If God’s nature is to give, and it is, why then do we have so much trouble receiving? After all, God’s thoughts toward us are only good; those of peace, hope, and a bright future. The explanation surrounding our difficulties may be as varied and unique as we are.
Past hurts, feelings of unworthiness, guilt, and shame, are negative emotions which can cause us to respond in fear. Fear may manifest as discouragement, detachment, and even isolation; physically and emotionally.
As a result, we get “stuck” in a rut or cycles of self-defeating behavior. Many of us lead lives of quiet desperation wishing, hoping, and seemingly “waiting for God” to rescue us.
If God is good and He longs to see us living in peace with a promising future, then why the disconnect?
When we focus on our shortcomings and entertain insecurities, we take our eyes off the One whose mercy and majesty is far greater than the darkest and most difficult circumstances we’ll ever face. Click To Tweet
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jer. 29:11).
Is God’s willingness to give, greater than your desire to receive?
God is big on giving. His many promises throughout Scripture provide the assurance. The most valuable gift ever given to man, however, was God’s sacrificial offering of His Son (read more in this blog post).
God is a gracious and generous giver. Man, on the other hand, is reluctant to give and has difficulty receiving. Pay a compliment to someone and watch what they do. Our natural inclination is to downplay or dismiss the gesture. Why is that? Perhaps the response is based on feelings of unworthiness or because trust doesn’t come naturally; maybe it’s a little of both.
Now consider the unparalleled gain we received in exchange for the sacrifice God made.
- “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. . .” (Jn. 3:16, emphasis added).
- Therefore, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
For those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, life has only just begun—
Our life here on earth is the beginning of all eternity. The freedom to receive is only possible because God first gave.
God’s nature is to give
Is it because something “freely” given might come with a “catch?” Or has “free” become an empty word associated with things of little value like a piece of furniture discarded on the side of the road?
Maybe we assume the way we think (and therefore, act) is the way God thinks and acts? Of course, wrong assumptions lead to erroneous conclusions. God plainly reminds us, His ways are not our ways.
In the book of Isaiah, the prophet wrote, “Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you . . .” (v. 18). And, the writer of Hebrews declared, “God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (see Heb. 11:6).
What happens when God gives?
He waits for us to accept. Like the relationship between a quarterback and his receiver in the game of football, God gave, now it’s our job to receive. When we fail to accept, the play remains incomplete.
God longs to be in a relationship with us and like a good father, He wants to give. Scripture records numerous promises. Here are a few:
- “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
- “For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt 6:32-33).
- “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 good things to those who ask Him!” (Matt 7:11).
So what’s keeping you from receiving every good thing God has in store? Post your comment below.
Here are some responses I’ve received:
- “I don’t understand what God expects of me!”
- “I’m not sure I can move past ________, so I’m not expecting much; especially from God?”
- “Maybe if I worked at it, you know, was a little better person, God would do something for me… “