Knowing your good, good Father is one of the most important aspects of faith. We explore why it’s crucial to build a strong relationship with our Father and how this knowledge can bring peace and hope, and joy into our lives. Learn more with “How to Know God as your good, good Father”
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Do you think you know God?
That’s a loaded question. You have received a revelation of Him and Jesus through Holy Spirit, so yes, you do know God.
But God is GOD. He is altogether Holy, altogether awesome and altogether right…and we’re not.
But that’s a good thing. We can never stop learning, never stop experiencing His nature and His love.
Through time there is a progressive revelation of who God is down through the centuries. We see this revelation in the names that are used to describe God.
16 Names of God in Hebrew Scripture
- El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty) Occurs 7 times. First used in Gen 17:1
- El Elyon (The Most High God) Gen 14:18 Occurs 28 times. It occurs 19 times in Psalms
- Adonai (Lord, Master) Occurs 434 times. First used Gen 15:2
- Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah) Occurs 6,519 times. is first used in Gen 2:4. Yahweh geek out. Tetragrammaton divine name. No vowels all consonants. Don’t know how it was pronounced. Adonai vowels 2nd century BC Masoretics. There’s no Y in Latin. It’s replaced with J. By the 16th century Jehovah appears. It’s relatively modern…if you agree Shakespeare is modern. Similar thing happened with Yeshua becoming Jesus. Latins couldn’t say “ua” so it became “us”. This has no bearing on if you can trust your good, good Father, but it pretty cool for logophiles.
- Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner) occurs only once in Exd 17:15.
- Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd) is used in Psalm 23.
- Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals) is used in Exd 15:26.
- Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There) occurs only once in Ezekiel 48:35.
- Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness) is first used in Jer 23:6.
- Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You) is first used in Exd 31:13.
- El Olam (The Everlasting God) is first used in Gen 21:33.
- Elohim (God) occurs over 2000 times. Elohim is first used in Gen 1:1.
- Qanna (Jealous) occurs 6 times. Qanna is first used in Exd 20:5.
- Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide) occurs only once in Gen 22:14.
- Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace) occurs only once in Jdg 6:24.
- Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts) occurs over 285 times. It is most frequently used in Jeremiah and Isaiah. Jehovah Sabaoth is first used in 1Sa 1:3.
In the Hebrew Scriptures God is holy. God is other…we are made in his image, but there is so much more to God. However throughout the Bible we find God portrayed as a Father. This portrayal, however, is surprisingly rare in the Hebrew Scriptures.
God is specifically called the:
Father of the nation of Israel 8 times see ( Deut 32:6 ; Isa 63:16 ; 64:8 ; Jeremiah 3:4 Jeremiah 3:19 ; 31:9 ; Mal 1:6 ; 2:10 )
Father of certain individuals 15 times see ( 2 Sam 7:14 ; 1 Chron 17:13 ; 22:10 ; 28:6 ; Psalm 68:5 ; 89:26 )
At least another 9 times the father imagery is present although the term “Father” is not used see [ Exod 4:22–23 ; Deut 1:31 ; 8:5 ; 14:1 ; Psalm 103:13 ; Jer 3:22 ; 31:20 ; Hosea 11:1–4 ; Mal 3:17 ]
Father to the Fatherless
Psalm 68:5 ESV Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
New Testament Revelation
But it wasn’t until Jesus came up out of the water and the Spirit descend like a dove and voice from heaven said “This is my beloved son, in whom I well pleased, that we see a shift from the holiness of God to the Fatherhood of God.
Then we come to the sermon on the mount and listen to the language He uses.
Read Matthew 5:43–6:33
Your Father is in heaven Your Father sees what is done in secret and will reward you Your Father knows what you need Your Father sees what is done in secret and will reward you Your Father forgives you Your Father sees what is done in secret and will reward you Your Father feeds… Your Father knows that you need them. Your Father is perfect
In the New Testament, God is frequently referred to as Father, according to ChatGTP, depending on the translation God is called Father 245 times, and Jesus calls God Father 165 in the Gospels.
Rom 1:7; 15:6; 1 Cor 8:6; 2 Cor 1:3; Gal 1:1 Eph 4:6; Jas 1:27; 1 Pet 1:2–3; 2 John 3; Jude 1
It’s clear that the focus in the New Testament is that God is our good, good Father. Need proof? Whenever anyone says; “it’s obvious” or “it’s clear” expect them to provide examples.
21 Attributes of Our Father God
God our Father is…
1. Loving– 1 John 3:1
2. Kind — Ephesians 2:7–8
3. Compassionate — Psa 103:8
4. Giving– John 3:16
5. Faithful — Lamentations 3:22–23
6. Merciful — Ephesians 2:4–5
7. Strong — Psa 24:8
8. Forgiving– 1 John 1:9
9. Good — Psa 136:1
10. Righteous– Psa 145:17
11. Caring– Matthew 6:26
12 Sovereign — Psa 103:19
13. Shepherd– Psa 23:1–3
14. Ever-Present– Psa 46:1
15. Refuge– Psa 91:1–2
16. Gracious — Psa 116:5
17. Healer — Exodus 15:26
18. Powerful — 1 Chronicles 29:11–12
19. Rejoicing over you. Zephaniah 3:17
20. Your Helper– Isaiah 41:10
21. The One Who Makes All Things New– Revelation 21:5
We have a good, good Father.
What is the problem with knowing God as Father?
The problem with knowing God as Father, is that we’ve all had fallen fathers.
Some of us have had evil fathers, some have had missing fathers, some have had bad fathers, none of us have had perfect fathers.
But our experience can’t define who God is. He’s God. By definition He’s the one who defines himself.
Why do we want to know God as our good, good, Father?
Because then we can trust him.
When you trust God you get three signs to show that you trusting him.
Romans 15:13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
When we know God as our good, good Father — when we TRUST God as our good, good Father we have joy, and peace and hope.
So the question becomes:
How do we TRUST God as our good, good Father?
That’s a great question, I’m so glad you asked.
How to TRUST God as your good, good Father Tool
T — Take time to wait for the Lord always. Psalm 27
R — Remember what He’s done Revelation 12:10–11
U — Understand there is more of His love to experience Ephesians 3:14–19
S — Surrender fear. Let His love rule. 1 John 4:17–18
T — Thank God for what He’s done. Colossians 3:14–17
Let’s upack this…
T — Take time to wait for the Lord always.
Read Psalm 27
Psalms 27:13–14 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
The Hebrew word for waiting is not passively sitting back.
kaw-vaw’ is a Hebrew word meaning ‘to wait or look eagerly for, to lie in wait for, to collect and bind together in expectancy.
The parable of the outrageous Father …. You may know it better as “The Prodigal Son”
Luke 15:20 NLT “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.
The Hebrew word kaw-vaw’ is not in the Greek text but I can’t think of a better example than this for how we need to wait on the Lord.
We need to give up our expectations and live with expectancy.
When we live with expectancy; we lie in wait for God to move.
You get the irony right? If we’re the prodigal child, then God is the outrageous Father. And so he’s the one lying in wait for us. When he sees us even a long way off; He’s filled with love and compassion and runs to embrace us.
In order to TRUST God as our good, good Father we need to know God as our good, good Father. Make space to curl up on His lap. Give Him your problems. Receive from Him His peace.
Do I wait for the Lord? How can I start doing that again?
R — Remember what He’s done
Revelation 12:10–11 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last — salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth — the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
If you want to know God as your good, good Father you need to look at what he has done and is doing and decide to focus on what’s still left undone.
Remember the time that John the Baptist was in jail and he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the one or if they should wait for another? He expected the Messiah to come and set the prisoners free and he was in prison. So John wanted to make sure the voice he heard from heaven had got it right. What did Jesus tell John’s disciples to tell John?
Matthew 11:4–6 NLT Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen — the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.”
Some translations say “and blessed is he who is unoffended because of me”
When we look to out lack, instead of to our Lord, we can become offended at God.
Look to the Lord, not to your lack. How do we do that?
Through testimony. It’s what Jesus gave John’s disciples to take back to John. He told them to tell him what the saw and heard.
This is the power of testimony. This is why we need talk to each other about what God is doing in our lives. Make it a practice to remember your testimony — write it down and share your testimony — talk to each other about the good things of God.
The saints will overcome by the blood of the lamb AND the word of their testimony.
What can I remember Father God has done for me?
U — Understand you can experience more of His love
Ephesians 3:14–19 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Did you know you can know more and more and more about God? Look at what Paul says in
1 Corinthians 13:11–13 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love.
This follows up his section defining what agapeo love is… that love that’s a choice. Love that is patient and kind that isn’t jealous or boastful or proud or rude or demand it’s own way or be irritable or keep record of being wrong … that’s the love we can choose to have and that’s the love God has towards us.
We can’t know that until we experience more and more of his grace. His grace for us and his grace for others.
But what a good goal …experience the love of God, though it is too great to understand fully.
Never stop growing in the love of the Father.
Am I putting God the Father in a box?
S — Surrender fear. Let His love rule.
1 John 4:17–18 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
Have you experienced His perfect love? When you experience it you never want to lose it. If you lost it you know you need to have it back.
How do you do that?
When Jehoshaphat was facing three armies; he sent his praisers at the head of his army. When Paul and Silas where thrown in a jail in Philippi… let’s look at that one quickly.
Acts 16:20–26 NLT “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.” A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
There is something that happens when we praise God when it doesn’t make to praise God. The chains don’t always fall off physically; but emotionally and spiritually they do. Sometimes we have to fight the battle, but it’s always best to praise your way through it.
Give up fear. What does Peter tell us?
1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
We can cast our worries and cares on God, because He cares for us.
What’s that song we sing? Praise your name
I’m gonna sing my way out of the valley
I’m gonna shout my way up to the mountain
I will take hold of the truth of Your promise
I’m gonna praise, I’m gonna praise
I’m gonna push through till every lie crumbles
I’m gonna dance in the midst of the rain
I’m gonna rest in the arms of the Father
I’m gonna praise, I’m gonna praise Your name
Praise him before the victory. Show gratitude and appreciate before the blessing. It’s not wishful thinking it’s rewiring your mind to think about what is true, and noble, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable — and excellent or worthy of praise.
If you want to trust God as your good, good Father you need to surrender fear and embrace perfect love.
Do I let His perfect love drive out all fear?
T — Thank God for what He’s done.
Colossians 3:14–17 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Gratitude is the attitude that helps us trust God to be our good, good Father.
David knew how to thank God. Look at this example from Psalm 28
Psalm 28:6–9 NLT Praise the Lord! For he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. The Lord gives his people strength. He is a safe fortress for his anointed king. Save your people! Bless Israel, your special possession. Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them in your arms forever.
Thanksgiving motivates us to spend more time in His prescence. (Psalm 100:4) It empowers our testimony. (Psalm 103:1–4) It gives us a hunger for more of His love. (Colossians 2:6–7) Thanksgiving reminds us we don’t have to fear. (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18) If He’s done it before, he’ll do it again.
Gratitude helps us to TRUST God as our good, good, Father.
Do I have a grateful heart?
T — Take time to wait for the Lord always.
R — Remember what He’s done
U — Understand there is more of His love to experience
S — Surrender fear. Let His love rule.
T — Thank God for what He’s done.
It’s not enough to know God the Father, we need to experience more and more of His love. Let’s take time to do that today…
Can we play the music?
Psalm 139: 1–18 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night — but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
More than all the sand on every beach on every ocean and every dune in every desert are His good thoughts towards you.