Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
“The LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11, ESV). We may wonder, then, whether God really means this. Why do we not have all that we could desire? Why do we have what we wish we didn’t have? This crosses my mind frequently. As a pastor, I speak with many people. In any given week, it is certain that I will hear of weakness, frailty, sickness, strife, and poverty. I also see many people who are doing fine but for whom life could certainly be more peaceful, healthy, and prosperous.
What’s going on here? First, the reflective portions of Scripture, particularly in Psalms and Proverbs, are not to be treated as historical narratives or promises. The Psalmist is overwhelmed by God’s goodness. This does not mean his life is perfect or he has everything. But it does mean he has found contentment in God’s provision. Second, it is the Lord who gets to define what is good. He has chosen that forgiveness, mercy, and grace are the chief goods in this world. It is not about money or possessions. It’s about the presence of God, living in us, for us to receive life and reconciliation with God. He has given this to all who ask.
God truly gives His people all they need, all the good stuff, for this life and for eternity. May he also give us the attitude and desire to welcome his great gifts.
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