December 4 - LD 49, Day 2: Father Knows Best
by Rev. Martyn McGeown
Luke 11:11 “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone…?”
God, who is our Father, has a will. That will is, as we have seen, God’s purpose concerning all things—His will of decree—and God’s commandments to us—His will of command or precept. About that will, LD 49 says, it is “only good.”
With respect to His children, God’s will is always and only good. God, our Father, delights to shower us with blessings; He delights to show Himself the abundant Provider, the gracious Preserver, and the merciful Saviour. God’s decrees concerning us are good. He has decreed our salvation, our everlasting blessedness. He has decreed that we should be with Him forever beholding His glory in the face of Jesus Christ. Our comfort is that everything which God has planned for us—wealth and poverty, health and sickness, prosperity and adversity—serves our salvation and His glory, and since God has decreed all, none can overthrow His good purpose for us (Rom 8:28). God’s will of command is good for us too. God’s law is not grievous, but is a good guide for our life. In keeping God’s commandments and walking in obedience, we find blessedness, whereas the ungodly who walk in disobedience find misery.
Since God’s will is only good, our will is only good insofar as it is in harmony with His will. When God’s purposes thwart our happiness, and when God’s commands are contrary to our desires, God’s will is still good. We struggle often to recognize and confess that. What we see as great evils—hunger, poverty, disease, bereavement and death—God sends upon us for our good. God never sends trials upon His children out of hatred, ill will, or spite; God never causes us a needless tear; God never gives more than we can bear. We confess this as Reformed believers—the difficulty is in truly believing it.
When we are tempted to despair, we must remember the very simple truth: our Father knows best, and His will is “only good.” Do I not have what I want—whether possessions, good health, opportunities or relationships? My Father knows that I do not need those things right now. He knows best; His will is “only good.” Do I have what I do not want—trials, difficulties, disappointments and pain? My Father knows that I need to pass through this sorrow right now. He has carefully designed this dark valley for me, and He promises to be with me as I go through that valley. His will is “only good.”
Jesus illustrates this from everyday life. Even fathers, whom Jesus calls “evil” (Luke 11:13) know how to give good gifts to their children. Will our Father, who is only good, always wise, infinitely powerful and glorious, give evil gifts to His children—stones for bread; serpents for fish; scorpions for eggs?
The problem we have—and this is why we must utter this petition in our prayers—is that we do not want Father’s will. We are so self-willed that we want only our own will, which is not “only good.” “Father, let thy will, which is only good, be done. Father, thou knowest best.”
- Date: December 4
Rev. Martyn McGeown
Pastorates: Missionary-pastor in Limerick, Ireland for the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Northern Ireland - 2010.Website: www.limerickreformed.com/
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