This time last year, the message I kept hearing everywhere I turned was this: "There are no surprises to God. God is not surprised or taken off guard by the circumstances you find yourself in. He has a plan for everything that happens in your life and in your family...a plan for good and not for evil, a plan to give you a future and a hope." Come to think of it...Bro. Kent said almost those very words again this morning! I needed them (desperately) a year ago, and I needed to be reminded of them today.
The message I keep running into (like a brick wall!) everywhere lately is this: "God owes us no explanation...for anything. When we begin to see our circumstances (or those of someone we love) as unfair, we must realize that what we all *deserve* is death. God created us; He has, in His infinite mercy and grace, provided a way for salvation for us. We will *never* understand all the ways of God. He is sovereign, He is all-wise and all-knowing, and we are not. But whether we understand or not, God is good, and His ways are perfect."
I guess it shouldn't have surprised me when this theme appeared yet again this morning, this time in Bro. Kent's sermon. Here are some of my notes:
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isa. 55:8-9
We simply *are not able* to understand all there is to understand about God in our finite mind. Our decisions are to be made based on God's Word alone...not on our own experience or understanding.
God reveals that unbelief involves willful rejection of obvious truth.
We will always will to sin, apart from Christ--even the good things that we do apart from Him are sinful, because they are done with wrong motive.
Free will of man vs. Divine Decree...Gen. 50:20~ God didn't *make* them sin, but He meant what they did for good as part of His plan. Rom. 8:28
Just as in Joseph's case in Gen. 50, someone can sin against me grievously, they are fully responsible for that sin and God will hold them accountable for it. BUT...God is not caught off guard by it, He is not taken by surprise, He *will* use it for His purpose, He *allowed* it as part of His plan for my life. We do not understand how this is...that God does not cause them to sin, and yet the act they commit has been part of God's plan from before the beginning of time...but it points to the infinite greatness of God and His glory.
When we start to accuse God of being unfair, we had better watch out...we are on dangerous ground. Paul...Rom. 9..."So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. Who will say to me then, Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will? On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles."
The question we need to remember..."Who are we to question God?"
We deserve...the entire human race...God's wrath. But in His infinite mercy He has chosen to save some. Is it fair? It isn't *fair* that any of us are saved...we all deserve death and hell.
He is perfect in His wisdom and I am not.
He is God, and I am not.
Much to meditate on this week...