Thursday, March 15, 2018 By Stephanie Cookson
Luke 11:11-13: What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
The truth of this passage has brought about powerful, significant change in my life. Before hearing a teaching on this scripture and having a discussion with our Gospel Community, I had not realized how often I had doubted God’s goodness and desire to give good gifts to His children. It is natural for me to believe that because God is not obligated to give me good things, that He won’t. It is easy for me to feel deserving of God’s discipline, but not His grace. I am constantly trying to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for disappointment so that when I am let down, the emotional damage is not as severe. I rarely allow myself to get my hopes up and I am the first to tell you all of the terrible things that could go wrong with a given plan.
The root of all of this is my deep disbelief that God is good and wants to give good gifts to His children. In other (less gentle) words, in those moments I am believing that God is malicious and vindictive. I hated to admit this about myself, but it took realizing the depth of the lies that I was believing to see the foolishness of it and the damage it was causing. How disconcerting is it to serve a God you feel you cannot trust? Since being convicted of this false belief about God, I have fought hard to not functionally live as if God is untrustworthy, spiteful, and careless. Through his Word, His Spirt, and His people, God helps me to remember his unchanging goodness. If trials come, my mind remembers that God’s goodness is not in question but rather I need to trust that in some way this circumstance is an overflow of His goodness and grace in my life.
Now I am not trapped doubting and (sinfully) fearing God, but rather, I am free to experience His love and care in each moment of the thoughtful, perfect, and gracious plan He has created for my life. When I begin to doubt His goodness again, I just think back to this passage and believe it to be true.
I pray that as a church we fight daily to believe that our God is good. I am thankful that Easter is another reminder of God’s perfect goodness. He graciously gave His son to die on the cross and rise again to give us eternal life. Thank you Lord for your unchanging, fatherly goodness!