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Goodness Overcomes Doubts reveals how God's manifest display of kindness in common grace should lessen our doubts and cause us to trust in God more. This includes a special section explaining possible conflict with God's judgment.
God has shown His goodness to all sorts of people, whether it be the evil or the righteous. God has not shown any real difference in the ways He treats people.
If we do not believe that God is in full control of these things, such as the sun rising, then it is senseless to use this as an argument that God bestows a constant flow of goodness to those of us below. But once we can accept God’s hand in creation, then this understanding opens up a whole new way of approaching life.
God is not only involved in our world in a general way but through the very basic way He has set up and maintains the world, our bodies, etc. They reveal His concern and love. Let me give you an example.
There are many people, including Christian believers, who get easily upset with God over something they think God should or should not have done.
They might want to get into a certain school or don’t have the money another family has. They are tempted to doubt God’s love for them. From Matthew 5:45, however, we should as a basic presumption in life not be so demanding. We should trust in God’s evident love rather than think He is out to hurt our lives.
Our demands do not stem from understanding. God has kindly treated everyone such as nicely supplying them with sun and rain. Can we not trust Him in other ways? Why would He care for us and then attack us?
Usually our doubts are built on the distrust of His love. We can’t trust Him because we are not sure He has our best interests in mind. From this verse, we can see very clearly that He has maintained the universe in such a manner to care for mankind. He does not need or benefit from it. It is for us His creatures.
In other words, we are to develop a mentality of life in which we are very thankful to God for that which He provides.
I cannot overstate the important of our faith and trust in the Lord for having a vibrant Christian life. Without it the evil one can so easily enter our lives and confuse us. But you ask, “How can we build up this trust?” We can build up our trust by constantly reminding ourselves of God’s love for us through the way He designed everything.
Some of you might wonder how common grace seems to be at conflict with God’s judgment.
For example, a drought is one of the threatened judgments upon God’s people who depart God’s principles. 2 Samuel 21:1 speaks of a three year famine. Most famines, as this one, is due to no rain.
So questions arise in our mind. ￼What about the drought during Elijah’s time? Does God not withhold His common blessing and bring judgment during these times?
The Lord sometimes does withhold rain. When it is withheld, but do not God’s people also suffer with the wicked? Yes. God will judge at times. In this respect there is a common judgment, though we should note there are judgments that are specific just for the wicked (Lord couldn’t find righteous in Sodom before destroying it).
The evidence and promise of judgment does not take away the impact of Jesus’ words, though. If anything, it further deepens our surprise on how the Lord kindly treats people despite their horrible rejection of Him.
This then, leaves us thinking that the way God is working with the wicked is not a simple, “I judge the wicked for all their evil” type of mentality. Instead, God has a great desire that the wicked come to know Him for who He really is.
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
God is not wanting to judge the wicked. He doesn’t have an attitude, “I can’t wait until I judge them all.” Instead the Lord unfolds a multitude of signposts all pointing to His love. He desires that we would repent and come to know His grace. He hopes to somehow awaken us from our sin so that we might see Him and entreat His grace in Christ. God has even extended judgment just so that more people would be saved.
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988