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So I’m about half way through “Your God Is Too Safe” by Mark Buchanan. It’s hitting me right where I live. Reminding me that God is more than just my Father and the Creator, which is the two most common ways I connect to Him. Bigger than my imagination. Wilder. His thoughts are higher. His ways are higher.
I meditate on Ephesians 3:20 all the time to remind myself to think outside the box. To dream bigger. To stop trying to figure out the ending of something before it has even begun. And especially to remind me that He is infinite in time, love, resources, and creativity.
“Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.” Ephesians 3:20 TPT
This book is reminding me of what I learned when I studied the Names of God…He is both the God who sees me and the mighty Creator. He is both the Consuming Fire and the Father. He is the Judge, God Almighty, He is Eternal He is The Holy One, and the God Most High.
The book also quotes CS Lewis, “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Which brings me to the verse I sent out this morning to my people…
God is always Himself. God is always good. God does not have bad days. God does not lose His shit. He does get angry. He does dispense justice but…”He is good to everyone, and His compassion is intertwined with everything He does.” Psalm 145:9 TLB
I looked up compassion in Strong’s… , racham, rakh’-am, from H7355. It means compassion. Obviously.
But what I loved was this… “compassion; by extension, the womb (as cherishing the fetus).”
Point to ponder while you wander… God is infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent AND His compassion towards all is as a womb cherishes a fetus.
“Oh! May the God of hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope.” Romans 15:13 MSG
This verse may sound light and fluffy. But it isn’t. This verse is about real power.
Joy here is not happiness from external circumstances, but an inward calm delight that overflows into exceeding joy. Maintaining joy in the midst of turmoil and trials is how you are strengthened to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Peace here is not absence of conflict but rather peace in spite of conflict. This peace allows you to prosper no matter the circumstances. It gives you clarity in chaos. It prevents you from making choices out of anger and emotion.
Hope is about anticipation with pleasure attached to it. It’s about the expectation of good. God is the God of anticipation of good. He’s looking forward to filling you with joy. He’s looking forward to filling you with peace. Will you let Him? Will you receive it?
He is awaiting with pleasure the day you understand the power you have at your disposal and begin to walk in it. God wants to see you prosper as your soul prospers. This begins with receiving and learning to walk in joy and peace, with an expectation of good. That is true power right there.
I came into this year with great expectations. But I have to admit that I’ve been feeling disheartened and frustrated. My life has become a series of closed doors lately. I keep trying to be positive but, I’m finding it hard to hope and to trust in God’s goodness.
So today I’m reading the story of the Shunammite woman found in II Kings 4:8-37. It’s my favorite.
The Shunammite woman was wealthy and well connected. She had a good life and gave generously to those around her. She expected nothing in return. She just gave. It’s who she was and what she did. For her setting up a free room for the Prophet Elisha to use when he wanted was nothing extraordinary.
This is the woman everyone saw. But what people couldn’t see was the ache in her heart for a dream she thought was dead.
That’s why I relate to this woman. I am battling to believe my dream is not dead. To hope even when everyone and everything around you tells you to let it go.
God is the only one who knows the full extent of the dream in my heart. Just like the Shunammite woman.
In verse 15-16 Elisha tells her that in one year her dream will be come true. She will hold a son in her arms. Many would rejoice at this point, maybe dance a jig or something. But not her. She begs him not to raise her hopes. As if hope were the enemy of her heart. She didn’t want to go through yet another heartache.
I can relate. It seems easier for us to just settle for what we can do or what we can see. We seem to forget that we serve a good God who wants more for us than we do.
“When You came down long ago, You did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like You, Who works for those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 64:3-4
We need to focus on the truth in times like this. And the truth is that God is good. Always has been good and always will be good. His plan is so good that sometimes we see it as an impossible dream, something we don’t deserve, or we believe it couldn’t ever happen. So we settle for what WE can do or what WE can see. But when we trust Him and wait on His timing He moves in ways we cannot possibly imagine!
When I struggle like I have been, the only thing that really helps me to come out of it is to focus on God’s goodness. Reading the verses from Isaiah and the Shunammite woman’s story remind me that God is good. That God is for me not against me. That God loves me and my dreams matter to Him. Knowing this, I cannot help but to keep believing.
Please don’t give up on your great expectations! Please keep believing even if no one but God knows the dream of your heart. God is the God of the impossible and He is good.
Okay, I have to admit that in the past I’ve been annoyed with people saying God is good, because it doesn’t seem enough. I’ve even annoyed myself by saying it. True story. The truth is that it annoyed me because I kept thinking that God is so much bigger than just boring ole standard good. He’s great! He’s awesome! He created the entire universe and everything in it. He’s omniscient, omnipresent and all powerful. Simply put, He knows all things, is everywhere at once and nothing is impossible for Him. Mind blowing, right?
So with all that, how can people just say, “God is good?” and leave it there?
I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve said it because it’s hard to describe God sometimes. He’s so fabulously magnificent that words sometimes fail me. So I just simply mutter, “Wow. He’s good.”
Words have power. Even the word good. So today I want to check out this word good. It first appears in Genesis 1:3-4, “Then God said, “Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light and it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.”
This same word good is found to describe God MANY MANY times in scripture. Here are a few of them:
“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” I Chronicles 16:34
“The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7
“For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100:5
Good in Hebrew is the word ‘towb.’ It is H2896 in the Strong’s Concordance. It essentially means good, pleasant,and agreeable. It can also be translated into the following: beautiful, best, cheerful, at ease, fair, favor, fine, glad, good, graciously, joyfully, kindly, kindness, loving, most merry, pleasant, pleasure, precious, prosperity, right (as in ethical) sweet, wealth (valuable in estimation, rich), welfare (as in benefit) and well-favored.
Put all those words together into a description and it’s starting to sound like a better description of God to me!
So NOW every time you hear someone say God is good or you read in the Word that God is good, you know what good really means. So NOW you can join in the praise! You can give a shout and say, “He sure is! All the time.” I know I’m going to!
Have a good Tuesday!