One of the things that we are continually learning is to anticipate God doing something incredible! It is not to say that we deserve for Him to do anything. Our existence is enough! His salvation is MORE than enough! But, God is a good and gracious Father! As Jesus said in Matthew 7, (7)"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (9) Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? (10) Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? (11) If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"
Our Father is a good and gracious God! As it is promised in Romans 8, it is promised that all that happens in our life will be for our good. It is important to know though that what is for our good is not always what we consider to be good. It's like a parent and child relationship. The parent will know what the child needs whether the child likes it or not. Although a child really likes chocolate and thinks that chocolate is great, the parent knows that too much chocolate is bad for the health of that child. The parent will regulate the chocolate (probably against the child's wish) so that the good of the child is protected. It doesn't speak badly about the parent, on the contrary. The parent is doing this because he/she loves that child. Jesus is saying that even as imperfect, sinful people know how to love our children and want what is best for our own children, how much more does our perfect, holy Father in heaven knows how to take care of us!
God is gracious! As we are learning, His ways are not our ways. All things are not just for our good, but ultimately, for His glory! Our prayer is that God works only in ways that He will get the glory! It is so easy sometimes to think that we have something to do with our statis in life (e.g., our jobs, our financial resources, our material posessions, etc.). How quickly we can forget that our existence is only because of God, our next breath is only because of God, our physical and mental abilities are only because of God?! Knowing that we exist only because of God, we can anticipate from God, His best for our good! God is a loving, gracious, benevolent, and tender Father! (But He does discipline, too!) I'll talk about that another time. :-)
Dennis Runner- a witness, a follower, a student, and a lump of clay in the hands of my God and Savior.