God’s Goodness Produces Faith
God’s Goodness Produces Faith
Thoughts from an Impact University Instructor — excerpt from Pastor Michael Maffucci’s book “No Darkness At All.”
Now in the light of all the things we have been examining about God being good and having no darkness at all, I know this message will produce faith in you! I would like to discuss the following reasons why the goodness of God produces Faith:
1) It brings you to repentance.
2) It gives you hope.
3) It eliminates your failures.
4) It gives you back your dreams.
5) It makes you fall in love with your God.
6) It convinces you that success is possible
7) It destroys the work of your accuser.
Romans 2:4 says, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the GOODNESS of God leads you to repentance?” Many churches today seem to think that their ministry is the ministry of condemnation. Preaching guilt and condemnation is not what leads people to repentance. Trying to get people to think that God is out to get them or that God is angry with them is not our ministry. Second Corinthians 5:18 says, “Now all things are of God, who was reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” Knowing that God is a good God and that He is not out to get even with you will change your entire concept of God and who He is. If you think that God wants to make you sick or kill one of your loved ones because you somehow missed the mark, you will probably try to hide from God, like Adam and Eve did. On the other hand, if you believe God is a good God, you will run to Him instead of from Him.
Knowing that God is a good God and that He is not out to get even with you will change your entire concept of God and who He is.
As a pastor, I have spoken to many unbelievers and even angry Christians who will not go back to church because they are angry with God, thinking that God is their problem. God is not your problem; He is your answer! God’s goodness will also give you back your hope. “For I know the thoughts that I think forwards you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a HOPE” ( Jeremiah 29:11). What amazes me most about this verse is the fact that God actually thinks about me. Is that not an awesome thought? God thinks about you! And what does it say He thinks? Does He say He is thinking about how badly you missed it today? Does He say “ I am going to get him today and cause an auto accident because he sinned”? No, He has thoughts of peace toward you and not of evil. He desires to give you a future and a hope! Do not run away from your God. Run to Him and enjoy Him.
The goodness of God eliminates your failures. “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” ( Romans 4: 7-8). The word impute is the Greek word logizomai. The English word log is derived from it. Listen to what Paul says in this verse. God will not log your sin to your account. Is that not a blessing? Your sin and my sin was logged onto Jesus Christ. He took my record and gave me His record of perfection. He did the same thing for you if you are a believer. Do you see what that does? God’s goodness has eliminated your failures in giving you Christ’s righteousness. “for He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21) The goodness of God also gives you back your dream. Many men and women of God have lost their dream, their purpose, and their goal in life because they think they have out sinned God’s goodness. Years ago while I was a pastor, I was teaching on this subject in my church. A man began to weep at the altar call because he thought God had given up on him. He had lost his dream and purpose in life. When he realized that God had forgiven him and wanted him in the ministry, he surrendered to God‘s goodness and went back into ministry. Have you lost your dream? Do you feel like it is too late? Listen to what God says: Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
The goodness of God gives you back your dream.
They are new every morning: Great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23) Mercy is when God does not give us what we deserve! Grace is when we get what we do not deserve! Thank God for the goodness of His grace. God’s goodness makes you fall in love with your God. “We love Him because He first loved us“ (1 John 4:19). Have you ever tried to love someone who you knew did not like you? That is how some people feel about God because they think God is doing something bad to them. Back in the 70s, I had a man in my church who was a drunk. His wife was a real faith person and believed God for his salvation. One day, while he was drinking, he climbed a tree during a raging thunderstorm (not recommended). Well, he got hit by a lightning bolt and fell out of the tree. You would think that would correct him from the error of his ways, but he did not. A while later, he became drunk again during a thunderstorm, so he got under an aluminum awning at his house. You guessed it. He was again hit by a lightning bolt. He immediately got saved. This man became one of my deacons and wanted to go out soul winning. The problem was that this man did not understand that God did not send those two lightning bolts. In fact, if his wife had not been praying for him, Satan would have taken him out with lightning. Now every time we would go out soul winning, he would say to someone, “ Brother Mike, tell this man he had better get saved, or God is going to kill him with a lightning bolt and send him to hell.”
You see, this dear brother did not understand God’s love because he was convinced that God hit him with two lightning bolts.
I know the story is quite funny, but the same attitude is what keeps so many Christians from loving their God. Your attitude of how God feels about you has much to do with how you minister to people. Is it possible that people are not receiving Christ because we have misrepresented what he is really like? The goodness of God helps you to realize that success is possible in any situation. If you were to do a careful study on the grace of God, you will discover that the root word for grace (charis) can be translated “ gift, grace, or favor.“ You see, God wants you to succeed, so he has given you favor. What great thing would you attempt for God if you knew you could not fail? My wife and I have nine children, and it is our desire that every one of them succeed in life. Do you think that your heavenly father wants anything less for you? One of man’s greatest needs is to feel valued. Marriage relationships fall apart when one or both partners stop making the other person feel valued. when they start using phrases like “you’re just like your parents“ or “you never do anything right.” The other person begins to feel devalued in that person‘s presence. How about using this phrase? “I remember what you did to me, and I will never forget it.“ Thank God, our God is not like that. God’s goodness makes you want to be around him, and it gives you the drive you need to succeed.
Is it possible that people are not receiving Christ because we have misrepresented what He is really like?
One of the greatest things about God‘s goodness is that it destroys the work of the accuser. “The accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down” (Revelations 12:10). Just think about it. Satan has nothing left to accuse you with. For as far as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103: 11-12) A few years back, I was teaching on this subject in my class at Impact University. Suddenly, I heard a loud shout, and one of my students jumped up out of his chair, ran down the hall, and proceeded to start running around the school. I did not know if he was upset with something I said or if he was having a seizure of some kind. When he finally returned to the classroom, he said something like, “I am sorry, but I just got set free from my past, and I just had to start running.” God’s goodness will produce faith in you and calls you to want to communicate with him all the times. Yes, God is good all the time, and Satan is bad all the time. It’s just that simple, my friend!
Author: Pastor Michael Maffucci – Impact University Instructor