How to Experience God’s Goodness
Would you like to experience God’s goodness? Of course you would; who wouldn’t? In the first “sign” or miracle performed by Jesus, we get a clear picture of God’s glory and discover three ways we can experience His goodness! (John 2:1-11)
In John 2, Jesus, His mom and His disciples all attended a wedding in Cana. While they were there, Jesus’ mom saw that the wedding party had run out of wine. That may not seem like a big deal, but in that culture it really was. In fact, it was such a big deal that the bride’s family could have sued the groom, who was responsible, for letting that happen. Needless to say, more wine was needed and Mary knew it. What she does next reveals the first step to experience God’s goodness.
1) When you’re in need or when you see a need, tell Jesus!
Mary knew where to turn when she saw a need. She went straight to Jesus. She didn’t complain about it with other guests; she didn’t slander the groom for his short-sightedness or under-planning; she didn’t walk away angry… she went to Jesus and asked for His help.
When you are in need or when you see a need, tell Jesus… Why? Because He can actually help. He has the ability to do something about it. This week, I had multiple opportunities to pray for folks who were in need. I see it all the time, especially with people suffering illnesses. Don’t hesitate to go straight to Jesus with your needs or with the needs of others around you.
While Jesus made clear He was on a divine schedule and nothing was going to disrupt God’s plans, He still cared deeply about the humiliating plight of the bride and groom and He wanted to help them.
2) When it really matters to you, trust that Jesus cares about it too!
You may think that God doesn’t care about your needs, but He does. He even cares about the small or mundane situations in your life, like running out of wine at a wedding. If it matters to you, trust Jesus cares about it too!
Jesus calls for servants to fill six twenty to thirty gallon storage jars to the brim with water. Miraculously, that water becomes wine. But not just any wine; that water was turned into really good wine… the best that had been served at the wedding! (John 2:6-10)
You may be going through a difficult situation in your life right now; maybe you have some physical issues or relational woes or financial stresses. Maybe you think God is far too busy to be concerned about your plight; but let me be clear, if it matters to you, Jesus cares about it too.
Even though He wanted to be very careful not to call too much attention to Himself at this point in His ministry, Jesus still wanted to help this poor bride and groom. He didn’t want their big day to be a disaster. He stepped in and made sure that everything would be ok. In fact, He made it far better than ok!
3) When you face a desperate situation, believe that Jesus can turn it completely around!
Jesus stepped into a bad situation and didn’t just fill the need, He far exceeded the need. The bride and groom didn’t just appear to have more wine to serve, which was usually watered down, cheap wine at this point in the festivities; but they had more wine that was far better than any that had been served to this point. This is the way Jesus works!
Have you ever been in what seems like a desperate place, when all you can do is pray and hope for the very best? And then, God works in a “miraculous” way, turning a bad or desperate situation completely around. I have seen God work like that again and again in my life and in the lives of others. Those situations create powerful testimonies about God’s work in our lives. (Romans 8:28)
We may not understand why we are going through trying seasons or difficult times in life, but God works in those moments! And let’s face it, sometimes we go through challenges in life that seem a lot bigger than running out of wine at a wedding! We may ask why? As a pastor, I get that question a lot. But many times, the answer is so that God can be glorified, so He can reveal His glory and goodness. Those desperate situations create opportunities for Him to do what only He can do.
It reminds me of another time when Jesus and His disciples encountered a man who had been born blind. Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind. Do you know what Jesus said? 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:3
Sometimes God takes us through difficulties in life so that His works can be seen in us… so that He can be glorified…so that we can experience His goodness. That could be happening in your life right now!
For much more, including three confirmations of Jesus’ deity when He clears the temple court, click here to listen to: Light in the Darkness - Part 2 - How to Experience God’s Goodness.