Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Matt addressed both our inability to believe that God has such power and our unbelief in the depth, height, width, and breadth of Christ love described in the preceding verses. He was right on. How often we don't pray big, because we don't really believe God is able. Yet Scripture attests again and again ... and again ... to God's wisdom, strength, and power. He doesn't call us to a blind faith that hopes things will work out or that we'll get what we want if we behave enough - like a heavenly Santa Claus tallying up the naughty and nice lists. No. He calls us to believe in HIM and He proves Himself through the pages of the Bible and even the stories of our personal ancestors as faithful, just, trustworthy, and praiseworthy.
What better time to meditate on these things than in the Advent season!
Read these words of Saint Augustine from Homilies on the Gospel of John, included in Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, ed. Nancy Guthrie.
"But how," one will say, "can it be, that the Word of God, by whom the world is governed, by whom all things both were and are created, could contract himself into the womb of a virgin; should leave the angels, and be shut up in on woman's womb?" Thou skillest not to conceive of things divine. The Word of God could surely do all, seeing that the Word of God is omnipotent, at once remain with the Father, and come to us; at once in the flesh come forth to us, and lay concealed in him. For he would not the less have been, if he had not been born of flesh. He "was" before his own flesh; he created his own mother. He chose her in whom he should be conceived, he created her of whom he should be created. Why marvellest thou? It is God of whom I am speaking to thee: "the Word was God."Makes me think of this verse: Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. (Psalm 139:6) Too wonderful.
Pastor Matt concluded his sermon talking about God's sovereignty and guidance of our lives as He sees fit. In this life, sometimes things simply don't make sense: intense pain, prolonged suffering, heartbreaking sorrow, unfulfilled longings. God doesn't call us to understand, but rather to trust and seek Him. We can leave the understanding to the God of all wisdom and understanding. That is faith; and by faith the Lord will sustain us through all the trials and temptations life brings.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.Here are the questions I was asking myself this morning:
- How will you respond?
- Will the nature and intensity of your prayers change in response to who God is?
- Will you step out in faith where before you cowered in fear?
What better time to ponder these questions than in the Advent season!
Peace to you today my friends, not as the world gives, but as Christ gives.