For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:24
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. Malachi 4:2

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Galatians 6:14
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Let the motto upon your whole ministry be - "Christ is All!" - Mather

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

All Your Disappointments Are Ultimately Christ's Doing

This is my doing (1 Kings 12:24)

The disappointments of life are simply the hidden appointments of love. C.A. Fox

My child, I have a message for you today. Let me whisper it in your ear so any storm clouds that may arise will shine with glory, and the rough places you may have to walk will be made smooth. It is only four words, but let them sink into your inner being, and use them as a pillow to rest your weary head. "This is my doing."

Have you ever realized that whatever concerns you concerns Me too? "For whoever touches you touches the apple of mine eye" (Zech. 2:8). "You are precious and honored in my sight" (Isa. 43:4). Therefore it is My special delight to teach you.

I want you to learn when temptations attack you, and the enemy comes in "like a pent-up flood" (Isa. 59:19), that "this is my doing" and that your weakness needs My strength, and your safety lies in letting Me fight for you.

Are you in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who do not understand you, never ask your opinion, and always push you aside? "This is my doing." I am the God of circumstances. You did not come to this place by accident - you are exactly where I meant for you to be.

Have you not asked Me to make you humble? Then see that I have placed you in the perfect school where this lesson is taught. Your circumstances and the people around you are only being used to accomplish My will.

Are you having problems with money, find it it hard to make ends meet? "This is my doing," for I am the One Who keeps your finances, and I want you to learn to depend upon Me. My supply is limitless and I "will meet all your needs" (Phil. 4:19). I want you to prove My promises so no one may say, "You did not trust in the Lord your God" (Deut. 1:32).

Are you experiencing a time of sorrow? "This is my doing." I am "a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering" (Isa. 53:3). I have allowed your earthly comforters to fail you, so that by turning to Me you may receive "eternal encouragement and good hope" (2 Thess. 2:16).

Have you longed to do some great work for Me but instead have been set aside on a bed of sickness and pain? "This is my doing." You were so busy I could not get your attention, and I wanted to teach you some of My deepest truths. "They also serve who only stand and wait." In fact, some of My greatest workers are those physically unable to serve, but who have learned to wield the powerful weapon of prayer.

Today I place a cup of holy oil in your hands. Use it freely, My child. Anoint with it every new circumstance, every word that hurts you, every interruption that makes you impatient, and every weakness you have. The pain will leave as you learn to see Me in all things.

(Written by Laura A. Barter Snow; found in L. B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 43, February 1st reading)

3 comments:

Dan Orr said...

Joseph, I do find great comfort in that. Yet, I struggle reconciling God's goodness with these means (I understand the end). How is it that He is separate, yet intricate?

Example... Yesterday, one of my best friends had twins. His little boy got sick soon after birth and underwent critical surgery this afternoon. At one point it looked like he would die, but the surgery went very well and it appears that he will be fine... Now, sickness and death are part of the fall. So is it that God allows these episodes or does he command these things to take place.

Let me know if this makes sense. Please hear me that I'm with you and for you, and I think your post is right. I just have some cob webs that I'm trying to sort through.

Joseph Randall said...

Hello Dan,

I totally hear what you are saying. I was thinking about my post from the perspective of a girl who has been raped or abused, even as a child. Or from the perspective of any other number of things that are absolutely wicked. This would be a tough word and would have to be handled with care.

First, the word "Ultimately" in the post title is very important to me. Ultimately, everything is under God's sovereign control, even the most wicked act ever committed in the universe - the cross.

Luke writes: ". . . for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place" (Acts 4:27-28).

Ultimately, God predestined the cross, but there was much sin involved - Herod's sin, Pontius Pilate's sin, the Gentiles' sin, and the Jews' sin, but God used the sin of these people in a sinless way (God never sins) to bring about His perfect plan - the salvation of His people. This is very similar to the story of Joseph:

Genesis 50:18-20: His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, "Behold, we are your servants." But Joseph said to them, "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

God meant for good (not just "used" or "turned around" for good) what Joseph brothers meant for evil. God used sin sinlessly to bring about His perfect plan.

If God can do that with the greatest sin that has every been committed, He can do it with anything. The story of Job is another great example.

These two essays by John Piper have really helped me a ton on these matters:

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/ConferenceMessages/ByDate/1998/1476_Is_God_Less_Glorious_Because_He_Ordained_that_Evil_Be/

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

I hope that was helpful.
Joseph

Joseph Randall said...

Sorry about the links - try these for the Piper essays:

http://tiny.cc/ordainevil

http://tiny.cc/twowills