On the heels of my last series about lies (read those here, here, and here), replacing lies with truth has been fresh in my mind. And I began to realize that there’s a lie I’ve been buying into recently.
A few weeks ago, I would find myself saying or thinking things that seemed to indicate my believing this lie—even though, in my head, I knew the truth. This is a particularly dangerous one, and a lot more common than the lies I addressed in my previous series.
So what is this lie?
It began to think that if I want something, God must want to opposite. And I began to think as though the greater I wanted something (even a good thing), the greater chance that God wouldn’t give it to me, and the greater chance He’d give me something “bad” instead.
It’s a subtle one… but oh, so dangerous. And you know why? It all boils down to this one question:
Is God good?
And I was letting myself believe that He really… wasn’t.
That’s why I’m writing this post… as much to remind myself as all of you that God is good and we have lots of Scripture to remind us of that. I’ll start with some verses from the Psalms, because that’s where I went to combat these lies. Take a look at these:
“The LORD has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless those who fear the LORD, the small together with the great. May the LORD give you increase, you and your children. May you be blessed of the LORD, Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 115:12-15).
That’s the one I saw when I flipped open to the bookmark in my Bible. And that’s the one that made me realize: God does bless His people. This is not the prosperity gospel… I know these verses aren’t promising these blessings to everyone in the world… they merely showed me that God does bless His people.
But as I read on in Psalms, I saw more:
“Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yes, our God is compassionate. The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. For You have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling” (Psalm 116:5-8).
And then there’s this verse. A verse that does apply to the Christian. A verse that got my heart back on track pretty quick. The LORD has dealt bountifully with you. Is that not beautiful? It reminds me of a lovely verse from the New Testament:
“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
And that’s the truth that ministered to my soul the most. God has already proved how much He loves me. He can’t undo that. He can’t take it back. Nor will He, because my God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If God has already blessed me with the most wonderful, glorious, gracious gift in the history of the universe, Jesus Christ, how can I possibly doubt that He is good?
Now, because I’ve found that dispelling lies is best done with the Truth, I’m going to dump a giant list of verses about how good God is. Please read all of these… we all need this reminder because we so often forget. Here’s the list:
- “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
- “The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made” (Psalm 145:9).
- “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).
- “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8).
- “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!” (Psalm 31:19).
- “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11).
- “You are good and do good; Teach me Your statutes” (Psalm 119:68).
I’ll close with a verse I found today will searching for verses to add to this post. I’ve loved this verse for a long time, but hadn’t read it in a while.
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).
No good thing. We’ve just read about how God is good, how He does good, and how He gives good gifts. And now the Bible tells us He will withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly. But how is that possible? we ask. All the time, we ask for something, and He doesn’t give it to us.
The truth is, God does desire to give us good things. But sometimes those good things don’t look like what we think they look like (health, money, friends, good grades, talents, beauty, comfort, security). Sometimes those good things look like suffering, or pain, or trials, or waiting, or loneliness, or just something different than what I wanted.
As Elisabeth Elliot put it, “God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God’s refusals are always merciful— “severe mercies,” at times, but mercies all the same. God never denies us our heart’s desire except to give us something better.”
I love that quote so much. To give us something better. Often God’s very goodness is what keeps Him from giving us the “good” things we want. He wants to give us something better! And indeed, He already has. Because guess what He’s given us?
He’s given us Christ.
The good gift—the best gift— He can ever give us has already been given. Freely given, when we could do nothing to deserve it.
That is a good God.
If you’ve ever fallen into believing this lie (and we all do), I hope this helps get your heart back on track. This one is so important, and the Truth that destroys this lie is so very wonderful! I feel encouraged after writing this! 🙂 Feel free to leave a comment below with anything you have to say. Until next time…