God is the standard of beauty, faithfulness, kindness, and truth. He is the source of all goodness.
To say God is great is to focus on His power: He speaks creation into existence, makes the skies thunder and rain, and sets the planets in their orbits. But to say God is good is different; it is not just another way of recognizing His power. The goodness of God speaks to His personal character—who He is in relationship to us. In all ways and in all things, God is good. He is never absent, disinterested, careless, ill-tempered, petty, spiteful, or mean. He is set apart from all evil and does what is right, faithful, kind, and true. Always.
True goodness is defined by who God is. He doesn’t just do good—He is good. In Psalm 119:68, the psalmist prays, “You are good and you do what is good; teach me your statutes.” The key to understanding the goodness of God is learning who He is through His Word. If we don’t learn His statutes, we will bring our own definitions and impose them on God. And when He doesn’t do what we think He should, we will accuse Him of failing to be “good” by our own standards—not His.
In His goodness, God gives us what we need and withholds what we do not. If we ask for bread, He will not give us a harmful serpent or a useless stone, He will give us what we need (Luke 11:11; Matthew 7:9). The God who withholds no good thing is the same God who gives no bad thing. Sometimes we don’t realize that we ask God for stones and serpents. When we ask God to give us things that are useless or harmful, the good Father refuses. As sure as He will not give a serpent when His children ask for fish, neither will He give them a serpent when His children unwittingly ask for one.
Yes, God is great, but He is also good. All the time and in all things. He does good because He is good.