Trusting goodness, seeing good



Jeremiah chapter 17 describes two kinds of people.

In verses 7-8, we have a beautiful picture of a person who has encountered the goodness of God.  They have experienced His unconditional love for themselves and they have responded to it with trust and faith in His character.  The result is fruitfulness, strength and vitality.  Their lives are established and abundant.

Then, in verses 5-6 we see a person who struggles to trust.  They just can’t lay down a lifetime’s habit of self-reliance.  So, they put all their hope in their own decision-making and hard work, rather than in God’s care for them.

And verse 6 says that the person who cannot trust, cannot see when good comes.’ (KJV)

It is hard to imagine how that happens. How is it possible to not recognize something that is good?  What causes this kind of spiritual blindness that distorts our perspective?

In Luke 15, Jesus tells the story about a wayward son.  He has a loving and generous father but he doesn’t see it that way.  He only sees restrictions and rules, unwanted responsibility and expectations.

He wants to live life his own way now and he doesn’t want to wait around for dad to kick the bucket.  So, he asks for all his inheritance.  His father reluctantly agrees, and the son leaves home with pockets full of his trust fund.

But fast living is expensive and soon he finds himself sitting in a pig pen, the money squandered.  At that moment, the penny drops and the son realizes what he has left behind.

And, all at once he is able to see what is good for him and what is not

And he heads home.

You see, in order to see good, we have to see God as He is.  We have to know Him as our father and be assured that we are safe in his care. Then we can be confident that His plan for us is good and we can stop trying to work everything out for ourselves. Knowing God’s character helps us to trust His will as well as His timing.  We will have the courage to hold out for God’s best, whatever the cost.

If we don’t know Him well, this will be a tall order.  If we aren’t sure God is trustworthy, we can fall back into old patterns of independence and miss out on His supernatural answers, provisions and blessings.

Because the truth is that some things that are really good, don’t immediately look good at all.  And some things that do look good are not God’s best in the long run.  Situations that you are tempted to escape from can be a provision in disguise.  And sometimes what you think is God’s provisions is actually a counterfeit.

So being able to see good is imperative if we are going to live life well.

The key is trust.  It opens our eyes to what is good and what is from God.

We are not spiritual orphans.  We have a good Father who created us and loves us.  He is working all things for good in our lives.  We can, without exception, trust His leading and direction, even when it doesn’t make sense.

There is a place of abundant life and spiritual growth and it is called Trust.  It is the place we run to when the penny drops and we remember how good God really is.  It is the place we return to after stubborn wanderings and pig pen epiphanies.

It is where we find our Father waiting for us.

It is home and it is good.



My daily slice

DSC_0741Bread gets some bad press.

A growing awareness of food intolerances means that sandwiches are definitely out of style as working professionals choose trendier lunches.  Although the UK is a bit behind the US, gluten-free options are now available everywhere and sales of sliced bread are down 12% as compared to a few years ago.

But in the Bible, bread is a wonderful thing.    It is used many times in God’s Word as a picture of important truths.

Bread is very often used as a picture of provision.  In Exodus, the heavenly bread called manna was God’s provision for His people in the desert.  In the gospels, Jesus blessed, broke and multiplied loaves of bread to feed the hungry crowds who followed Him.

In Matthew 15.26 Jesus used bread to describe spiritual blessings, particularly supernatural physical healing.

And of course, bread is a picture of God’s ultimate provision for us, Christ, who describes Himself as the bread of life in John 6.35.  Every time we take communion we are reminded that our Bread of Life was broken for us to provide salvation.

And then in the most well-known words of the Bible in Matthew 6 we see the template for prayer. Verse 11 says, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’


The word used here for daily is a very intriguing one.  ‘Epiousios’, was not a word that was used in ordinary speech and in fact,  it is only found in this prayer and not used anywhere else in the Bible or in any other Greek writings.  It may have even been coined by the writers of the gospels themselves which makes it arguably the most difficult word in the New Testament to translate.

Early Bible translators used context and similar Greek words to attempt to derive meaning.  They settled on ‘daily‘.  They believed the word had a sense of ‘just enough’ or ‘what is sufficient for today’ so that we should ask God for the basics we need to live each day, which of course we should.

However more recently, a closer look at the prefix used here gives a fuller meaning.  Rather than just enough for today, the way the word has been constructed has a sense of provision that is above and beyond, bountiful, more than enough for the future.

 Make no mistake, this is supernatural bread and the portions are generous.

Like the loaves that Jesus multiplied, there are always baskets of leftovers.

Each time we pray for our needs we can pray believing that the answer will be full and rich.  God’s answers overflow into our tomorrow.  They are abundant, not just adequate.

It is like there is exponential power in our daily prayer time with God.  It builds.  I am reminded of Deuteronomy 28.2 where God promises His children that the blessings of obedience will overtake them, like an avalanche of answers that they can’t outrun.

There are answers for you today.  There is healing and deliverance and supply.  But you can expect that these blessings will also overflow into tomorrow.  There are words of direction that will propel you towards callings and ministries in the future.  There are solutions to problems you don’t even know about yet.  There are words of comfort that you are going to need.  There is bread from the Bread of Life Himself.  You will be filled up and you will receive enough to share with others.

The God we pray to is a giver.  He is a good father.  He gives generously out of an endless supply and He always gives enough for tomorrow.

Philippians 4.19 promises us that God supplies our needs out of the riches of Christ.

Matthew 7.11 promises His gifts are good.

Romans 8.32 says God graciously gives us all things.

Psalm 34 promises those who seek the Lord will lack no good thing.

God knows what is around the corner.  He knows the challenges and struggles and disappointments and loss we may face.  He knows exactly what we need today to be ready for tomorrow and we receive it when we make time to be with Him daily.

Trusting, believing hearts can choose daily bread over worry.  We can be filled with every word that God speaks and never be hungry again.  We can laugh at the future because even in the deepest darkest valleys, there is a table already prepared for us,  and our cups and our breadbaskets are overflowing.


‘How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear You.  You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.’  Psalm  31.19  NLT