The Goodness of God

God’s will is the truth and no one can work against it to make it cease. No matter the plans men make to thwart its purpose it will be impossible for them to contend with it. To work against it is fighting against the unbeatable power of God; for in it God puts all His power that it is victorious. It is indeed a joy to know that God’s will to believers does not fail and the hope of seeing the unseen does not remain farfetched. Its chief nature is it is straightforward; it does not deceive. Its substance is that which God says, and He cannot lie. So, when men work against it, they are striving to turn the truth into lie. It will not see fruition. On the outset their striving is endearing to them, but the false hope in it does not produce the desired result. Nonetheless, they proceed to make their wishes come true, and for what disappointment! What is it that makes them go about in this manner? It is wickedness.

Wickedness in men does not allow them to accept the goodness of God. It urges them to synthesize ways to make Him look foolish. A certain sect of Jews, i.e. the Pharisees and chief priests, demonstrated it. They went to Pilate and said, “Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first”(Matt. 27:64). The gospel of Jesus always had enemies, because the will of God in it is greater than wickedness in men. If their plans to stop Jesus’ rising up from the dead did not succeed, we can be utterly sure that men who work against God’s will to us can never succeed. For when God raised Jesus He demonstrated a power that no enemy can withstand. And since that time He willed to work with that power toward all who entrusted to Him. No matter how grave a situation we face we can be rest assured His power saves us.

Wickedness is manifested by choosing not to believe in truth. The Pharisees and the chief priests called the rising up of Christ, the will of God, the first deception. Yet, it was the truth. Their wickedness led them to say there would be a second deception. Wickedness blinded them to see God’s will. Thus, they could not consider the power of God. They focused on what they thought the disciples would do rather than what God can and will do. If they believed Christ’s word concerning His resurrection, they would not have worked against God. Christ was destined to rise from the dead. No matter what they were going to do He is going to rise up, and He did rise up. Now, the reason to say all this is for us to understand that when we have God’s will, and people despise us, God exercises His power to save, help or provide us. When we relate it to them, they consider it foolish. They cast doubts on our way of life and synthesize ways to establish them. They choose not to believe in God’s will toward us. But before they gain upper hand on us God leads us to glory. The more they war with us, the more they witness us proceeding to glory.

Once Jesus rose up from the dead, the event they called a deception began yielding many sons to God. Their plans and theories against His resurrection utterly failed. They do not work even to this day. The power that raised Him up began demonstrating its work so that men and women had to believe He rose up. It was able to perform, because of the will of God toward the chosen. It had not yet ceased to perform. It is God’s will to us that gives Him access to demonstrate His power through us. He who is without His will is like an empty cloud. As God’s power does not flow through him, his work does not yield the fruit God desires. It is in this power, which was spoken of by Jesus that the Pharisees and the chief priests chose not to believe. All they wanted was that the tomb of Christ be secured until the third day. They wished for the Word of Christ to fail so that their word is ascertained as the truth. But, what man can erase God’s will to fulfill his own? And we know what happened on the third day. Even so, when one is chosen by God for His glory and has His will for a certain achievement or work, he will not fail. There is not a man or power in the world that can resist God’s will from taking place. For Jesus prayed, “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves” (John 17:13).

Whatever Jesus asked the Father He received. God the Father never denied His only begotten Son. Therefore, we can be totally confident God will use His power that all His will to us is completed. This is Christ’s joy. When He sees God working in us to glorify His name, His prayer is being fulfilled. And He desires for His joy to be completed in us so that we are with great joy. This joy is the reason God did not let the wickedness of the Pharisees and the chief priests prevail and is the reason He continues to overcome it. For the most important desire of God is to bring joy to His Son. And Because of it, our benefit as to the chosen does not cease. “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51).

Our joy extends into the heavenly places. The power of God that accomplishes His will toward us does not cease to work until we meet our Lord. It is for His power to be realized in this manner that God raised Jesus from the dead. Paul was clearly looking for the greater joy. He realized that the way for it is the fulfillment of God’s will in Him. It is the prize for running the course. Each one’s course is set, and it is set by God. The goal is to finish it. John the apostle further explains the mystery. “But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them” (Rev. 11:11). God with His power will breathe life into believers so that His will for Christ’s joy is complete. As John saw the vision, He understood that God has set a time for it. There is indeed life to those in whom God’s will is fulfilled. They perform every good work He assigned to them.

Therefore, brethren, remember this Word of truth: “For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power” (1 Cor. 4:20). It is the power of God that fills His kingdom. It is His power that influences, causes effect and gives Him glory. Mere words or many words simply cannot define His kingdom. Then the power of the men that works against the will of God is as good as mere words. They become useless, though they may for a time appear bold. God’s power will turn them useless. For His power not only works in us, but also works to set their works against themselves that they are caught in them. And since belief in God displays more power than wickedness, they eventually fade away. God’s power is displayed through the wisdom, faith and works He supplies us. To be in His kingdom is to be with His power or to be governed by it. Every word we speak relates His power. In fact, we speak His power. “And he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God’” (Acts 7:56).

Stephen did not speak words, but His power. What he saw was the power of God in which Jesus was standing at the right hand of God. God’s power revealed to him the Christ who is watching him, working in and through him and is ready to receive him into His home. God revealed to him that all power is with Jesus to do as He wills. Stephen’s joy was made full at the sight of the Lord. In it he knew it was the Lord’s will for him to depart. He prayed for it and the Lord granted it. He was indeed rescued. His experience was one of a kind, yet it is not without purpose and meaning. If we believe the Word to be true in his regard, we do not have to see the Lord standing at God’s right hand. We know He is there and to seek Him is enough for Him to demonstrate the power given Him for our sake. For the Word of God does not speak without purpose when it says those who did not see and yet believed are blessed. Again, through the apostle at another place, that though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. Every will of God to us will be accomplished, because it is written, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

Posted in 2013, Archives.