The answer is yes, God is good all the time, but the reason may surprise you.
God Is Good Because God Is Light
God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him (1 John 1:5).
The Bible opens with these four powerful words: “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1). It goes on to say, “…darkness was over the surface of the deep…” (Genesis 1:2). Darkness here is the absence of light. Light (God) existed and has always existed and always will exist, but light had not yet entered the scene, so to speak. And when it did, everything changed. Literally.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6, ESV).
God spoke light into existence in His creation of the heavens and the earth, but light is also a metaphor for God’s presence, His glory, His goodness, His holiness. Where there is darkness, God will show up.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:1-5).
God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:4).
Genesis 1:4 is the first mention of the word “good” in the Bible. This Hebrew word for good (טוב, pronounced tobh) means pleasing and/or desirable. It can reference quality as well as moral goodness. God declared that the light was good, and He Himself is the light of the world!
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good (Genesis 1:31, ESV).
Everything God made was good, and there is nothing made that was not made by Him (John 1:3). Everything God made was good, everything God does is good, everything God says is good, everything God is, is good. He is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.
And everything would have remained good if mankind had not chosen to disobey God (Genesis 3). Even when sin and spiritual darkness entered the world though, the great Light of the World would not be overcome by the darkness.
The day ultimately came when God Himself left heaven, took on flesh, came down into our darkness, and dwelled among us just so that He could bring us “the light of life.” How can we doubt that He is good? If we doubt the goodness of God, it is only because darkness has clouded our ability to see clearly.
God Is Good Because God Is Love
Just as God is light, He is also love. “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16).
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5).
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1).
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him (1 John 4:9).
Human beings change. Our moods change depending on our circumstances. Sometimes we are loving, sometimes we are not. God is not like us. He does not change (Psalm 55:19).
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17).
Think about that: every good gift comes from God! This makes sense when we consider that He made everything and everything He made was good. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us what love is. The fact that God is love means His character reflects this description of love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
What Does This Mean?
The darkness, hatred, and evil in the world are not of God nor are they from God. They are the result of the choice Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden to listen to Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44), rather than God. The day is coming when goodness will reign again, and evil will be obliterated once and for all.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:3-5).
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever (Revelation 22:3-5).
No longer will there be any curse. And when that day comes, we will see by the light of God Himself how very good He is!
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Kristi Walker has been a missionary in Berlin, Germany for over 15 years working with an international church as the Director of Student Ministries. She is the author of two books - Disappointment: A Subtle Path Away from Christ and Convinced. Applying Biblical Principles to Life’s Choices.