George Muller was a 19th century evangelist, missionary and director of orphan homes in Bristol, England. It is estimated that he cared for over 10,000 orphans in his lifetime.
On February 6, 1870, Mueller’s wife, Mary, died of rheumatic fever. Shortly after the funeral, the 64 year old evangelist, preached a “funeral sermon” as he called it.
What text would Muller choose while mourning the death of his beloved wife of 39 years?
He chose Psalm 119:68; “You are good, and do good.”
His three points were:
1. The Lord was good, and did good, in giving her to me.
2. The Lord was good, and did good, leaving her to me for so long.
3. The Lord was good, and did good, in taking her from me.
Frequently when dealing with some difficulty, trial or personal setback, people question “Where was God?”
Too often when tragedy or terror strikes, as in the recent Manchester England attack that left 22 dead and 52 injured, someone will question: Why would a good God would allow such evil?
Death, disease, suffering, pain and evil are not the fault of God. President Trump was right when he called such attackers “evil losers.” Evil originates from the devil. Not God. When evil fulminates in the hearts of wicked people opposed to God and goodness, bad things happen. Sometimes to good people.
But God is good. Spurgeon reminds us to “remember the goodness of God in the frost of adversity.”
His original creation was good. He blessed humankind with the goodness of the earth. The beauty of the world around us. The majesty of the cosmos. And with relationships that enhance our lives. It is human beings that have corrupted what God created as good.
The Psalmist often affirmed “the Lord is good.” He is good because his nature, character, and personality is ingrained in goodness. The Bible affirms that every “good gift” comes from God (Jas. 1:17). God’s goodness is not just reserved for the godly. He provides material blessings, sunshine and rain, for both the just and unjust. God is good.
His ultimate act of goodness is in sending Jesus to die for our sins. The goodness of God does not desire our punishment, but our salvation. Thus, His goodness is demonstrated in His longsuffering. Forbearance. Patience. Indeed the goodness of God should lead us to repentance (Rom. 2:4).
God desires that we seek His goodness. Grow in goodness. And express goodness to our fellow man. Goodness is the fruit of the spirit. Because goodness comes from God.
Muller was right. Even in death God has demonstrated that He is good. He frees the body from its suffering. Provides release from earthly sorrow. And offers the prospects of a better body. A new home. And a heavenly reward.
God is good.
All the time.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman