(This is the 4th and final post answering the question, “Is God Good?”)
Christians have the unique belief that God is both great and good. He is big and small at the same time. He is a great big God who actually cares about little ol’ me. Our God is neither uninvolved in creation, nor uninvolved in our lives. He didn’t create haphazardly without a direction or plan. Neither did He just set the world in motion and then leave us to figure it all out on our own.
The Bible teaches that not only is God big, but He is actually quite “small.” We see the bigness of God in the Trinity – He is so big that He cannot be contained in just one person. But it is also in the unique personhood of the different members of the Trinity that we experience His smallness.
THREE WAYS THAT GOD IS “SMALL:”
1. God is Close
Throughout the Old Testament God is with His people, but mostly at a distance. He only gets close to a few select people (Abraham, Moses, and prophets). But in Jesus, God comes so close that He actually becomes one of us!
“So the Word became human and made his home among us.” (John 1:14a, NLT)
It is “God with us” that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. In all others, God is a distant spirit that people reach up to. We have to climb up to God through rules, rituals, reason, experience, and morality. But in Immanuel we have a God that reaches down to us, and becomes one of us.
God loves us so much that he cast aside his rights and privileges as the Supreme Creator of the Universe to become one of his creation – suffering not only the humiliation of merely being human, but humbling himself all the way to death.
But just when you thought God couldn’t get any closer… He does!
“But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.” (John 16:7, NLT)
This is crazy! Jesus essentially says, “It is better to have the Holy Spirit inside you, than Jesus beside you. Immanuel is not “the God who came and went” but the God who is still with us in the Holy Spirit, now closer than ever! The One True God is not just God with us, but He is God within us.
The Holy Spirit brings the personal presence of Jesus Christ into our daily lives so much that we can actually hear the voice of God speaking and the guidance of God directing our daily decisions. You can’t get any closer than that!
2. God Cares
This GREAT God who is extremely close is also a GOOD God who cares.
“He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” (Psalm 121:3–8, NLT)
God demonstrated His ultimate care and concern for us in Jesus Christ.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NLT)
This great God loves you so much that He’d rather die than live without you!
Jesus didn’t have to, but he chose to suffer.
- Born in poverty
- Falsely accused
- Betrayed and abandoned
- Beaten to a bloody pulp
Jesus freely chose suffering to demonstrate God’s closeness and care for those He loves.
This great God is a good God who became one of us so that He could enter into our suffering with us. It is in Jesus that we really see the greatness and goodness of God.
3. God has a Plan
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:1–2, NLT)
Jesus reminds us that God is always working things out for His good and glorious purposes. He endured suffering and shame because he knew that God had a plan. He had a vision of something greater, better – a great and good God who would redeem the world through his pain.
Suffering and evil are a part of our world because there is an enemy who wants you to doubt God. Part of his strategy to destroy you is to have bad things happen to you. He uses suffering to make you doubt God. He makes you think God is not great and God is not good.
Because God is both big and small; great and good – nothing can derail His plan. It may seem like the train is going off the tracks, but like a sliver in your foot, those are only temporary pains necessary to bring about the greater good.
For an amazing story of abuse, pain, hope, and healing WATCH BELIEF WITHOUT BLAME.