32 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? (NIV)
The original word for ‘give’ in this instance means ‘grant favor’ or ‘to give in kindness.’ If what we are asking for right now will not bring us favor, it is not included in Paul’s statement. We could read this passage better as ‘the God who gave up His Son that we might be able to receive all good things truly wants to give s only good things.’
It is also true then if we are asking for something without receiving it, the timing could be harmful. There are blessings we would never accept from the Lord because our past emotional wounds have distorted how we define what is good and those things we desire are more harmful than good. The good thing God tries to give would pass by us like a ship in the night.
Without accepting that God only gives what is good at a time when it will be received as good, frustration and resentment will set in our hearts toward Him. But when we accept this definition, even the time God refuses to give is a gift. It is time to see that what we want is not good. In the context that God only gives what will grant favor, we know God withholds to prime our healing as we seek the wisdom to understand why we crave the harmful.
If we don’t take advantage of the time of not receiving to reframe what is good, our giving will also be distorted. We will give out of a deformed understanding of what is good. We will give to others and to ourselves those things that are not helpful. We will hurt those we love and ruin our own life. It is only a gift if it brings favor.
Favor cannot be found in the present. To have favor is to be chosen to receive what has the greatest potential of good for our future. If we are giving what seems good in the moment but has greater potential to destroy the future more than benefit it, it is not a gift and we are not giving as God gives. To become givers as God gives, we must learn to be content with how He gives.
Prayer: Lord, give to me according to what You know is good for me. Give me wisdom in those times You withhold to reframe how I define what is good. Amen.
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