The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Psalms 34:10
This is an unbelievable promise. Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Not some good things. But NO good thing.
I would think that super powers would be a good thing. Of course, then I’d have to get a secret identity, buy expensive costumes, and spend lots of my time fighting crime. Maybe super powers wouldn’t be such a good thing. Super hearing would probably be really annoying when you’re trying to have a conversation with a friend in Starbucks and you can hear every conversation, slurp of coffee, and fly walking on the ceiling for 5 miles around.
But seriously wouldn’t a husband be a good thing for a single mom? And healing a good thing for a sick person? Wouldn’t wealth be a good thing for someone in poverty?
It seems like it would be a pretty good thing for God to take away every one of my trials. Yet he doesn’t do that. I’m asking God for a number of good things – at least they seem to be good things to me – that he hasn’t seen fit to give me yet. So how does this square with his promise that those who seek him will lack no good thing? Puritan David Clarkson says:
“A father who loves his child only keeps things from him for his good, because he loves him. You can conclude that if you lack something of enjoyment, it is withheld since it is not best for you.”
“Afflictions are far from being signs of Christ’s hatred. Many times they are evidence of his love (Hebrews 12:6-11). The people of God only lack what is bad for them. God has promised to withhold no good thing.”
If it seems like we lack some good thing, it is because we’re limited in wisdom. In his infinite wisdom and love, God knows what would be truly good for us and the best timing to give things to us.
Some “good things” would actually be bad for us. Abundance might lead us to deny God, as the writer of Proverbs says:
… give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?”… Proverbs 30:8-9
Sometimes God withholds seemingly good things to give us the best things, like patience and faith and perseverance. And it’s far better to draw near to Christ in prayer and have fellowship with him than to receive earthly things.
Sometimes God withholds good things so we’ll appreciate them more when he finally gives them to us. What incredible joy the father of the prodigal son had when his son who had been “dead” returned. I’m sure the woman who’d had a hemorrhage for 12 years and exhausted all her money on doctors appreciated Jesus’s healing mercy till the end of her days.
If you think something would be a good thing, ask God for it. He doesn’t mind if we ask. And trust him to give it to you in his perfect timing if it is a good thing. And while you’re waiting, remember that Christ is your treasure, and you have all God’s riches in him now. Jesus is our joy, our happiness, our satisfaction, our fountain of life and greatest good.