Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32:37-41 is a portion of a prophecy of restoration. God makes the promise to bring His people back from where they were scattered, that He will be their God and they will be His people. God wants to do good for them!
God also wants to do good for you and me. Some days it is hard for me to believe that. Not that I believe the opposite – I don’t think God has it in for me! But I spend very little time considering the inherent goodness of God, or how He desires to pour out His blessings on us all.
Part of it is a natural reaction against some of the feel-good theology that circulates, the idea that God blesses those who are good or who love Him properly or who do the right things. Not so! His blessings are wholly unconnected to our deserving of them, because we can’t deserve them. We are all sinful and were it not for the ultimate blessing of God in the death and resurrection of Jesus, we would be without hope.
The key for me is paying attention, so that I see those blessings of God. Does it make a difference? Not in the sense of my relationship with Him. God doesn’t love me more if I notice His goodness, and He doesn’t love me less if I fail. He loves me fully and completely because of His Son.
But it makes a difference to me. Imagine a married woman who never checks her email. Her husband sends her beautiful messages of love every day of their marriage, but she doesn’t see them. She might start doubting how he feels about her, even though he is sharing his love with her every day – because she doesn’t notice it! When I notice God’s love for me, when I see His goodness, when I pay attention, it makes all the difference in my day. I pay attention for my own sake.
Thankfully, God doesn’t just use one method of communicating His love to us, but shows us in hundreds, if not thousands, of ways. Start out with His Word – He gave us the Scriptures that are filled with His messages of love for us. The number of pages and words vary depending on translation, but it’s the longest love-letter I’ve ever seen.
He uses His creation to share that love with us. I’m not poetic so I can’t begin to describe the mountains or the ocean or a sunset. And words fall short regardless – you have to see it to know the One who made it loves you.
He uses other people too. We share love with each other only because of His love for us. It is in His love for His people that we are even able to love one another. We take the love poured into our hearts and pour it into those around us.
That is how good our God is – he won’t leave us alone. He gives and shares His blessing abundantly. And when I pay attention, it makes me smile.