Archive for April, 2012

Perhaps you have heard the cliche that “It will all work out in end.” Maybe someone was attempting to encourage you after a particularly trying day. Yet, maybe you have not ever considered that this is solid, Scriptural counsel. God’s Word teaches us rather emphatically that He is a sovereign God. He does nothing out of caprice, nothing catches Him off-guard so that He needs to re-think or re-tool His previous steps in order to roll with the punches. Our God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). He is the Creator and the Sustainer of all things. Therefore, He and He alone possesses the divine right to rule over all that He has created. He is the ultimate and final authority over it all.

Yet, we definitely need to temper this power with what Scripture reveals about who God is. Because if we do not, we could conjure up an inaccurate portrait of God. When we think about power and authority left unchecked, we probably recall mental images of historical dictators who for the lust of power and greed manipulate and murder innocent people in their deranged plot for more power and wealth at the expense of others. No, this isn’t how Scripture portrays our God. Our God is a God of love, grace, holiness, righteousness. He is described as One who knows all. He knows all because He created all. He is wise in His use of His authority and power. His ultimate plan and purpose is to bring Himself glory. Yet, on the other hand, we see a lot of things going on in our world that don’t seem to align with who we say we think God is. How do we reconcile the two? This is where we need to step back and really gain a sense of what Scripture really teaches us about not only who God is, but who we are and our limitations. God is infinitely wise and omniscient. He know all and possesses the ability to utilize His abilities that will always bring about His desired end. We, on the other hand can only see in the present, and even then, we are limited. We are limited in the sense that although we may possess the ability to “see” what is in front of us, our sin nature clouds just how we see those things. God’s perfection is not limited by such things.

Throughout Scripture we are made aware that God has a plan. We see glimpses of what that is and many of the details which are being fit together to assist in bringing that about. We are shown that man definitely does have a role in this plan. Ultimately, this plan has as its goal to bring God glory. Yet, our minds cannot fathom exactly what this means or what this entails. We can become easily confused if we only look for answers by observing things in the physical realm that seem to contradict what we know about God through the study of Scripture. God desires for us to know Him. This idea of knowing God describes a deep, intimate knowledge of His character. It is a a much deeper relationship that just a mere acquaintance. Rather, it describes such a familiarity to trust in Him even though the outward appearance of things don’t seem to square when using our limited senses. It is like saying, “God, I really don’t quite understand how you can use this deep adversity in my life to bring glory to yourself, but I trust that you can and through it help me to learn to lean more on You and less on myself.” Or, “Lord, I really am having a difficult time reconciling that you are loving, gracious, and merciful with what my friend is going through right now, but I have faith that somehow, someway, they are pieces of a bigger puzzle that will bring You honor and praise.”

We need to remember that the things that happen here and now are extremely small pieces of the overall picture of human history. God has known exactly what will occur in every second of every day since before time ever existed. None of the things you are going through or will ever go through catches Him off-guard. They never surprise Him. They are all part of His ultimate plan and purpose. He can and does use extreme adversity and even wicked and evil people to bring about those plans (remember, Joseph, or Job?). The details may not make much sense to us, but we need to remember that we don’t and cannot right now, possess all of the details and therefore completely wrap our minds around them (James 1:2-4). God can use the trials that we experience in our lives as tools to strengthen and fortify our faith and our dependence upon God. The more adversity we experience and the more we lean on Him in obedience during those times, the more our trust in Him and His purpose grows. “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).