At the end of the day, I’m fully persuaded that God is not a cosmic killjoy, waiting to smite His children with evil when the Word clearly says that every GOOD gift comes from the Father…
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 1:17)
In other words, if it’s good, it’s from God; if it’s bad, it’s from the devil.
…and that Jesus said He came that we might have abundant life:
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Strong’s Concordance renders “abundant” thusly:
Part of Speech: Adjective; Adverb
Phonetic Spelling: (per-is-sos’)
Short Definition: abundant, greater, vehemently, advantage
Definition: more, greater, excessive, abundant, exceedingly, vehemently; noun: preeminence, advantage.
HELPS Word Study illuminates it, as well:
Cognate: 4053 perissós (an adjective, derived from 4012 /perí, “all-around, excess”) – properly all-around, “more than” (“abundantly”); beyond what is anticipated, exceeding expectation; “more abundant,” going past the expected limit (“more than enough . . . “). See 4052 (perisseu?).
4053 /perissós (“all-around, equidistant”) in John 10:10
Jn 10:10: “I came in order that they [believers] might continuously have life, even that they may continuously have it all-around (4053 /perissós).”
There’s NOTHING abundant about sickness, pain, or lack! Jesus wanted it to be clearly understood that God has our best interest at heart and wants to bless us:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:7-11)
He also wanted us to understand that persecutions (from men, not affliction from God) would come with abundance:
And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. (Matthew 10:29-30)
Paul wrote that we must be abundantly supplied that we may be equipped for the work of Discipleship:
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
Then, to fortify the point with the Old Testament, the Psalmist had this to say:
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. (Psalm (34:19)
You have to catch this point — God delivers us from our afflictions, He isn’t the source of them!
Driving the point home, John wrote the following:
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 2)
Did you catch that? God wants us to prosper AND be in health as our souls (mind, will, intellect, and emotions) prosper! That is Good News…
By the way NEWS is an account of something that HAS ALREADY HAPPENED! In other words, because the Gift has already been given, all you need has ALREADY BEEN DONE!
The punishment that was intended for us was laid upon Jesus on the Cross at Calvary (Isaiah 53:5)! This means that there is no punishment for the born-again believer. This is how Paul was able to tell the Disciples at Rome that there IS NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)
In other words, God WILL NOT bring you TO calamity but HE WILL deliver you FROM it!
Under the Old Covenant, if you were obedient, you’d eat of the fruit of the land. Under the New Covenant, because of Jesus’ obedience, we get to partake of God’s very best!
David caught a glimpse of this in the 23rd Psalm:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 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.
Closing the loop, here, watch this:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8)
Up to this point we’ve been talking about gifts from God – but here is the Gift of God! The Gift of God is Jesus!
He is Love
He is Grace
He is Truth
He is Salvation
He is Deliverance
He is Healing
He is Protection
He is Prosperity
And He is Good! Period!
He gave us Himself — at our level! Giving Himself to us is greater than any gift He could ever give to us! That is a concept that, while difficult to wrap our minds around, is absolutely true!
We ABSOLUTELY have to destroy this distorted image religion has produced of our Heavenly Father!
© 2014 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)