God Gives Us The Best Gift

God Gives Us The Best Gift

Pastor Robert Zemke

Our circumstances in life might only sometimes be pleasant. A rainy day ruins your plans. A biting comment from a friend hurts you deeply. An unpleasant interaction with a rude driver can take up all your energy to remain calm. Of course, there are worse things in life that are more protracted trials than bits of inconvenience. When these things happen, we know not to say, 'Why me?’ since we have lived enough years to know that many people have had to face unfair, difficult circumstances. We know that we are not immune. We also may have contributed to the unfortunate situation, even if the residual effects seem undeserved. After many years of following Christ, I find this quote from John Newton helpful. “Everything is needful that he sends; nothing can be needful that he withholds.”

This understanding of God means everything. God is not evil, nor does he initiate evil, but he allows things to happen for his purposes. He is not surprised, worried, caught off guard, powerless, or careless to deal with any situation. You do not have much of a God (which would be made in your image) if God is not all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise, and all-loving. 

The good gifts the Lord gives are not merely changes in the situation or the scenery but something more valuable. Jesus told his disciples, "What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:11-12)! 

I read this week that when you look at the Apostle Paul's prayers for the churches he planted, he never appealed to God to change their circumstances. I imagine that prayer is often heard by God (that has been the focus of my prayers). Paul is after something else for those he prays for, and more importantly, God is as well.  

Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus: "The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe (Ephesians 1:17-19).

We can ask the Father for many things, but he desires to give the best gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit. In the end, it is his presence that matters most. He is our perfect heavenly Father, even though it might seem to our finite eyes that he is not paying attention or does not know what is best. As said before, God will only give you what you ask for if you know everything he knows. He has the best in mind for you.