“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
He’s Got You Covered, by Randall D. Kittle

The goal of this article is to help you know the character of God and the nature of God better than you ever have before. My hope is this will cause you to love Him more passionately, pursue Him more adamantly, and share Him more enthusiastically.

God is Good
The clearest attribute of God displayed and declared throughout the Scriptures is God’s goodness. The Word of God is replete with verses declaring that God is good! The Bible tells us God is abundantly rich in goodness. It also says His goodness is enduring — there is no end to it or exhausting of it! The Scriptures declare not only that God is good, but that everything He does is good. The goodness of God is something we can rely upon, and something which should cause us to rejoice in Him with great joy.

I find this very interesting considering how often I hear Americans say, “If God’s good …” or “If He’s a good God …” We don’t have to ask
if He is a good God. He says so continually in the Word of God and He has demonstrated it since time began. Don’t ever let things the news media or TV talk show hosts say cloud your thinking — God is good!

God is Love
But if you were to ask most believers to tell you God’s greatest attribute, they would answer “His love!” The Bible is filled with verses declaring God’s love and showing us how much He loves us. This is stated most clearly in 1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

God’s great love for us was never more clearly displayed than upon the cross. The finished work of the cross is an unfathomable demonstration of His love for us. The God who made man became a man. How can our minds get a handle on that? It is said Luther once locked himself up in his study all day. Finally, as bedtime was approaching, he came out of his study bearing a tired and disheveled appearance. Looking at his housekeeper he exasperatedly declared,
“The God who made man become a man … who can comprehend it?”

We should marvel as we think about the willingness of Christ. He was willing to step out of eternity and into time, and willing to take off His majesty and splendor to become like you and me. Few kings would take off their fine clothing, walk away from their beautiful palace, and choose to lay down the honor and authority of their position. But to redeem us the Lord was willing to go far beyond that, taking the punishment of others while giving them His pardon.

Yet, we also need to consider Father God’s willingness. He was willing to allow a separation in His perfect communion with His Son. And even more amazingly, He was willing to surrender His own Son to die
. I have a son named Ben whom I love very much. Like most fathers, if Ben was dying, I would do almost anything to try and spare his life. But Father God loves us so much that He allowed His Son to suffer and die on the cross so we could be rescued from eternal death and restored to eternal life with Him. As a father, I simply cannot grasp the depths of the love God has for us.

The cross is the greatest demonstration of God’s love ever! We never need to wonder if God loves us. It has been permanently and emphatically demonstrated for us on the cross!

We should rejoice in the greatness of our salvation. Christ bore our sin on the cross so we can have His righteousness. The Lord carried our rejection so we can enjoy His acceptance. He carried our anxiety so we can have His peace. Jesus died naked and uncovered so He could cover our sin and shame with His grace and mercy. God has settled for all time and eternity the question of His love for us — yes,
God loves us more than we will ever know!

Love Is …
I want us to examine more carefully God’s amazing, incomprehensible, inexhaustible, inextinguishable love for us! To do this, let’s look at “the love chapter.” “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7).

The first facet of love is that it is
patient. I’m just amazed at how patient God has always been with me. I’m sure it hasn’t been easy because I can really be exasperating (just ask my wife or my son). But God has always had such patience with me it’s unbelievable.

Think of His patience with us when we fall, when we fail, when we choose to disobey Him and yet He keeps on loving us and drawing us back. Think of God’s patience with Israel shown throughout the Old Testament. Time and again we see Israel straying away, disobeying God, and following other “gods.” Yet over and over we see God drawing them back to Him with cords of love and restoring them back to fellowship with Him.

Another facet of love is that it is
kind. The Bible tells us that God is “abundant in kindness” (Nehemiah 9:17). God is so caring in His relationship with mankind. Even though He knows our every weakness, He still loves us completely and is patient and tender toward us. God has promised us,“with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:8).

First Corinthians 13 also tells us that love
keeps no record of wrongs. What if your spouse were to keep a chalkboard in the kitchen with a scorecard of how well you were doing every day? Each time you walked into the kitchen you would see a list of all your mistakes, all your broken promises, and all the things you could have done better. It would certainly make you less excited about seeing your spouse. That’s exactly how some people feel about the Lord — that He is keeping a big scorecard on their life so He can show them where we’ve fallen short.

But our loving God isn’t like that. He declared in Hebrews 8:12,
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” When we repent of our sins and have them covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, God chooses never to remember them again. They have become separated from us and locked away forever by the will of God. He will never see those sins upon you because they have been nailed to the cross (see Colossians 2:14) and He has determined never to remember them!

Love Always Protects
The one facet of God’s love I want us to focus on is that godly love always protects. The Greek word that is translated “protects” here is“stego,” which literally means:“to cover like a roof.” In fact, the Berkeley translation renders this verse, “love … covers all things.” This is probably a very good translation for this passage since the Bible also says in Proverbs 10:12, “… love covers all sins.”

Since my wife’s father was a roofer, the fact that God’s love covers like a roof has special meaning to her. Gini remembers, as a little girl, when her dad would come home at night and smell of tar. Many times, his shoes left awful tar marks across the kitchen floor that her mother had to remove by getting down on her hands and knees and scrubbing with a brush and some special solvent. Yet, it was that same tar he would heat up and pour over leaky roofs; sealing them and protecting the homes from water damage.

In like manner, the love of God covers us, flowing into every crack and opening, shielding us from the storms of life and schemes of the enemy. Love protects and covers as a good roof covers and protects a home.

#1 – God’s Got Your Past Covered
First of all, God has covered your past. You don’t have to drag the things from your past into the future! How does God cover your past? Through His magnificent mercy. “Mercy”means you don’t get what you deserve. Our sin means we should face guilt, shame, and punishment, but because of God’s magnificent mercy we can have forgiveness. The slate of our past can be wiped clean!

Why do we need God’s mercy? Because the burdens from the past can weigh us down and stop us from moving forward. One of these burdens from the past is
sin. Sin harms our relationship with God and hinders us growing into who God has called us to be. So, how do we get rid of sin? On the cross, Jesus paid the price for our forgiveness, all we have to do is repent. God is willing to forgive our sins and He wants us to get rid of them. Whenever you know there is a sin you have committed, just confess that sin to the Lord and ask Him to forgive you and He will. In 1 John 1:9 God promises us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

It is particularly important to remember to address familiar sins… pet sins. Once, while I was praying for a person at the altar, the Lord showed me a picture of a little sign hanging on the doorknob of their heart’s door. It had the appearance of a “Do Not Disturb” sign, but it read
“No Pets Allowed!” That is what the Lord would say to all of us, “No pet sins are allowed to abide in your hearts. Get rid of your pet sin.” Sometimes we excuse familiar sins by calling them character flaws, personality traits, family attributes, or the result of our nationality. But let’s be clear — sin is sin … even if it has always been a part of our lives or the lives of our family. Don’t justify your pet sin (it’s not a good pet to keep). God has provided us with His mercy so that we can be free from every sin, including those that have abided with us for years … or even generations!

Leaving the Land of Regret
The burden of the past that always haunts me the most is regret. It nags at my soul, “If only I would have done that instead. If only I wouldn’t have made the other choice.” The truth is we who easily become filled with regret suffer from pride. What we are really saying is, “I should’ve known better than to do that. I should have been smart enough to make a better choice.” The reason we judge our decisions so harshly is because, underneath it all, we have such a high opinion of ourselves.

Getting over regret is difficult because we find it much easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves. But if Jesus Christ willingly forgave us even though He innocently suffered for our sins, who are we to refuse to extend forgiveness to ourselves? Because of the blood of Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven, and if we’re going to move forward in our walk with God, we need to forgive ourselves.

It is much easier to forgive ourselves when we remember Romans 8:28,
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” The wonderful truth of this verse is that even when the enemy lures us into sin, the Lord will find ways to use it for our good. It is a lot like what happens when the enemy steals from us, the Bible says that God will restore to us more than the enemy has taken. So, we don’t have to beat ourselves up for our falls and failures. Once we’ve put them under the blood, Jesus not only forgives us He also will cause it to turn out for our betterment! Let us choose to lay aside all the “would-have-beens” and “could-have-beens” by truly forgiving ourselves and leaving our past behind, so we can move forward into all God has for us in the days ahead.

No Shame on You
The last burden of the past is shame.  Shame is the last residue of sin. When we truly repent, our sin is forgiven. Then, when we forgive ourselves, we can stop living in the land of regret. But the problem for many of us is that other people still see us in the light of that sin … and we often see ourselves the same way. Satan will tell you, “That’s who you are! You’re a liar … You’re a cheater … You’re a thief.” If you accept His accusation, you will end up carrying the cloak of shame. But you must not judge your future by your past. It is not that you are to deny your past failures; it is that you must not let them define who you are.

You are not defined by your sin, your failures, or your past shame. You are a beloved child of the Most High God whom He treasures. Your sins are forgiven and your shame has been removed. It says in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus
“endured the cross, despising the shame.” Jesus not only carried our sin to the cross, He carried our shame. Jesus took your shame and nailed it to the cross with Him. Your shame died on the cross 2,000 year ago.

It is vitally important to know the truth of who you are in Christ … and how He sees you! He sees you like He saw Gideon. When the Lord called Gideon to be His champion and bring freedom to Israel, what was Gideon doing? Was he training for battle … recruiting soldiers … acquiring weapons … planning battle strategies? No, 
“Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites” (Judges 6:11). Here was Israel’s new heroic leader hiding in a hole in the ground trying not to be discovered. He was hoping to make a little loaf of bread without the enemy finding him. Most of us would see him as a disqualified coward, and that is exactly how Gideon saw himself.

But how did God see Gideon? 
“When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior’” (Judges 6:12). God saw Gideon not as what he had always been, but what he would become. God saw him through his destiny … a mighty warrior! The Lord saw Gideon in the light of already winning the victory that lay before him. We must begin seeing ourselves beyond our past failures or our present circumstances.

We must also not allow ourselves, others, or the enemy to determine our future by our past. While man looks at you through your history, God sees you through your destiny. God sees you full and overflowing with all the things you will accomplish in the future. Most people will look at you through your faults, your falls, and your failure, instead of your future. No box of what we have been can contain us, and no label can limit us when we start to see our future the way the Lord sees it. Let us remove the blinders of our past and our present so we can apprehend the future God has for us!

Declaration of a New Life
Let’s take a moment and make a declaration of who we are in Christ. I believe it will help us understand how God has covered our past so we can move forward with Him. I would encourage you to not only read this, but to declare it out loud:

By the mercy of God … I have been adopted into His family. I am now a child of the Most High God.

Because of the finished work of the cross … my sins have been forgiven … and my shame is gone.

My sins and past failures … do not define me. They are what I
did …not who I was … and not who I am.

I have become a new creation … my old life has passed away … all that I am has become new. The Lord loves me … with a never-ending love. My life is dedicated to God … and I delight to do His will.

My desire is to serve the Lord … draw closer to Him … and become more like Him every day.

I want the Lord to use me … to bring Him joy … and bring hope to others. Amen.

#2 – God’s Got Your Present Covered
God also covers us today. This is needful because the days in which we live are full of twists and turns, trials and tribulations. It’s not easy to live a Christian life in our modern society let alone advance God’s kingdom on this earth. Often the situations we find ourselves in test our faith, and the enemy of our souls tries to get us to react in ways that, while seeming appropriate, only serve to bog us down and hinder our walk with God.

How do we overcome the trials and tribulations of life? Through God’s amazing
grace. “Grace” means you get what you don’t deserve. Because we are God’s children, He will always take care of us, never abandon us, and longs to bless us. In these tumultuous times, we can be at peace and have great confidence since our Heavenly Father has declared, “I know the plans I have for you … plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). This verse means that not only is God “… able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20) — He plans to!

Why do we need God’s grace? Because the trials of the present can hinder our walk and halt us from moving forward. The trials of the present are like a 3-headed monster wanting to trip us up and ensnare us. The first trial we face is
jealousy. It causes us to wonder, “Why did they get to do that instead of me? Why don’t I have that? Why is everyone talking about them and I’ve become invisible? It’s not fair!”

When someone else attains something you don’t have, acquires something you’ve always wanted, or gets to do something you’ve longed to do, and your heart begins to wonder why them and not me. The answer is simple … either it’s not time yet for you to have that or God has something better for you! Because God is always good to us, He is ever faithful, and His heart is always for us.

How do we overcome jealousy? By allowing God’s grace to help us to remember His sovereignty. Psalm 103:19 tells us,
“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens; and His sovereignty rules over all.” We need to remind ourselves that God is sovereign. That means all power, dominion, and majesty belong to Him. We need to put things in His hands, not just our trials and troubles, but our blessings or perceived lack of blessing.

It is easy to trust in God’s sovereignty when our hearts truly believe that He is working out everything in our lives for our good. There have been numerous times I’ve really wanted something and then later was really glad I didn’t get it. I remember one particular time, thinking, “Boy, I wish that was me” one day, and the very next day thanking the Lord that it wasn’t me. God knows what He is doing; we can trust in His sovereignty. As His children, we need to believe that “Father knows best.” I have always tried to treat my children fairly, but that doesn’t mean I’ve always treated them exactly the same because what is best for one child isn’t always the best for another. God will always do what is best for us even if it doesn’t seem fair. We are His children, and He is going to treat each one of us in the way that is best for us.

The second trial of today we face is offense. “How could they treat me that way?” Perhaps they don’t see who you are in Christ. Remember 2 Corinthians 5:20 declares us to be Christ’s ambassadors, “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”

When a person becomes an ambassador, many people will resent them. Some will criticize them because they have been given a position the others would have loved to have had. Their jealousy will cause them to belittle and demean the one who has received this honor. Others will resent an ambassador because they dislike the country or president he represents. And so it is also for us as ambassadors for Christ.

The sad truth is anything you are given to do to advance God’s kingdom can produce some other believer who jealously responds, “Why do they get to do that? They’re not the best choice!” And then, as you share your faith, many non-believers will belittle you for what you believe, mocking the truth of the gospel. Others will respond to your invitation to come to Jesus with intense anger — for they hate Jesus, the One you represent.

As a believer, you will be given ample opportunities to be offended. But God has given
us grace and He expects us to have grace for others.

The third trial we face on a daily basis may not seem so bad, but that’s only because it has been so widely accepted as the norm … even venerated in American society —
busyness. The tempo of our day is at a hectic pace, and that’s not a marvel it’s a tragedy. One of the greatest catastrophes of our day is the fact that most of mankind is too busy to be the very thing for which they were created — the friends and family of God. 

It is important you don’t let this epidemic of busyness unsettle and change your Christian walk. It is far too easy to get caught up in the “busy cycle” — “If I could just geta little more. If only I could do a little more.” The busy cycle always escalates until all you think about is “doing” and “getting” more.

But by the grace of God, you have become a new creation. This world is not your home, and you have come to know that
“God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). God is your provider; He will supply all you need. Please note this verse says God will supply all your “needs,” not your wants, desires, or wishes.

The life of a Christian should reflect Jesus Christ. It’s not about getting stuff or doing things. It isn’t about checking things off your bucket list. Jesus’ bucket list was simple,
“I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). God has given us the grace to simplify our lives to primarily one thing — being about our Heavenly Father’s business. Let us choose doing His business over pursuing the world’s busyness.

#3 – God’s Got Your Future Covered
It is mercy that covers your past and grace that covers you today, but it is favor that covers your future. God’s favor is His presence going before you and making a way for you. When Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2), He was speaking with His followers about heaven. But I believe God’s favor also does this for each of us every day. Right now, God is preparing things for you for later today. Tonight, while you are sleeping, He is preparing things for your tomorrow. God is preparing blessings for you to receive, people He wants your life to touch, encouragement to strengthen you, and protection to cover you. As you walk out your life, you’re not just blundering about. God has sent His favor before you to prepare the way!

The enemy of our souls wants to keep us frozen and unable to move forward by bringing up concerns about the future. He works to fill our hearts with anxiety and worry. When the worries of the world try to derail your walk with God, you need to remember that you have God’s favor going before you and preparing the way. Since God’s favor goes before you, it should relieve your concerns about the future.

If you still find the concerns of the future turning into anxious thoughts, the solution can be found in Philippians 4:6–7,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” In the original Greek, the words translated “prayer,” “supplication,” and “requests” are all forms of the Greek word for “pray.” So, this verse is actually telling us that we can overcome worry by prayer, praying with thanksgiving, and then praying some more.

When we pray about our concerns, we are to pray
“with thanksgiving.” This means we enter into prayer with thankfulness — remembering the things He has done for us. As we recount God’s faithfulness and what He has done for us, it will bolster our faith in what He can do and give us great confidence in prayer.

Then it tells us
“let your requests be made known to God.” This is more than just “getting it off your chest.” As you share your difficulties with God, it will get the burden off your back. Then it promises that, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” will come upon you. You can come to the Lord burdened by anxious thoughts and leave with peace.

God loves you so intensely, and His love for you will cover your past … cover your present … and cover your future. So, let us put the past in the past by repenting of our sins, forgiving ourselves for our mistakes, and remembering that Jesus Christ took our shame — it is no longer ours, it’s been nailed to the cross. Let’s live each day of our lives remembering that God is good and we can trust Him, never forgetting that God is sovereign and that our Heavenly Father knows best. As the busyness of life tries to burn us out, let’s remember that this is not our home and God is our provider. And finally, let us face the future without worry, knowing that the finished work of the cross has already won the victory and Jesus is always only a prayer away.

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