Expect the best! (1)

We’ve already discussed that God is ever ready to believe the best of you. Today I want to speak about US, being ever ready to believe the best of God! When something goes wrong in our lives we can sometimes jump to conclusions and think that God was behind it. Our thoughts need to be renewed regarding the goodness of God, so that putting the blame on Him is the most unimaginable thing possible.  The following verse in Isaiah clearly states God is excited (He earnestly waits and looks out for opportunity) to be gracious to us.  He wants to show His loving-kindness to us.

“And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!” Is 30:18

Furthermore this verse states that the people who actively look for His favor and see it everywhere are the blessed, happy ones –  not the people who blame every wrongdoing and evil on Him. I want to be part of the group that only believes the best of Him.  He is ALWAYS better than we can imagine!

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Perfect love

If we walk around with fear in our hearts, we have not become fully acquainted  with the true character of God.  This fear includes fear of punishment, fear of sickness, fear of death – any fear you can think of.  It basically says: “I don’t really know if God loves me enough to heal me or bless me”, or “He is going to punish me for what I have done”.

We must learn the truth regarding the character and heart of God. God IS love (1 John 4:16). He does not just give love, He embodies it. His entire being is love – there is no evil in Him (1 John 1:5). If we really get to know God, we will start trusting in His goodness – and this will become the rock that we stand on.

“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].” 1 John 4:18

Getting to know God, who is perfect love, will automatically drive away all fears you have in you heart. If you know your closest friend’s heart, you will know that they don’t want to hurt you. You won’t fear them. It is the same with God. If we get to know Him as a Father, we will know He loves us and we will never fear Him or what He will do to us.

Happiness…

Joy can be described as an emotion of great delight and happiness caused by something exceptionally good and satisfying.  Reading the last part of the sentence reminded me of God – He is exceptionally good and He satisfies the hungry soul (Ps 107:9).  It is therefore logical to deduct that His character, and knowing Him will cause great delight and happiness!

What’s more – this joy and happiness is called our strength in the Word.  Not holiness, or upright living – but JOY.  Our strength therefore lies in the gladness living in our hearts due to knowing the true character of God.

“And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.” Neh 8:10

“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Ps 16:11

“Honor and majesty are [found] in His presence; strength and joy are [found] in His sanctuary.” 1 Chron 16:27

“For You make him to be blessed and a blessing forever; You make him exceedingly glad with the joy of Your presence.” Ps 21:6

“Therefore God, [even] Your God ( Godhead), has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy and gladness above and beyond Your companions.”  Heb 1:9

There is so much truth and power in the above mentioned verses.  Joy will come as a direct result (i.e. naturally) from an encounter with the true character of God.  If you are feeling any other emotion (i.e. burdened, depressed or sorrowful) you are not dealing with the true God.  This joy goes far over and above all earthly joy (it exceeds above and beyond our companions).  It is heavenly! Spend time with the true God, the good God – and you will experience real, authentic joy.

 

The goodness of God

I’ve referred to it a few times, but today I want to dedicate an entire post to the goodness of God.  Before I came into contact with the true God, I was overshadowed by the perception that He was a very angry God,  waiting for any opportunity to chastise me.  I had no joy, and I lived under constant condemnation.  The moment I came to understand His character and His heart towards mankind, I was set free.  There are numerous verses that speak of God’s goodness and character:

“And this is the message [the message of promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [ no, not in any way].” 1 John 1:5

“If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him!” Matt 7:11

“He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.” Eph 2:7

We are blessed to know and love a good God. He made it so easy to love Him, how can anyone resist?

“But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me [personally and practically, directly discerning and recognizing My character], that I am the Lord, Who practices loving-kindness, judgement, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord.” Jer 9:24

Judgement or kindness?

The image of God as an angry judge is incorrect.  His heart towards mankind has always been salvation and reconciliation – a plan to bring us back to Him.

“For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” John 3:17

It is not His damnation, but His goodness, that will draw people to Him.  The world won’t turn to an angry God, but their hearts will be touched by His love.  That is the real moving power of the Gospel – the love God has for us and the salvation He gave to us.

“Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forebearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change you mind and inner man to accept God’s will)? Rom 2:4

In other words – trying to scare non-believers by threatening them with God’s wrath will only do damage.  Testifying about God’s goodness and love for the world will lead to salvation.