Does God Grant Blessings in proportion to our goodness?
WHAT, THEN, SHALL WE SAY IN RESPONSE TO THESE THINGS? IF GOD IS FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US? . - ROMANS 8:31
There are some lies that just seem true.
They seem like they must be right, because they just feel right. They make sense. They come masquerading in true-looking costumes, trying to convince us that underneath they’re really the truth. But, let me just say, they are not.
One such lie is this: God is holding out on us.
Holding out on goodness, holding out on blessings, holding out on his love and delight. This lie dresses up in a convincing truth to trick us into believing it. The truth it wears is this: we mess it up—consistently, reliably, pretty much all the time—we mess it up. We all know this truth... intimately. And it’s exactly what this lie needs to convince us that God is withholding good things from us. Because while we know in our thinking-brains that God gives grace and forgiveness to the repentant sinner, deep down in our hearts we feel like we deserve a lesser amount of blessing or goodness because we keep on getting it wrong. And we certainly don't deserve God’s smiling delight. Maybe (just maybe) you’ve felt like this before, maybe this resonates with you. Maybe you’ve wondered whether God is holding out on you, even right now. And the sad truth is: if you feel this way, you probably also feel like you deserve it. Well, I feel this way sometimes too.
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But just because I feel it, doesn’t make it true.
In our verse and the one following it, we find exactly what we need to combat this particular lie. We can be convinced that God simply does not hold out on his children. Period. Let’s read them together:
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
How do we know that God doesn’t withhold good things from us? Like our verse says, “God is for us”, not against us. We see this specifically and most importantly in the next verse. In it, we have the sturdy confirmation that God doesn’t withhold his good gifts from us, because he has already given us the BEST thing, the most valuable Gift, his Son, Jesus. And if he has given us such a gift, “how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” This is IT! This is the summation of the entire message of the Bible: God is for us, and he has given us his Son to rescue us. He is not some distant judge, weighing out meager blessings in proportion to our goodness. Not at all! Instead, he is near and good and loves us. He heaps up grace upon continuous grace.
So, back to the lie.
The lie tells us that we don’t deserve God’s abundant blessings. And partially, it's true; we don’t deserve God’s grace, delight, or affections. And we do fall woefully short of God’s perfections. But these truths stop short of the full truth, becoming a lie. The full, inexplicable truth is this: God doesn’t give us what we deserve, instead he offers us grace, fully and freely in Jesus. “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15) Jesus is the full display of God’s abundant blessings. And every grace, every single gift, every good thing that God lavishes on us is only a small reflection of that first, most remarkable gift. So, what can we say? If our God has given us Jesus, how can we believe that he will ever hold back any good thing from us?
What things are you consciously or unconsciously believing that God withholding from you?
How does the undeserved gift of Jesus help you to believe that God is not holding out on you?
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie! I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you to hear more about what God is doing in your life!
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