August 2, 2011

God's Sovereignty

I'm having one of those "theme weeks," you know, where something keeps coming up over and over, so you figure that maybe you should pay attention to it?  This week it's been God's sovereignty.

Last Wednesday evening at Community Group we discussed the book of Jonah and saw the overarching work of God through the whole story: making storms, providing a big fish, saving Ninevah, etc.  Then on Sunday morning our pastor began a short series about God's Judgment and Redemption, looking at Isaiah 13-25.   He's asking us to consider the judgments pronounced not just on Babylon, Assyria, and the likes, but also on His own people.  And only then to consider the immensity of God's redemption in light of the judgment from which the cross saves us.  God has a big-picture view of human history and He has a plan.  Somehow, in the midst of it all (there is really nasty stuff in chapters 13-24, and not-so-easy stuff in our own lives) what He's doing is right and good.

This morning my Bible reading included these verses:

The Lord Almighty has sworn,"Surely as I have planned, so it will be,and as I have purposed, so it will stand."  Isaiah 14:24

But the plans of the Lord stand firm foreverthe purposes of His heart through all generations.  Psalm 33:8-11

Comfort and Wonder

The knowledge of this Great God, who has plans and purposes and sees them through, should be of great comfort and wonder to the Christian.  God's sovereignty comforts, because it removes reason to fear.  Our view may be that this world is helter skelter, but the Creator who got it all going is still involved.  Especially as we read the Old Testament and catch glimpses of the coming Messiah, and then we meet Him in the pages of the New Testament - the One who came to save His people from their sins - we are comforted to know that God is doing something about the biggest, deepest problem we've got.

That's where the wonder comes in.  We were dead in our transgressions and sins, servants of darkness, object of wrath (and if you want to see what the wrath might look like, start reading in Isaiah 13); there was no way out.   Then God entered in, God Himself.  And He rescues those who believe in Him, taking Him at His word that His son's death was enough to save us from punishment.

Does life seem a little crazy today?  Is there pain so deep, you're sure it'll never dull, let alone heal?  Are you looking death and all of it's ugliness in the face as a friend or family member nears the end?  Do sin patterns control you and sap you of hope that you'll ever change?  God is there, in all of those things.  He knows, has a plan and is trustworthy.  Let this be of comfort and wonder to you today.  Turn to Him and trust.  It's hardest in those difficult moments, but also sweetest.  For he takes our weary, burdened, heavy hearts into His gentle, loving hands, and gives us soul rest.

Little Boy, Big Blessing

Last night, I sat on the side of my son's bed (to keep him IN bed) asking God to show Colin and me how to best instruct and discipline the little boy behind me who won't stay in bed, who doesn't obey as quickly as I'd like, who takes me to the end of my (really short) rope most days, but who I also love so very much and brings me so much delight.  I wanted to unleash my anger on him, let him have it for his disobedience, make sure he knew and felt bad about how bad he was being.  But God wouldn't allow for it last night.  (This was a "good" night, by the way, and I'm so thankful for it.  Usually the anger mounts and eventually explodes all over the place.)

Right now, this little boy is what's driving me back to the cross more often than anything else.  There I remember that from which I have been rescued and also find the God of all wisdom, who gave us this little fellow and will help us through raising Him up.

As you walk through today's challenges, remember that the sovereign God knows you are in them and He's accessible right there to see you through.

Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you.
I Peter 5:7

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