(1 John 1:3)
As we have been thinking about what it means to be a child of God, a beloved son/daughter, my thoughts have been cycling back to a truth I hold as core belief: that God is good and therefore I can trust Him. That God is all-knowing, all-wise and all-powerful are wonderful truths, but if He is all those things but not good, I will not be able to love and trust Him.
As I have been reading through the Gospels of Luke and John, Jesus reveals the Father as good and loving; and because of that He trusted the Father. Even in His darkest hour, Gethsemane, Jesus still clings to the goodness of the Father; He trusted, for He lived and walked closely with His Father, and His Father has proven Himself to be utterly faithful in His goodness and love.
If Jesus trusted His Father, I will also trust the God I know to be good and faithful.
I see the goodness and faithfulness of the Father in the way Jesus comes to Him in prayer. In Luke 11, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. They had seen something in the way Jesus spoke with His Father that they wanted to experience in their lives. Jesus responded by teaching the words that are familiar to many of us:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:9-13)
In these words, Jesus defines the goodness and faithfulness of our Father.
He is Our Father in heaven. In the Hebrew way of thinking, heaven was not far away but rather it referred to the surrounding atmosphere. Jesus is saying the Father is as near as the air you breathe. God is present and active in our lives!
And He is holy: hallowed be your name. By His very nature, God cannot sin or even be in the presence of sin; He is pure and righteous and completely good and therefore I can trust His character.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven: God is also the King who rules over the heavens and the earth and as such He is both powerful and wise; attributes that demand a response of trust on my part.
Give us today our daily bread: He is the God who provides; who cares for us!
God is forgiving: Forgive our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Richard Foster writes: At the heart of God is the desire to forgive and to give.
And, God is our protector: lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Though we may experience the consequences of living in a fallen world, it is God who gets the last word and the last word is always one of hope and triumph. Nothing can touch us that God cannot redeem!
Jesus reveals the God who is ever-present, pure and righteous, powerful and wise, caring and forgiving, our provider and protector. Our relationship with the Father is rooted in His goodness and faithful love.
Our only response is trust the God we know, to worship and serve Him, for He is good!