Is there ever a time when God is mean, tyrannical, unloving, or apathetic when we are hurting? Our stock biblical answer says, “No, God is always good, kind, loving and concerned about the issues in my life”; however, sometimes our emotions can get the best of us and we cry out at God, pretty darn close to accusing Him of being malevolent or uncaring. The bible is very clear about God’s character: God is always good. The attributes of God are all 100%. He is completely compassionate, wholly holy, replete with justice, etc. He also is 100% good 100% of the time. James writes, “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow (James 1:17). Where we really witness God’s loving goodness is in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is God incarnate – the Divine Son of God. Do you ever see Jesus act inappropriately toward anyone? Ever see Him be uncaring or unloving? Jesus is always good, always blessing, always helping, and always sacrificing Himself so that others can be blessed. (Even turning over the tables in the temple and driving spiritual abusers out was helpful to the faithful.) Jesus even treated sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors, thieves, and the likes with love. If you really want to know if everything that comes from God is good look at Jesus and you will have your answer because Jesus is God in the flesh. And, where we really get the question answered about the goodness of God is at the cross of Christ. Read John 3:16-17; 10:1-18; and 15:13 and then listen to Everything God by Ashes Remain.
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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.