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Every now and again I run across an 'old school' preacher who will blurt out, "God is good", expecting the response, "All the time", from those he or she is around. It was frequently used as the 'affirmation' of our trust in his goodness and grace that we were expressing back in the day. We don't hear it very much in our local churches these days, but it is a good thing to remember - our God IS good. He isn't 'becoming' good - he IS good. He isn't enticed to 'do good' - he IS good. The state of 'IS' really means in the present tense, at this very time, without any hesitation, or without any concern that something exists - he IS good.

The Eternal One is good, a safe shelter in times of trouble. He cares for those who search for protection in Him. (Nahum 1:7)

Three short things we can learn from what our writer shares here today. First, God is good - even when we doubt his goodness, he never ceases to be good. It is his nature - he cannot deviate from his nature. He may seek to 'nurture' that 'goodness' within us, but it is something that he doesn't have to work on in himself - it is inherent in who and what he is. Goodness is inseparable from him - wherever he is, goodness is.

Next, it is important for us to see that in him is the greatest and most secure protection we can ever experience. Another term we could use here is that he is our refuge. See once again that he IS our refuge - our shelter, place of safety, anchor in hard times. We don't have to create a place of refuge - he IS that place of refuge. If you have ever been in the midst of something very troubling to your spirit, you might have realized all you had to do to feel 'protected' was to focus your mind on him. In so doing, you allowed all the danger or trouble you were experiencing to be shut out. You entered into what he IS at all times - our place of refuge.

Last, but not least, he is near to us at all times. It may come as a surprise to some, because they have sense him to be distant or farther away than they might have liked, but it is impossible to care for and protect those who are distant. Protection comes in the form of being near - being up close and personal with the one you are protecting. Does the bodyguard protect the individual they are charged with protecting from a distance? No, they do so by drawing near and staying there! The protection of God IS found in the nearness we maintain with him. Even when we don't sense he is close to us, we can rest in the knowledge he is never far from our heart.

God is good. He is our refuge. He is near to us - caring for us each step of the way. Three things we might just want to commit to memory and remind ourselves of from time to time. These are the things we sometimes forget when the battle is raging and the times are tougher than we'd like, but because he IS all these things, he never fails us. Just sayin!


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