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Ever since the Garden of Eden, the devil has been devising schemes to separate people from God. And the one scheme that seems to have worked the best for him is causing them to doubt God's goodness. He has been using it ever since it succeeded with Adam and Eve.

I'm sure you know the story. God provided a perfect place for Adam and Eve to live. He gave them everything they needed to live perfectly blessed and prosperous lives. There was only one restriction. The Lord told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, warning them that if they did, they would immediately die.

Eve fell for it, then Adam. By their sin the whole human race was sentenced to spiritual death. And the devil has been causing people to doubt the goodness of God ever since. Religions—even those based on Christianity—have portrayed God in ways that are totally contrary to the truths revealed in the Bible.

Religious art, for example, often pictures everyone sad. It shows the Virgin Mary sad, Baby Jesus sad, all the apostles and angels sad. Religious traditions taught by long-faced, angry preachers have represented God as mad at the whole human race and looking furiously for someone to punish. The impression they give people is that God is in a bad mood, and you had better be very careful around Him because you don't want to irritate Him any further.

Along those same lines, someone even wrote a song that the radio stations played some years ago. The chorus threatened, "God's gonna get you for that!" If you have been made wary of God by those kinds of religious traditions, it's important for you to know the Bible does not teach any of those things. It does not reveal a God who is out to "get us" nor do us harm in any way. (Let's face it, we've all given God plenty of reason to "get" us. If He had wanted to get us, we would have already been "gotten" by now!)

The fact is, the Bible does not portray God being in a bad mood. On the contrary, Psalm 145:8-9 says, "The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works."

The moment we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, we find that God is already happy with us. Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 says, "For a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God." God wants to give good gifts to people. It's what He loves and enjoys. He is Jehovah the Good.

God in a Single Word
If you want to see most clearly what God is really like, all you have to do is study love because the Bible says, "God is love" (1 John 4:8).

Everything God tells us to do is for our own good and protection. We're His children and He wants us to obey Him because He wants to see us blessed. That should be easy for us to understand. We're the same way with our own children. For example, we don't tell them to stay out of the street just to prove we are boss. We don't make rules for them just to restrict them and make our own lives easier. We are trying to help them stay safe so they can live long on the earth and things will go well with them (Eph. 6:1-4).

God is this way toward us: "Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him." He wants us as His born-again children to do well in life. He is not trying to keep us under His thumb by making us worship and obey Him. He is endeavoring to get us in the place where He can safely give us every good and perfect gift.

God Won't Leave You Out
If you have been living a disobedient and rebellious life, right now you might be thinking, Well, that's it for me. I've been doing things God didn't want me to do for years. I've disobeyed about every commandment I know. I guess I can't expect to receive anything from God.

Yes, you can! God is always forgiving. The blood of Jesus washes away every sin. You and I might look at our lives and think there's no hope left for us. We might think we will never amount to anything. But God's hopes are fadeless where we are concerned. He sees what we can be in Him (1 John 1:9).

You can repent and say: "Lord, I know I've sinned. I've done things I knew You didn't want me to do. I've been walking away from You instead of toward You. But I'm turning around today. I ask You to forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. By faith, I receive that cleansing through the blood of Jesus and right-standing with You in His Name. I set my heart to obey You for the rest of my life. With Your help I will do what You want me to do."

Before now you might have been afraid to make that commitment to God. You might have drawn back from the idea of doing whatever He asked you to do. But now you can make that promise boldly, knowing that whatever He tells you to do will always be for your good.

Every child of God who has known and trusted His goodness has been eternally glad he did. The moment you are tempted to draw back in fear from something God tells you to do, remember this: God is a good God. He will only lead you in paths that will ultimately bring you blessing and increase. True, those paths are not easy. But you can rest assured, they will always take you to good places. In the end, you will find that the difficulties along the road were nothing compared to the reward.

Excerpt permission granted by
Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc.
aka:  Kenneth Copeland Ministries

Author Biography

Gloria Copeland
Web site: Kenneth Copeland Ministries
For the last 50 years Kenneth and Gloria Copeland have been passionately teaching Christians all over the world how to apply the principles of faith found in God's WORD to their lives.

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