Tuesday, 19 June 2018

WHY GOD SOMETIMES WITHHOLDS GOOD THINGS

                                          


If we do our part (obey God’s laws and do His will), God will do His part. No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. How far is this true?

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favour and honour. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).

“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey” (Deuteronomy 8:6-8).

“He sends peace across your nation and satisfies your hunger with the finest wheat” (Psalm 147:14).

“The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honour and life” (Proverbs 22:4).

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” Matthew 6:33).

“What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:9-11).

In fact, these good things (God’s blessings) might well be a fulfillment of our sanctified desires. “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires” (Psalm 37:4).

Notice that we must first delight ourselves in God and His agenda (Matthew 6:33). As we do that, our desires become shaped and sanctified by heavenly goals (Colossians 3:1-3). When our desires are aligned with God’s kingdom purposes, won’t He grant us our wishes?

Think about how Nehemiah, burdened by the sight of the city walls in ruins, prayed fervently; as a result, he gained the king’s favour and got all the timber and protection he needed for the reconstruction of the city.

Now, that does not mean that He will grant us every delight to make us happy. He knows what is best for us—not to give us too many good things if they would draw us away from him. That won’t be good. Would it be good if we are blessed so abundantly that we become proud, complacent and think we don’t need God? “Beware lest you say in your heart, My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17).

                                                                           
Between happiness and holiness, God is more interested in nurturing the latter in us.

Many start out well in their faith journey but when they have been blessed spiritually and materially, their spiritual fervour diminishes. As they focus on wealth, power and fame, they lose their first love. Few believers can be like Joseph or Job, who remained upright and humble after having received spiritual and temporal blessings.

                                                                        
Warning against losing our first love
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent” (Revelation 2:4-5).

Warning not to love the world
“Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
                                                                      




So, in view of the above references, what may seem good in our eyes may not be good from God’s perspective. God might withhold certain good things in our life if we are immature or not ready to receive them. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3).

We need to be thankful and grateful to God for what we already have and not complain that we have not been blessed according to His promise, “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).

If it is meant for us, according to His will, He will grant us these good things.

Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land” (Psalm 37:34).

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday” (Psalm 37:5-6).

Sometimes we think God is a taskmaster who whips us into submission. Or we think He is a genie who grants our every wish or desire. The truth is that He is far from these contrasting images we conjure in our minds.

He is the gracious, loving heavenly Father who blesses us AND also the One who has to be feared, revered and obeyed in response to what Christ accomplished for us at the cross. 


RELATED POST
GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME?    
God is good all the time, all the time God is good. We chant it, we sing it.
Is a worldview that ‘God is good all the time’ compatible with whatever happens in our journey of faith?
https://bit.ly/19JlmrB


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