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God’s Goodness in a Cruel World

The Kindness of God

There is much to love and appreciate about our God, much for which we ought to give him praise and thanks. One of the attributes we may consider too seldom is his goodness, and as an aspect or component of his goodness, his kindness. And that is the subject of Nate Pickowicz’s new book The Kindness of God: Beholding His Goodness in a Cruel World.

The fact is that we live in an unkind world. We live in a broken world in which we sin and grieve and suffer. We live in a world in which evil comes to each of us and in which evil comes from each of us. We are accustomed to being unkind and being treated unkindly. And in such a world it may be hard to believe that there is a God who is kind. Yet this is exactly how God reveals himself to us.

“God is good; we are sinful,” says Pickowicz in the early pages. “Because of this, we are undeserving of his goodness. But because of God’s mercy, he demonstrates lovingkindness to us. Therefore, every kindness we experience is pure grace and ought to be received with gladness and thankfulness.” This “Grand Premise” stands behind the book and serves as a kind of backdrop to an exploration of the topic.

The bulk of the book explores God’s kindness as he displays it to us in various ways: In the salvation of the lost, in granting the gifts of repentance and faith, and in the blessing of sanctification. Then it turns to God’s kindness in relationships like marriage, children, friendship, and even with God himself. It turns to God’s kindness in giving us blessings like gifts and talents and provision for our needs. Of course, the book would be incomplete if it did not account for God’s kindness to us in our suffering. One particularly encouraging chapter shows how God’s kindness meets us in our trials and tribulations. While we may never understand why bad things happen to us in this world, we can most certainly be assured that God’s lovingkindness to us never ceases and never permits anything that is ultimately to our harm.

The book wraps up with a pair of chapters that show how God’s kindness is also reflected in Christians (since those who have been recipients of God’s kindness must display it to others) and in his grace to the nations (since without his kindness the world would be uninhabitably awful).

I have often been drawn to God’s kindness and pondered what a blessing it is. The Kindness of God has provoked me to do so once again and to praise and thank him for this most wonderful of attributes. And for that, I’m grateful.

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