The Character of God

Psalm 36:1-12 This psalm says so much about the character of God. One of the tactics of Satan is to try to bring doubt in our hearts about God's goodness. So many times I have heard the enemy whisper, "If God is so good, why did He let this happen?" To defend ourselves against this tactic we need to know what the Bible says about the character of God. This psalm gives a great character sketch of God.

The verses in this psalm reveal that God is merciful, faithful, righteous and excellent in loving-kindness. He is our protector and provider. When we become grounded in scriptures like this, we will not be overwhelmed when trials and tribulations come our way. We know that because God is good, His desire is to bring eternal good out of every situation we face in life. You have heard this expression: We have to accept the bitter with the sweet in this life. God desires to work everything for the good in the lives of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. When we love the Lord and respond to His call and purpose for our lives, we can rest assured that all He allows in our lives will ultimately work for our good.

The best illustration I heard about how things work together in our lives for the good was shared in a Bible study I attended. The teacher shared that life is like baking a cake. First, all the ingredients are laid out; if you taste each ingredient separately, you would doubt these ingredients create a delicious cake. The salt is salty, the flour and eggs are tasteless, the baking powder is bland, and the vanilla that gives flavor to the cake tastes bitter. When all the ingredients are stirred together and then baked, out of the oven comes a delicacy that tastes, looks and smells delightful. Two steps are essential for a good cake—all the ingredients must be blended carefully, and the temperature of the oven and the time the cake is left in the oven have to be correct.

We have the Master Baker, and He is blending the different situations, trials, testing and circumstances of our lives with loving care. He will make sure that when we go through fiery trials, the heat will not burn us. He will never allow us to be tested above that which we are able to stand. What will help us the most when we are in the oven of testing is to remember God's character and review His marvelous acts through the years. David knew the secret of this. Circumstances and situations may change in our lives, and sometimes things may look very dark, but God dwells in the midst of darkness. When you put a cake in the oven, unless you turn on a light, the only light you see is the cooking element. God's Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. When we go through fiery trials in our lives, the key to overcoming is to shine the light of God's Word on the trial. Then we can clearly see that God is working, and in His timing the results of this trial will be good simply because God is a good, caring God. Remember, God's character is formed in us when we turn to Him in our trials.

READ: Leviticus 4:1-5:19; Mark 2:13-3:6; Psalm 36:1-12; Proverbs 10:1-2

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