We have phrases we hold onto. They populate memes, and in turn, your mind. If you sit with ten for a moment, you’ll be unpleasantly surprised at how they contradict each other, how they might not actually be applicable to life?
But I don’t want to talk about lies, or half-truths. Just the good stuff.
There is a Fountain I have drunk from, the only one which quenches every thirst. This isn’t one of those recommendations to try, and maybe it will work for you? This is definitely not that, because it will work for you. It will astonish you. Over and over. Some of you might ask how I can bear to say the same thing, so repeatedly? Because of experience. He astonishes me. Over and over.
The Lord Jesus, to a woman at a watering well:
“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4)
This water is Himself, His Holy Spirit, His precious grace in giving Himself up for me and forgiving my many sins. It is also sustaining water, perfecting me even in this fallen body, daily, while I wait for that eternal life He has promised.
Something that still shocks me is the goodness of God. That He is good. Why ought He to be good to me? What can I do to impress Him? What can I offer a God who could make another “me” if He so chose?
But this Potter is not unintentional, and though He is powerful beyond measure, He also is tender in His love towards us. He didn’t take this vessel, break it, throw it away, and start over. Instead He took it and filled all of the cracks. He redeemed it.
“I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices.” (Isaiah 65)
Wait with me, while you simmer over the rebuke in those words. I can’t argue that He isn’t right, that you aren’t rebellious. But somehow that isn’t the point. Because although you are not good, He is.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.” (Psalm 121)
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84).
“God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62)
“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You.” (Psalm 63)
His steadfast love. Y’all, it is better than life.
“but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The free gift, the free gift, the free gift. While we were still sinners. He died for me! So that I might be free from the slavemaster that is sin. (Romans 5,6) That well that does nothing but make me more parched, the water that never satisfies, but always calls back for more payment. Sin gifts nothing but consequences and desperate misery, sprinkled with what you thought pleasure was.
Again, let’s not dwell on the lie. Because the God of the world actually is good, He actually does desire to adopt back each of His wayward sons and daughters. We choose against Him daily, but His hands remain outstretched, His sovereign arm pulls us in, and His saving grace is more than enough to mend what has been broken.
That’s the biggest thing, for me. That His love for me transcends that I did not seek Him first. That I couldn’t – so lost I was in my sin. That I cannot be dirty enough for His blood not to wash me clean, that there is absolutely no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. When I am judged, it will be by His deeds, for His glory, and for my wonderful, incredible, and everlasting good. Because that is what kind of God He is.
There’s no hope outside of that, not for me, and not for you. Inside of that, there is hope so full that your cup will run slap over, and you will realize, over and over, such sufficiency in Jesus that it will never cease to amaze your human mind. Now, two decades after having first tasted that the Lord is good, I still get goosebumps and have daily moments of awe as He just shows up for me in this life of mine. Let me assure you of something divine: the closer you get to Him, the more impossibly wonderful He proves to be, and the more epiphanies you will have that you need absolutely nothing else. And because He is so good, and so knowing, you don’t even have to do that by yourself. He remembers that you are dust, and He is a forever Father, never expecting His children to grow out of need for His care.
How about that?
God is wonderful and good, steadfast in His love, enduring in His lovingkindness, generous in His mercy, attentive in His Fatherhood, pursuant in His grace. He is my wonderful counselor, never leaving me to make a choice alone. He is my prayer warrior, speaking for me when I don’t have the words. He’s my light in dark places, my source when things are going right. He’s always on time for me, and He doesn’t come early when I ask Him to when He knows that it isn’t what’s best. Did I say He is never late? Because He is never, ever late. He gives me only good gifts, and only good discipline. He fights for me, and takes vengeance. He also restores, cleans, purifies me, for good. He gives me all the inheritance that He alone deserves, and He calls me friend. He forgives, and He puts away from His remembrance my blunders. He smiles on me, because basking in His righteousness, I shine. He pours out on me His graces and His mercies, every morning. He doesn’t tire of me. He doesn’t forget me. He doesn’t reject me. Ever. He loves me.
Let me tell you the whole truth:
God is wonderful and good, steadfast in His love, enduring in His lovingkindness, generous in His mercy, attentive in His Fatherhood, pursuant in His grace. He is your wonderful counselor, never leaving you to make a choice alone. He is your prayer warrior, speaking for you when you don’t have the words. He’s your light in dark places, your source when things are going right. He’s always on time for you and He doesn’t come early when you ask Him to when He knows that it isn’t what’s best. Did I say He is never late? Because He is never, ever late. He gives you only good gifts, and only good discipline. He fights for you, and takes vengeance. He also restores, cleans, purifies you, for good. He gives you all the inheritance that He alone deserves, and He calls you friend. He forgives, and He puts away from His remembrance your blunders. He smiles on you, because basking in His righteousness, you shine. He pours out on you His graces and His mercies, every morning. He doesn’t tire of you. He doesn’t forget you. He doesn’t reject you. Ever. He loves you.
“We love because He first loved us.” (I John 4)
I believe in and love Jesus Christ because He came and called me, loved me continually, and showed (and shows!) me that I lack everything without Him. I did not choose Him, but He adopted me. So hear and believe in a God who gave Himself for you, not so that you could be a bug for Him to squash, but so that you can inherit His wonderfulness as a chosen son or daughter. Worry not over who you are or what you’ve done, because frankly it doesn’t matter. It matters who He is. Because He is who He is, you can come boldly to the throne of grace, and His opinion on that subject is what matters.
God does want your good. And He has given Himself for you. That’s really everything. Christ is truly everything. The good news is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Sacrifice sufficient for sinners.
That is the one truth you have to hold onto.
Jesus crucified, for your good and His glory.
“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved.” (Romans 10)