"Oh How Great Is Thy Goodness!"

“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!”

     -- Psalm 31:19


Neither tongue nor pen can ever tell the great goodness of our God. The best we can do is to observe and declare that which is upon the surface of experience and the marrow of Revelation. But to declare the essence of God's goodness would be to declare the essence of God himself, and that cannot be done. Yet, I know this -- Goodness is that which God laid up for his people in eternity in the purpose of his grace and that which he has wrought, is working, and shall work for his people before the sons of men.


Eternal Goodness


God has laid up goodness for his elect in Christ in his eternal purpose of grace (Eph. 1:3). Before the worlds were made God bestowed every blessing of his grace upon every sinner who shall ever trust his Son. Name something good, truly good, whatever it is, it is the property of every believer. Election, redemption, adoption, forgiveness, justification, preservation, eternal life, these and all other good things have been given to God's elect in Christ from eternity. And in eternal predestination God mapped the course by which all the goodness of his grace must and shall come to his elect.


Providential Goodness


The Lord our God has wrought goodness for us throughout the days of our lives (Rom. 8:28). As I write these lines, I have many friends who are suffering great, heavy trials, sickness, bereavement, wayward children, unfaithful companions, slander, etc. How can we say that these afflictions of God's providence are works of goodness? We believe God! We interpret the events of our lives by the Word of God. We never interpret the Word of God by the events of our lives. We read the Book of Divine Providence through the light of the Book of Divine Revelation. And we know that "all things are of God." If all things are of God, they must be good in their ultimate end, because God is good! Looking back over the pages of our lives, God's people are made to realize that in all things the Lord has wrought goodness for us.


Manifest Goodness


At the appointed time, our great God shall work his goodness in us before the sons of men. I do not know how he will do it, but in the last day, when God spreads the trophies of his grace before wondering worlds, throughout eternity the Lord will cause his enemies and ours to see the works of his goodness upon us. The rich man in hell will never cease to behold the works of God's great goodness upon Lazarus in glory; and the same shall be true of all God’s elect. He will forever show to wondering worlds “the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus. ” “Oh how great is thy goodness!”