In my last post I talked about how Brandt Jean’s embrace of his brother’s killer glorified God because it demonstrated His goodness. Like the detonation of a neutron bomb, the atmosphere of that Dallas courtroom exploded with the fragrance of God’s goodness the moment Amber Guyger received love and grace instead of vitriolic hatred and unforgiveness.
We sing a tag-line that says something profound about what we’re learning from our experience of God: “You can love me more in a moment than other lovers can in a lifetime.” We all certainly witnessed an example of that love expressed through the willing heart of one of Jesus’ followers—Brandt Jean. This is what the stunning goodness of God looks like. And as we learn to walk in His goodness, it becomes like an anthem to our soul:
I love You, Lord
For Your mercy never failed me
All my days, I’ve been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God *
Jesus tells us that only God is good (Luke 18:19). Therefore, all goodness is derivative. What I mean by that is, all good things come from God.
17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. (James 1:17 NLT)
God’s goodness is not based on circumstances—good or evil—or whether someone deserves His goodness or not. This is why we don’t even know what goodness is apart from God. Yet, we, with our fickle hearts, have the ability to do good in spite of our circumstances (like Brandt Jean) because God is good. And all of this is important for us to know in a world filled with such graceless ingratitude, violence, and hatred.
3 And through his creative inspiration
this Living Expression made all things,
for nothing has existence apart from him!
4 Life came into being because of him,
for his life is light for all humanity.
5 And this Living Expression is the Light that bursts through gloom—
the Light that darkness could not diminish! (John 1:3-5 TPT, emphasis added)
When we don’t acknowledge God’s goodness working in our lives, our thoughts grow dark and futile (see Rom.1:21); we forget that we have no continuing existence apart from Him. We become ungrateful and do foolish things. This darkened thinking puts us into bondage. But when we realize that God is the Source of all goodness, and acknowledge His workings in our lives on an ongoing basis, it makes us truly grateful and gracious. And true freedom comes when we walk in the light as He is in the light:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 NIV)
We traditionally define sin as “missing the mark” but, as I’ve said before, sin is better defined as a tragic flaw in thinking that leads us into bondage. Jesus came to purify our hearts from this erroneous thinking and free us from living in darkness and futility as we walk in His light.
So, let us sing of His goodness and mercy and let His grace permeate our souls. And just as important: let His radiating light of pure love overflow from us to everyone around us. Here’s the song, “Goodness of God” sung by Jenn Johnson (Bethel Music). It serves as a great anthem to express our gratitude for God’s goodness. Beloved of God, sing it out and shine forth!
All my life You have been faithful
All my life You have been so so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God *