This podcast covers Lesson 10 of Radical Acts Bible Study by Melanie Newton.
Experience God’s Goodness on the Adventure
God is good all the time.
“You [God] are good, and what you do is good.” (Psalm 119:68 NIRV)
Everything about God is good. He is good in Himself. And, what He does is good. That means God allows nothing to happen to His children—to those who love Him—that is not for their good.
God gives to His children only that which is good. God is good all the time, and He works all things together for good. Romans 8:28
God is good even in the tough times
God is the perfect parent and knows what will help His children grow into maturity. That sometimes includes pain.
God teaches His children through tough things He allows in our lives that help us grow up. They help us learn to trust God. They help us learn to give up trying to do things our own way—which may not be the best way—and start doing things God’s way—which is always the best way. ANYTHING that draws us closer to God and makes us depend upon Him is good for us.
God is good in different ways to each of us.
God’s goodness looks different in each person’s life. In Acts, Paul and his friends were traveling so they needed a place to stay in Philippi. There, they met Lydia. Lydia didn’t need a place to stay. She needed God. Paul shared God with Lydia; Lydia shared her home with Paul and his friends. Different needs met by God’s goodness. God’s goodness will definitely look different in my life than it does in your life.
God is good in what He allows or doesn’t allow into our lives
Not everyone gets cancer or has a serious injury. Not everyone endures long-term unemployment. Not everyone loses a child or experiences the desertion of a spouse. Throughout the Bible are many verses stating how God healed someone or protected someone in a dangerous situation. We don’t even know all the dangers God is protecting us from daily! We should thank Him all the time for doing that.
God’s goodness to Paul
Did you see all the ways that God was good to Paul? God used the Roman commander to give Paul protection from an angry, vicious mob. Paul’s nephew was in the right place at the right time to overhear the plot against Paul. The commander listened to the nephew and took action to protect Paul. The commander wrote a letter to the governor basically declaring Paul’s innocence. What about all those soldiers to escort and protect one ordinary citizen? Paul was well-protected. Many impartial Roman representatives repeatedly confirmed the innocence of Paul and his message regarding Roman Law.
Here’s the best: The Lord Himself came to him and spoke to him to give him encouragement. Notice what Jesus said to Paul—his instrument, in the center of His will, doing what He wants Paul to do. Acts 23:11
Notice Jesus didn’t say, “I’m getting you out of this mess you created for yourself.” “Walk out of the barracks with me. You’re free to go on your way.” “I’ll make sure you stay comfortable while this is going on.” Or, “I’m done with you.”
Instead, our Lord Jesus who was also Paul’s Lord Jesus stood by him. He was present with Paul. Then, Jesus said, “Take courage!” That word in the Greek literally means “be of good courage, have confidence, be of good cheer.” It’s the same word Jesus used in John 16: 33 and Acts 18:9-10.
Jesus hasn’t changed His mind about Paul. And, He is with him all the way. If Jesus told Paul that he could trust His goodness in the manner in which Jesus got Paul to Rome, you know we can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do in our lives as well.
Trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
We’ve got to bank on God’s goodness and trust His choosing. That’s dependent living. Human parents raise their children to be more independent as they grow up. God raises His children to be less independent of Him and more dependent on Him as we grow up to maturity. Anything that teaches us how to depend on Him is good for us.
“There were always two answers to your prayers—either she was going to be healed or she was going to be healed. Either she was going to live or she was going to live. Either she was going to be with family or she was going to be with family. Either she was going to be well taken care of or she was going to be well taken care of. Victory belongs to Me because of what I’ve already done for you. The two answers to your prayer are yes and yes.” (Jonathan Evans, Eulogy for his mother)
When you release your expectation of acceptable outcomes, you can rejoice at what our Lord does instead of complaining about what He does not do. You look at everything with the Lord’s perspective. In any and all situations, you can count on the fact that God is good all the time, and you can trust Him in whatever He chooses to do. Take heart. Be of good cheer. Have confidence in that!
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His Spirit’s transforming power. And say yes to a life of adventure with Him!
Until next time, I’m Melanie Newton. And, this is Series 7 of Satisfied.
Joyful Walk Bible Studies by Melanie Newton are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.