A Christian’s faith and life are defined by his notion of who God is- an understanding of the character of God. Yet, the fact remains that most Christians know little of the God they profess to serve. A desire to know God in an intimate way should characterize the passion of every Christian. In Paul’s words,
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance –”. (Ephesians 1:18)
The next few posts shall examine one of the most power packed passages from the Bible, Romans 8:28-39, that elaborates the nature of the God revealed in the Bible.
First, Paul describes the goodness of God.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
It is man’s nature to be suspicious of people and things around him. Common sayings like ‘there is no free lunch’ arise from the general suspicion that man has of his neighbor. Such suspicion is not without basis because man has a natural tendency to fend for himself and work everything for his own selfish benefit. Modern society where parents care little for their kids, where kids scarcely visit their old parents, and marriages where individual space, friends and bank accounts are the norm characterize a lifestyle where man will not care for others and cannot trust anyone but himself.
But when it comes to God, we need to take it to heart that God is primarily a good God, who rejoices in working for the good of man, his creation. It pleases him and it is his very nature to bring about what is ultimately good for man. It is not an activity that God undertakes after analyzing the cost-benefit ratio. He always stands to lose in his attempt to love man. But He was willing to give up his Son on the cross so that we could enjoy the very best for our souls and our lives.
This verse also reminds us that despite how situations may work out in our lives, we can trust that God will always bring about the very best for us through them. It might mean that we may need to go through suffering and pain of various sorts, but when the master plan unfolds, we will see the good that awaits through it all. Now this being the very nature of God, it is true for God’s dealings with all men- irrespective of whether they know him or not.
This reality however can never be appropriated without a relationship with God. Only when we open our hearts to him and respond to God’s love, can we begin to see this master plan and see how God brings the very best for us through all things. And so a person without God will always complain, never have enough and will have pessimism written all over him whereas he transforms to a grateful pilgrim and an eternal optimist when the love of God fills his heart and the conviction of God’s goodness takes hold of him.
Yes, there can be no greater assurance for a pilgrim than that of being utterly assured of the goodness of God.
- THE BATTLE FOR THE MIND-2
- DO YOU KNOW YOUR GOD-2?