"Jesus delivered a man from a demon that had kept him speechless. The demon gone, the man started talking a blue streak, taking the crowd by complete surprise. But some from the crowd were cynical. 'Black magic,' they said. 'Some devil trick He's pulled from His sleeve.' Others were sceptical, waiting around for Him to prove Himself with a spectacular miracle." Luke 11:10-13 (The Message)
Why was it that people reacted to Jesus' miracles of mercy by attributing them to demons? Is the human mind so warped that good is so unrecognisable that it must be interpreted as something the devil does? Was this influence of the religious leaders of His day, that they were perverted enough to refuse to acknowledge the work of God in healing and restoring broken people?
Perhaps experiencing the goodness of God was foreign to them and they could not accept the character of the God Jesus was revealing to them. They kept asking for more 'signs' instead of seeing God in the ones Jesus was doing all the time. Because of their unbelief, no amount of signs would convince them that God is good.
What about me? What does it take to make me aware of the goodness of God in the ordinary events of my life? Part of the repentance that must be ongoing in my life is to change my mind about who is in charge of the circumstances of my life. That does not mean that God makes bad things happen. It does mean that God uses every experience, good or bad, to reveal Himself to me and to reshape my reactions and my character to be more like Jesus.
It's entirely up to me to choose how I will view my everyday experiences - whether I see them as devil-inspired and spend my time rebuking him(!) or whether I recognise the hand of my God working in all things for my good and conforming me to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28,29).
In this process of becoming a disciple, I am learning to think God's thoughts instead of my own. The Apostle Paul calls it 'renewing my mind'. I become what I think. If I think that the devil is pushing me around, I will be fearful, sceptical and insecure, but if I know that God is in charge, working everything for my good, I will have peace and security in Him. Stress will be exchanged for rest and trust for unbelief.
Goodness is the world has only one source, the God who is good. Evil in the world is not from God but is a tool in His hand to do His work in His children and to reveal His glory against the dark backdrop of sin on the canvas He is painting.
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