Learning To Trust God for Good Gifts

How I fail to believe God’s love

If your brain works like my own does, then your head knowledge of God can get in the way of actually enjoying God’s favor in life—of living like you really believe God has given his favor to His children.

It’s easy to live like God saves us but doesn’t really love us, or like us.

It’s easy to live like God saves us but doesn’t really love us, or like us. Click to Tweet

When we think this way, we begin to expect “the worst” from God. We fail to enjoy the promises of God. We fail to enjoy the fact that the Creator of the universe loves us eternally and sings over us (Zephaniah 3:17).

It is fitting and right to have a high view of God. It is biblical to have a high view of His holiness. It is right to hold to the truth of His sovereignty. It is correct to remember that He can ordain difficult times for our own eternal good and His glory.

However, it’s unhealthy and ungodly if we begin to assume that God will continually rain on our parade. It’s not biblical to assume that he will always take and never give. It’s not believing that God delights in giving good gifts to his Children to expect that His plan will always be both refining and miserable at the same time.

These are the secret beliefs that I held until a good friend and counselor pointed them out to me. I let my past experiences in trials color my view of God.

Did I know that He loves me? Absolutely. Did I know that He watches over me? Yes.

When reading verses like this, though, I would jump to an unbalanced view of it:

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Matthew 7:11 

Trusting In Good Gifts From A Loving God

Being pessimistic, my mind reads “good gifts” and immediately takes a negative view. Knowing that going through difficult times of loss and struggle are used by God for our eternal good, I tend to read that verse and think of all the ways that God would need to put me through struggle as a good gift.

Yes, the good gift we often need is a struggle, but that isn’t the only type of good gift that God gives us.

Sometimes, a good gift is discipline, but sometimes it is a true blessing that we enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17). A good gift can be a job that we love, a healthy family, financial blessing, joy in fellowship in our Church, and more. God is always refining us, and that is a blessing. At the same time, God is also in the business of blessing us with good gifts.

No, I’m not talking about the prosperity gospel

The truth is, even as I write this, part of me feels a huge need to continually couch against the prosperity gospel (a la Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, or Steven Furtick). That’s a trap that many have fallen prey to—thinking that God only is good if he makes us healthy and wealthy.

On the other hand, there is the trap I fall into—knowing God loves me but partially living like he doesn’t really enjoy blessing me. Somehow I only really expect Him to bring refining struggle into my life instead of gracious blessing.

The Cross Is the Cornerstone of Blessing

Think about the love displayed at the cross. The holiest of holies came to Earth and paid for the eternal punishment that was due to sinners like you and I. God loved us enough to send His own son (who loved us enough to suffer on the cross) to the grave to conquer our sin. The Spirit raised him up from the grave. Today, that same Spirit baptizes us in the Son, sealing us until glory because of the work on that cross.

This is amazing love. This is boundless love. This is a love that you can’t even fully describe. This is a love that breaks through all the limits that we could expect or dream of. And somehow, we live as though God doesn’t really love us. We doubt that he will hear our prayers or answer them. We live in fear, thinking of Him more as a cruel taskmaster than a perfect Father. We live anxiously, worried that His favor will somehow be removed from us.

Because of Jesus, we never have to worry about any of these things. We live in freedom knowing that God loves us as a perfect parent delights in their Children. We pray because He loves hearing our prayers and answering them. We never have to worry about His wrath, because it has all been poured out on the cross. We can expect good gifts from our great Father.

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me
Is the current of Your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Your glorious rest above

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Spread His praise from shore to shore
How He came to pay our ransom
Through the saving cross He bore
How He watches o’er His loved ones
Those He died to make His own
How for them He’s interceding
Pleading now before the throne

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Far surpassing all the rest
It’s an ocean full of blessing
In the midst of every test
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Mighty Savior, precious Friend
You will bring us home to glory
Where Your love will never end

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David Appelt is husband to Rachel, and serves at Maranatha Community Church in Pickerington, OH. He graduated from Capital University with an emphasis on Music Ministry. He plans on pursuing church planting and academic ministry in the future.

5 thoughts on “Learning To Trust God for Good Gifts”

  1. Not being very pessimistic myself, I love seeing this from your eyes. I also love the fact that you come down to the cross and God’s complete love. I just shared it with my community.

  2. I appreciate this. It is something I’ve struggled deeply with but God has patiently shown (and continues to show) his great love for me. I feel in our fear of falling prey to false teaching we tend to over-correct in response to the prosperity gospel, but that can pull us away from the true and loving character of God as well. Thank you for the encouragement.

  3. Hi. Most times, I seem to expect God to answer me No, far more than Yes. Wondering if He is displeased with me or won’t show me favor because of my many mess ups. I don’t know how to get rid of this way of thinking. It really weighs me down. Your explanation helps.


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