James 1:16-18 (NLT)
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
Whatever is good. Whatever is perfect. It is a gift straight from the Hand of God in Heaven into our life. He created the universe and everything in it. It all belongs to Him. So when that thing which we desire that is good or something perfect happens – it is all God. He never changes. He does not cast a shifting shadow. In other words, God does not do the old bait and switch. He does not promise you one thing only to mislead you by offering something less. This is a good thing even though sometimes we become frustrated and challenge the goodness of God in our frustration and unwillingness to wait on this thing called perfection. He chose us. He created us. He simply spoke us into existence. His Word is in us. It is the fiber our being. If only believers could see themselves as His Children and most prized possession perhaps one might plainly see every blessing.
The overall consistency of God is overwhelming. It is too much for my humanity to fully wrap its brain around hence I cannot always seem to stay focused on the fact that He is always good. His Glory is His Very Countenance and constantly trying to make its way into my life even when I am frustrated, angry, confused or doubtful – God is right there trying to find a way to make good things happen in my life. The world wants you to believe that luck and random acts of kindness are the reason these things occur but I do not believe that anymore. I wonder what might happen if rather than focusing on things that are not going as we expected or the “things” that have not made their way to us yet, what if we could turn our focus on every blessing along the way to this perfection that we so desire. What if every time something good came our way – we simply blessed the Lord and said, “Thanks!”
Psalm 34:8-10 (NLT)
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. I am beginning to think this might be my problem in seasons of dryness and drought is that I know just how good God can be and has been in my life and so now in times of testing and pressure – I am looking for what I know God can do. Believers, even strong ones, experience seasons of hunger and drought. This makes us hunger and thirst for more and more of God. It is vitally important that we never refine our taste for the Lord but constantly try each and every possible way to connect with Him more. There is joy for those who live in the Presence of God that is a definite loss if we drift from this place. Those who fear the Lord and respect His Place in their life will have ALL they need. We have never done without. I take that for granted so many times. I look in the pantry and think we have nothing to eat but when I begin to make meals from the same closet it yields an endless supply. I look in my overflowing closet and say I have nothing to wear yet I could clothe several people for several days without anyone going naked. I have everything I need day after day, month after month, and year after year yet I become discontent wanting more rather than being thankful for every single blessing that we have been given. Those who trust the Lord will lack NO good thing. I have more than I need and most of what I want. Now God invites me to this place called contentment promising it will yield peace and joy like I have never known. To live in the Presence and Provision of God finding the fulfillment I have longed right where I am.
Psalm 145:8-13 (NLT)
The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. All of your works will thank you, Lord, and your faithful followers will praise you. They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power. They will tell about your mighty deeds and about the majesty and glory of your reign. For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful so my mistakes do not impact His Overall Willingness and Desire to bless my life. It is not about me but His Desire to release His Glory in my life for all the world to see. God is good to everyone. Everything we need has already been provided but most people do not know what contentment or satisfaction feel like so thankfulness never grants them such a thing as fulfillment. I have met people who are never thankful. They live wrapped up discontentment, dissatisfaction and pity themselves. They love the Lord. They give Him honor and praise with their mouth, but to truly exemplify the Goodness of God requires actual confidence in it. You cannot say the Lord has blessed me more than I deserve and then turn around constantly complaining about what you don’t have. It is contradictory testimony that kills your witness to the world. It is obvious to others that what you have found in Christ is not different than what they are experiencing in the world so why bother? God is Good. He is faithful. He is true to His Word even when we are not. He yearns to release His Glory into our life so we may be examples of His Power to the world. I believe this begins when we step into the Presence of God and begin to count our blessings one by one rather than listing our problems in great detail. The Lord ALWAYS keeps His Promises even long after you give up or forget that which you were waiting for. He is gracious in ALL that He does. Even the smallest detail that turns out for our good is from God and He is so worthy of being praised for it. The Character of God is that of Loving Father. It is His Desire to bless us so He does.
I Thessalonians 5:16-22 (NLT)
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.
Satan, the devil, or the enemy, whatever you choose to call him, will never ever be able to stop God’s Goodness and Glory from emanating from our life. He is powerless when it comes to the Blood of Jesus that covers us. When Jesus walked into hell, He snatched the power from the enemy’s hand. You and I are now free to live in the Presence of God again as our sins have been washed away. We can walk in the Power of God as His Confident Children without a care in the world. Always be joyful does not sound like a suggestion but a direct request. Be thankful in all circumstances is a confident declaration rather than a “make-the-best-of-things” statement. God’s Will for you as a believer who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is to live in the joy, peace and confidence of God Kingdom. He has given you His Spirit to help us produce these things in our life.
Do not scoff prophecies. This is not only talking about those given to you by a man or woman of God as a means of encouragement but it is more importantly talking about those things that the Lord has put in our heart that we consider abandoning when it takes a little more time or too much effort to obtain. Test everything that is said. Compare the Voice you hear with the Word of God given to you. When it is genuine and truly a Promise of God, hold on to it. Do not let go of it. It will come to pass. We live in the blessing of God moment by moment to identify what He promises and hold on to it is called hope. It anchors our soul. (Hebrews 6:19)
Psalm 119:37-40 (NLT)
Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness.
God is good. His Goodness is permeating our life today whether we are conscious of it or not. If only we could turn our eyes from the worthless things including all the worries that we have given precedence over praise and worship of the God who not only can but will bless us as much as we will are able to receive. To acknowledge God for His Goodness removes those things we have settled for to make more room for His Glory in our life. God’s Word gave us life so there is no better resource to renew our thoughts, attitudes and actions. As we align our life with His Kingdom, His Glory spills into our life until it is overflowing. It is not dependent on anything we do just our willingness to live in His Presence. His Blessing is not questionable but constant. The only real question is will we recognize His Blessing. He keeps every promise but our stubbornness in having our way sometimes keeps us from seeing all that He has done.
Lord, today turn my eyes from worthless things. Give me life through this Word you have given us today. Lord, reassure me of those promises that I gave up on but you are still working out for my good and your glory. Help me abandon shameful things like complaining, griping, and impatience to live by faith and confident hope not only in my heart but conversation. I ask you to renew my life with your goodness and give me the grace to see each blessing and thank you for it.
Philippians 3:7-8 (NLT)
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.