“If you then, who are 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!” Matthew 7:11.
Children know how to receive good gifts- as any adult who has experienced Christmas with toddlers will tell you! So when we come to ask something of God, we are encouraged to ask as children of a loving father.
The Lord’s Prayer begins with these words: “Our Father which art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). And if by faith we have trusted in Jesus for our salvation, we have become members of God’s family. “For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26).
And as God’s children, we can depend on his fatherly care. He promises “good things.” In fact, Jesus goes on to say that no father would give something unpleasant or unsavoury to their children. He’s not going to put a rock on a plate and tell you it’s a chunk of bread, or put a snake on the plate and pretend it’s a lovely piece of battered cod.
So I need to learn to trust God as the giver of good gifts. In Luke’s version of this saying, he substitutes “The Holy Spirit.” God will not fail to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.
The Holy Spirit is to be understood, then, as the “good things” of God – the very best he has to offer – the gift, in fact, of himself. And that’s a gift he will not take away.
I believe it, Lord, that you have “good things” for me, simply because I am your child. So teach me how to receive like a child.