Theology Thursday: Remembering God’s Goodness

By Eric Comerford, Faculty, College of Theology

Statue of Jesus on the cross showing love endures

Whatever we go through, we can take refuge in the Lord, for he alone is essentially good and possesses all perfections by his nature. His goodness abounds in all things: in all he has made, in every way, he has revealed divine truth to us, rescued us from our destruction and promised us life in his unchangeable immortality. Let the soul soar heavenward, remembering that God, author of all, whose glory exceeds the parameters of language, became true man to invite the whole of humanity to be reborn in our return to God (Hebrews 2:14-18).

God’s Essential Goodness

God is Being itself, for He is the one who is, whose name is forever (Exodus 3:15). All things receive their being, goodness and every other perfection from God’s infinite being.1 God is supremely real perfection and only God is Himself living. All other things, in order to live, must receive their being from something else, but God is the ever-living, absolute and unchangeable one, the giver of all life. The fact that God is the ontological foundation of all things, a being than which none greater can be conceived in whom there is no shadow or turning, is the source of all hope.

For the hope of the soul, whose innermost desire is to have a heavenly homeland (Hebrews 11:16), can alone repose in a supremely perfect being who is “the one who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). We may be weary from seemingly endless battles, but let the soul find contentment in the unchanging goodness of God and find greater joy in the truth that those who seek the Lord lack no good thing (Psalm 34:10). Let the soul reflect, with awe, that at the root of all things there is one supreme God who is the Everlasting God (Isaiah 40:28) whose greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3) and who certainly has more objective reality than anything else.

God Loves All Things

The goodness of God is demonstrated in the fine-tuned and interconnected order of the world, composed of a million harmonious voices. His gratuitous kindness is shown in what he has made “since from eternity He dwelt without creatures in no less perfect a blessedness.”2 God radiates a common grace downward, pervading the universe, by his nurturing, protecting, enlivening and generating power at every moment, for God continually provides for the integrity of the universe (Colossians 1:15-17). The world is supported by his power and care. God is not just the first cause that goes back in a series of causes or movers. God loves all things through his life-sustaining agency (Hebrews 1:2-3). As Aquinas reasoned, a thing has existence, or any kind of good, only in as much as it is willed by God. To every existing thing, then, God wills some good. Hence, since to love anything is nothing else than to will good to that thing, it is manifest that God loves everything that exists.3

Indeed, God’s invisible qualities can be found in any aspect of creation (Romans 1:20). Guy Gruters, shot down in North Vietnam in 1967 and imprisoned in camps for more than five years, has shared his story with many. He and his fellow POWs struggled to hang on to hope, but at a certain time of day in his cell, through a crack in the ceiling, he saw a ray of light shining through a single leaf. There he rediscovered God, never before realizing how much beauty can be found in the smallest of things. Although he was in mental and physical anguish, his soul rejoiced in the splendor of God’s creation.

Praise for Every Spiritual Blessing in Christ

When, in the inner groaning and woundedness of being separated from the life of God, the Father reveals to us the lordship of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, we are brought into glorious freedom and love as children of God. The soul repeatedly cries out: "Praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ, forever and ever!" We experience true joy for the first time because we encounter an infinite God who forgives us even as we pierced his side with a spear, for he took all our sins with him to the cross.

Our hearts burn with a new love of God because they receive the light of the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). We become a living temple of the Holy Spirit, and the world opens up to us. How surpassingly great it is that God renews us daily for the inheritance of eternal glory through the risen Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Rejoice Always

God’s unwavering love endures forever (Psalm 136:1) and is with us to the end (Psalm 138:8). He was with us at conception (Psalm 139:13), heard every prayer (Psalm 4:3), saves every tear (Psalm 56:8), and desires for each soul only individual greatness (1 Peter 4:10-11 and Ephesians 2:8-10). Let us thank our all-sufficient provider and helper, our ever-faithful God who saves, sees, and heals us.

He lifts our heads high to see that the Son “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” who “is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17). The fullness of joy is rejoicing in the continual love and eternal goodness of the triune God with us (Psalm 16:11).

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Retrieved From:

1 Summa Theologiae Prima Pars, Q. 2, art. 3

2 City of God, Book XII, Ch. 17.

3 Summa Theologiae Prima Pars, Q. 20, art. 2

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.