would not be that much different from those who are not in Christ.


As children of men, we need comfort in times of affliction. This comfort can be found within the confines of the written Word of God. Notice what the Apostle Paul had to say concerning this in 1 Thessalonians 4:18, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” During the times that we are faced with the need for comfort, we, through the Word of God, see the goodness and love of God who provides us with these words of comfort. There is no doubt but that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1). Life is filled with unanswered questions and unsolved problems. God, because of His love for us, knows the answer, and has the solution. As children of God, we have the Divine resources with which to meet every trial, and the faith to sustain us. If we would realize the meaning behind the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4, our lives would be changed drastically, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord  Jesus  Christ, the Father  of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” Let us consider this text, and learn from it some things that can help us understand the goodness of God.


TRUST IN GOD—We need to trust in Him for the keeping of the promises that He has made. Solomon provides us with information concerning this need in Proverbs 3:5, 6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” How we need to be allowing God to direct our paths with the trust that we place in Him. Notice the words of Isaiah concerning this need, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10). The inspired writer of the Book of Hebrews also provides us with information concerning this, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Hebrews 13:5, 6). If we could learn to totally trust in God, as these passages teach, how our lives would be changed.


THE PRVILEGE OF PRAYER—It is when we utilize the privilege of prayer that we begin to understand the vastness of the goodness of God. Consider the words of the Hebrews writer as seen in Hebrews 4:15, 15, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” We sometimes sing, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!” But we will never know what a true Friend we have in Jesus until we utilize the avenue of prayer that God has provided for us. This reminds us of the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Until we utilize this avenue of prayer, we will never fully know what a true Friend we have in Jesus.


Consider the words of the Apostle Paul as seen in Philippians 4:6, 7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” We think of the words, “Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer. That calls me from a world of care. And bids me at my father's throne, makes all my wants and wishes known. In seasons of distress and grief my soul has often found relief. And oft escaped the tempter's snare. By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.” How things would change in our lives if we would use these precious “hours” of prayer that God, in His goodness, has provided us.


TAKE THE PROMISES OF GOD AT FACE VALUE—Quite often someone will say something like, “My word is my bond”, and we will take whatever they say at face value. In other words, whatever they have said, we can count on. As we consider God, we need to be encouraged to take the promises that He has made at face value.


If we can believe our friends and acquaintances, should we not much more be able to believe God? Consider the words of Peter as seen in 2 Peter 1:4, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Other passages that relate to this matter are Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 4:13, 19; and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.


We need to know the goodness of God, and it is only through these things that we will ever know and believe His goodness.

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