The Goodness of God

I am so grateful for the goodness of God.  Yesterday’s post, Perfect Plans, was given super-duper emphasis by my pastor this morning in his message on developing great faith.  He talked about trusting God or taking things into our own hands.  Basically, God’s plan is “Plan A,” but we get impatient and try out our own “Plan B,” “Plan C,” “Plan D,” “Plan E,” and “Plan F” — and when none of those work, we end up returning back to God’s (perfect) Plan A, which always turns out so much better than anything we could have done.

Matthew 9:27-29

27As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

28When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied.

29Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”;

We must believe He is able.  He asked the blind men if they believed He was able to heal them, and when they responded “yes, Lord,” he healed them according to their faith.

Mark 5:27

27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,

28because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”

29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

32But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.

33Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.

34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

We must press in.  There was a huge crowd surrounding Him, but this woman’s faith was such that she believed if she could just touch the hem of his clothes she would be healed.  Surely you’ve been in a crowd like that before.  You jostle through, trying not to be rude, but intent on your purpose.  It’s exhausting!  And I imagine it was probably even more difficult for this woman.  Her condition more than likely caused anemia, resulting in great weakness.  But she pressed in, because she believed the Lord could and would heal her.

Mark 10:51-52

51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.  The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.”  Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

We must ask specifically.  Bartimaeus told Jesus exactly what he needed.  He needed to see and because he asked specifically and believed that Jesus could meet this need, he received his sight.

Luke 17:12

12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him.  They stood at a distance

13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.

16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him — and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?

18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this one foreigner?”

19 Then he said unto him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

We must give thanks and glory to God for our answered prayers.  The one who returned, giving thanks for his healing — don’t you think that this was a totally life-changing experience for him?  Not only did he receive his healing, but he recognized and gave thanks to the Lord.  I can’t help but think that he carried his testimony of God’s goodness and grace forward for the rest of his life.

It’s very important to remember, though, that this is not a “magic formula” for getting what we want.  Ultimately, God has a perfect plan for each one of our lives and we must remember to always pray according to His will and remember that His timing is perfect.  It is also important to remember that God wants our persistent faith.  For example, if the answer doesn’t come as quickly as you think it should — don’t give up!

Matthew 15:22-28

22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

23 Jesus did not answer a word.  So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before him.  “Lord, help me!” she said.

26 He replied, “it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said.  “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Isn’t that incredible?  Her persistence (my word for 2015, if you remember) of faith moved the Lord so greatly that he healed her daughter of her affliction.  God is truly good, all the time.

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