The goodness of God is displayed on the cross. God gave His life so that we can have life. He wants the best for us: Him.
1:33 “Whoever listens to me (Wisdom) will live securely and in confident trust
And will be at ease, without fear or dread of evil.”
There is a children’s dinner prayer that goes, “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food. Amen.” As quaint as this little prayer is, it is chocked full of truth. If God is great, but not good, then He is a God whom we fear and cannot trust; if God is good and not great, then He is a God who cannot truly help us or save us. But, God is great and good in that He loves us and is mighty to save. He is God the Father/Son/Spirit.
When considering death, we know that it was not God’s will that we die. Death is the repercussion that comes from disobeying God. It’s not a punishment, but a consequence. Yet, even death serves a purpose. Were it not for death, then sin could not be taken to the grave, which is exactly what Jesus did! Thankfully, Jesus rose from the dead, thus breaking the power of sin and death for us. Knowing this, we should not be surprised when we read in James 1:13-18,
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Temptation is not sin; giving in to temptation is. Temptation is when we have the desire to go beyond the boundaries given, to exceed the amount of temperance, or to taste that which is not ours to taste. The Spirit will guide us IF we listen and obey.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
How does God choose to give us birth? Through the word of truth. Who is that word of truth? Jesus Christ, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). This metaphor of birth is also called “the awakening (of ourselves to Him)” and “the turning (from darkness to Him).” The goal is connection–actually, our reconnection.
Bad things happen in this dark, diseased (with sin) world and we will have trouble, but be at peace. God is both great and good and Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33).
Abba, Your goodness is the fiber of Your character. I think You get blamed for a lot of stuff that is not Your fault. Do You guide our lives? Absolutely, but do You dictate our lives? Absolutely not. Our choices are our own and You honor them. What You desire is for us to consult You in all decisions. The fact that You have overcome the world makes me not fear death. I trust You, O Lord. May I trust You even more tomorrow. Amen.