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From God comes only the good

Psalm 23, 6: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

This passage of the bible talks about two places: an earthly place (“…all my days…) and a heavenly place (“…I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever). This second part about heaven is actually great because the message of life everlasting is the main topic in the whole bible. Our faith is based on the following assurance: after life hier on earth, wee will be with Jesus our Lord forever in His glory! That’s why Apostle Paul is writing this to the Corinthians: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Cor. 15, 19)

Everything that comes from God is basically good. We can read it in the second half of verse 6 in Psalm 23 (“Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…). But is everything that we receive from the Good Shepherd in this life good? This is what James is writing in his epistle: “Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1, 16-17). This statement is very clear: Everything that we receive from God is absolutely good. But to know if we always see it or feel it that way, that’s another thing.

Rightly Paul writes in Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..." It could be that the situation we are going through is so hard that we start accusing God of not being merciful enough with us. But we have to know, that He has thoughts of peace for us and not thoughts of evil. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29, 11). Even if we feel like God is being too hard to us, we should always remember that God never does a mistake. Everything that God does is good from the root, if we understand it or not. But I don’t mean by saying this that we should jump around for joy when we are going through a hard situation like sickness for example. In such cases, Job should be a model for us to follow. In his sufferings he said to his wife: “…Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2, 10)

But not only does God speaks, He also acts! God is not some kind of politician who says very good things just to win the maximum of voices at the elections and later on does nothing. In Psalm 33, 4 we read: “For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does”. In Psalm 23, 6 God promises to bless His people and we can read that in many other places in the bible. In prayer we can firmly stand on His promises because they are sure. David once prayed earnestly to God, asking Him for an everlasting blessing for his house, meaning for his descendants. While praying, David stood on a promise that God had made some time ago. We read about it in 1 Chronics 17, 23; 26-27: “Therefore now, LORD, let the thing that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant and concerning his house be established for ever, and do as thou hast said.” “And now, LORD, thou art God, and hast promised this goodness unto thy servant: Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O LORD, and it shall be blessed for ever.” The prayers of David were never superficial. The word of the Lord was always the ground on which he stood. It is also God’s desire to do good to us who have become His children only because of His grace.

Let us therefore come before the Lord reminding Him of His Word. Without a doubt, God wants to bless His people. But the condition for that is that we be men and women of prayer. Jesus desires to bless His people who are faithful in prayer and who have dedicated themselves to Him. He wants to show us His mercy all of our days. (ct)

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