BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#1012 - "Goodness of God" by Bethel Music
NRT's Lead Contributor, Kevin Davis, speaks with worship leader Jenn Johnson about Bethel's new song.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #1012 -
Posted: March 24, 2020 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Bethel Music has introduced and developed several amazing worship leaders, including Brian and Jenn Johnson ("Have it All"), Amanda Cook, Jeremy Riddle, Steffany Gretzinger, Kalley Heiligenthal ("Ever Be"), Kristene DiMarco ("It is Well"), Paul and Hannah McClure, Josh Baldwin ("The War is Over"), as well as Melissa and Jonathan David Helser. They have introduced churches to worship favorites, including "One Thing Remains," "Forever," "You Make Me Brave," "No Longer Slaves," "Seas of Crimson," and "This Is Amazing Grace."

Bethel Music's album, Victory, released everywhere last year. It features 14 original live worship songs, all beautifully produced for church and the album ranked in my top 5 worship albums of 2019. The album is inspired by the story of King Jehoshaphat and the unlikely victory won by sending worshipers to the front lines of battle in 2 Chronicles 20:22: "As they began to sing and praise the Lord set an ambush against the men who were invading Judah and they were defeated." The album is intended to lead listeners to the frontlines, also. 

If you're looking for new worship songs to sing with fellow believers, this album is chock-full of congregational songs--especially "Raise a Hallelujah," "Goodness of God," "Victory is Yours," and "Stand in Your Love." I had the chance to speak with Jenn Johnson about her infectious worship song, "Goodness of God."

 

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

I wrote this song over two years ago. We had just gotten home from our adoption of our son, Ryder. He was a gift that we never saw coming. We have three kids already. We thought we were done having children.

Brian and I were always open to adoption. But, out of the blue, we just felt like the Lord say to us, 'I have this for you if you want this--like a gift. I have a present for you." We knew adoption was the Lord's plan for us; to have a baby again when you've been out of baby season for eight years was such a blessing. 

Darlene Zschech, who had been with us, told us the translation of the verse 'Here I am, send me' from Isaiah 6:8 says, 'my answer is yes before you even ask.' I was so struck with that phrase. When we had the chance to adopt, I felt myself saying yes before I was even asked. 

Within the next year, we were matched up. And, we brought our new son home to our family. During the adoption process, I found myself driving on a long country road. I was just singing to the Lord when I recorded a song on my phone about the "faithfulness" and "kindness of God." I wrote and sang most of "Goodness of God" as an overflow of my heart at that moment. That led to finishing and recording this song with Ed Cash, Jason Ingram, and Ben Fielding.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?


2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV): He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

Isaiah 6:8 (VOICE): "Then I heard the Lord's voice. Eternal One: Whom shall I send? Who will go for Us? Isaiah: Here I am! Send me."
 
Exodus 33:19 (NKJV): “Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”


Psalm 146:2 (NKJV): “While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”
 
Romans 15:13 (NIV): “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV): “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Psalm 139:1-10 (NKJV): "O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me."

Psalm 139:17-18 (NKJV): "How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You."

Psalm 139:14 (NKJV): "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well."

Psalm 150:6 (NKJV): "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!"

Lamentations 3:22-23 (VOICE): "How enduring is God's loyal love; the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion. Here they are, every morning, new! Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day."


What is the takeaway message?

I'm so thankful for God being with me all my life through everything I've been through. His voice has been there comforting and leading and guiding me, no matter how dark the situation. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit is there to guide us in our lives. 

"Goodness of God" is one of my favorite songs I've ever written. It's so true to my heart and how I feel about the Lord. I just think, to encourage people, ask the Holy Spirit how you can apply your calling to take care of the widows and the orphans. How are you doing that? How is God asking you to do that? Maybe it's not to adopt a child into your family, maybe it is. Maybe it's to give to someone that wants to adopt but can't afford it. But, really, you have to carry the heart of adoption. Making sure that you're staying connected to it. Sacrificing for it.

Lyrics

I love You, Lord For Your mercy never failed me
All my days
I've been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
Oh, I will sing
Of the goodness of God

And all my life
You have been faithful
And all my life
You have been so, so good
With every breath
That I am able
Oh, I will sing
Of the goodness of God

I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
And in darkest night
You are close like no other
I've known You as a Father
I've known You as a Friend
And I have lived
In the goodness of God, yeah

And all my life
You have been faithful, oh
And all my life
You have been so, so good
With every breath
That I am able
Oh, I will sing
Of the goodness of God, yeah

'Cause Your goodness
Is running after
It's running after me
Your goodness is running after
It's running after me

With my life laid down
I'm surrendered now
I give You everything
'Cause Your goodness
Is running after
It's running after me, oh

'Cause Your goodness
Is running after
It's running after me
Your goodness is running after
It's running after me

With my life laid down
I'm surrendered now
I give You everything
'Cause Your goodness
Is running after
It keeps running after me

And all my life
You have been faithful
And all my life
You have been so, so good
With every breath
That I am able
Oh, I'm gonna sing
Of the goodness of God
I'm gonna sing, I'm gonna sing

'Cause all my life
You have been faithful
And all my life
You have been so, so good
With every breath
That I am able
Oh, I'm gonna sing
Of the goodness of God
Oh, I'm gonna sing of the goodness of God


Closing Thoughts

"Goodness of God" is a sincere offering of praise back to the Lord: to express our desire to seek His face, feel His peace and hear His voice. Worship is about giving God our best, offering all of ourselves to Him. All we can do is submit to Him. And, give everything we have to Him. According to God's Word in Jeremiah 29:13, we need to search for God with all our heart, and we will find Him. In our fast-paced society, how often are we dedicating our whole heart to God?

This song celebrates the truth written in "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis, which depicts Aslan (God) as described in the book and movie: "He's not safe, but He's good." Yes, He's very good. If you think about the type of faith we're called to have as believers, it's described as the faith of a mustard seed. We're called to "walk by faith and not by sight." 

"Goodness of God" reminds me to have the resolve and to be steadfast as a follower of Jesus, remembering to keep my eyes wide open, looking for ways to serve Him. So, run and not grow weary. Have faith. God will show you what He has planned for you. He's the author of your life. He knows what's best for you--much better than you do. God's thoughts and love for you are deep, such as cannot be known. You can't think how many mercies you have received from Him. 

The Lord knows you thoroughly. So, earnestly desire and pray to be searched and provided by His Word and Spirit. Take comfort in knowing Jesus and being known by Him in every detail of your life. That's what this song is about: how we can experience the "Goodness of God."

One of the key takeaways of this song is "With my life laid down/I'm surrendered now/I give You everything/'Cause Your goodness is running after/It's running after me." When you abide in His grace, you won't be the same. His grace takes away anxiety, guilt, and shame. Know that being His is enough. 

This is an incredible song for church. Its theme is the heartbeat of every faithful Christian. I get swept up in the profession of faith in the song, which reflects the cry of my heart with lyrics that connect to my life verse Isaiah 6:8: "Here I am, send me." 

"Goodness of God" is a sing-along chorus that we can all adopt as believers. I think the key for me is how Isaiah 6 passage comes alive for me in this song. That Bible verse stirs me to answer my calling as a Christian to do God's will. I'm consistently praying that I have the courage to say, "Here I am, send me" when God calls me. This song is a great prayer and answer to that call.

Faith is when we're empty of ourselves, and filled with Him and His Holy Spirit. "Goodness of God" is about trusting in the Lord, confessing to Him and others when you fail. Or, take too much pride in your accomplishments.

Lay these burdens at Jesus' feet. He'll take those burdens. And, release you from them. You'll be raising your heart and hands in worship along with this great new song. In Jenn's vocals, I hear a sincere yearning for God. Thankfulness for God's mercy and grace. 

I'm completely convicted by the song's strong lyrics. I find immense comfort listening to it. So many people can relate to the song's comforting message: there is always hope. Breathe it in like oxygen, and God's hope will turn whatever you're going through into something different for His glory.

God is the creator of infinite second chances. His mercy is new each day. It's not how you perform, or what good works you do, He pours out His mercy despite your efforts. There's nothing you can do except trust in His Son, Jesus. You'll be blessed by this powerful song, which is a stand-out anthem with a convicting declaration, "With every breath that I am able, Oh, I'm gonna sing of the goodness of God." Amen to that.

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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