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Holy

In one of my favorite texts, Isaiah cries out in anguish, “Woe is me, I am undone! For I am a man of unclean lips…” His cry does not come because God has verbally chastised or rebuked him for his failures, but simply because Isaiah has come into the presence of a Holy God. When this happens, you and I are exposed. No matter how good we think we are nor how good we are at pretending or faking it or wearing a mask, the pure holiness of His being strips us naked and leaves us totally exposed before Him.

Of all the attributes of God, this is the one that overwhelms us simply by being in its presence. It is not an act of God that does this, or any speech from His mouth that shakes us to our very core. It is finding ourselves in the mere presence of pure, infinite holiness that buckles our knees and causes us to cry “Woe is me!

It is for this reason that Adam, who had before walked with God, was now ashamed, hiding from His presence, lest he be openly exposed in his new depravity before God’s holiness.

It is why Moses was told to take off his sandals, for he was standing upon holy ground because of the presence of God.

It is why the tabernacle and the temple were both built at the specification of God with a Holy of Holies in which only the high priest could enter, once a year, and then only after significant cleansing.

It is a fearful thing, indeed, to come into the presence of a holy God.

Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. Revelation 15:4

In a culture that daily shakes its face in the face of God and increasingly flaunts its unholiness before Him, it is a wonder that He doesn’t evaporate us all.

Behold… the patience and grace of God! For there will arrive a day when the Holy One will stand and the world will not. Judgment will eventually come, and it will come because He is absolutely Holy.

Our movie industry takes great pains now to make sure that all heroes are portrayed with some sort of dark side… creating in us a deeper and deeper distrust of each other. But in God there is no darkness… at all. He is pure holiness in all His attributes and all of His ways. The fear of God does not come because He has a “dark” side, but because He is totally pure; completely and immutably holy.

And we are not.

Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord Almighty.” This is the cry of the seraphs in His presence. And after declaring this the doorposts shook and the temple filled with smoke. Understandably, Isaiah then cries, “Woe is me!” Because it is the holiness of God that exposed Isaiah’s unholiness and the unholy cannot dwell in the presence of pure holiness.

Ever.

But this brings us to the good news! And, one might even say, impossible news!

God has made it possible for the unholy to become righteous in His sight. His sacrifice tore a path through the veil that separated fallen man from the presence of God. Clothed now with the righteousness of Christ, we come boldly before the throne. Not because of our righteousness, which is no righteousness at all, but because of His righteousness.

Oh my!

We wear a robe that cannot be earned. The holiness of God can’t be reached by any amount of good works. In comparison to His infinite holiness, our efforts are but filthy rags in His sight. No, the robe we wear is not earned. It is placed upon us by the unmerited grace of God. Only then can we, dare we, stand in the presence of “Our Father, who art in heaven. Holy is your name.”

 

Verses to ponder throughout the week:

 

“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? Exodus 15:11

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Habakkuk 1:13

Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. Revelation 15:4

God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Isaiah 6:1-5

“Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:4-6

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6

Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name. Psalm 30:4

Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool; Holy is He. Psalm 99:5

The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. Psalm 145:17


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According to Who? - Soli 'Meo' Gloria

One of the consequences of abandoning the belief in absolute truth is that all truth claims end up being merely personal notions and one soon begins to believe that your personal notion is as good as anyone else’s. This is partially the reason why “traditional” authorities: pastors, teachers, parents, etc. no longer rank high on the “go to” list in our culture.

Why should they?

If I am the genesis of “truth”, then why hold anyone else or their ideas in esteem? They are merely one more barking beast among a sea of barking beasts.

“Seeking” truth becomes not an external search, but an internal one…a quest to find out more of who I am and what I think and what I believe. Getting in touch with one’s self is the modern form of worship. If truth emanates from within, then there is surely something deeply divine about my inner self. Rather than Paul’s cry of “I want to know Him”, we cry, “I want to know myself.”

And, of course, I would like for you to have the blessing of knowing Me, too!

“Love Me. Cherish Me.”

“Celebrate and embrace Me.”

“Affirm who I Am.”

(Or we will call you all kinds of terrible names; label you a hate monger until you give in or give up.)

Who thought evangelism was dead? Balderdash!

We are rabid evangelists… of Me.

This, of course, generates an increasing apathy toward history.  Whatever may have passed muster as wisdom over time is of no importance to me for it is merely more barking from the past. This would include things like that dusty old Book or that dusty old Constitution or the traditional notions of marriage or family or a work ethic…

…or any ethic, come to think of it.

“According to Who?”[1] is the modern skeptic’s question. Not seeking an answer, of course. It is much akin to Pilate’s “What is truth?” He didn’t stay for a response because he wasn’t looking for one. He was scoffing at the notion of truth. So, too, the modern skeptic scoffs at the notion that there is anything of real value, other than entertainment or pleasure, that isn’t from within.

Instead of Soli Deo Gloria, we cry Soli Meo Gloria! [2] 

This, of course, does not, nor never will, lead to the nirvana that the Liar promises. It will isolate us further into a culture of manipulators where true love, which requires sacrifice, is lost. Hatred and violence will grow bolder as we discard any notion of self-restraint. Why should I restrain what is obviously divine within me? The Arts will grow more and more filthy and grotesque as we choose to sing and paint and display the depths of our depravity, falsely seen as my internal attributes of godhood... devoid of any true understanding of right and wrong, of righteousness and depravity. So Michelle Wolfe performs her “Salute to Abortion” on Netflix, declaring that abortion should be on the dollar menu at McDonalds. Anyone who knows the sickening things that happen to an innocent baby (over 3,00 babies a day in the U.S.) during an abortion must, if led by the Spirit, be nauseous at Wofe’s cry of  “God bless abortion!” This issue will get a lot of attention as we move into the confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. Look closely at this argument and all of the other hot social topics of our day: they will always, always come back to this worship of the self and divinity of “who I am”… or that “I Am”… in defiance of the only One who is the great I Am.

This increasingly open display of the depravity of man will be hailed as good and righteous. And because the worldview that promotes this now has control of the megaphone in our culture, it will be increasingly seen in every form of media and communication, art that isn’t art, theater, video, music, comedy, gaming, etc.

But this lie doesn’t set free. Instead, it enslaves.

Isolation and manipulation will breed paranoia and pathological loneliness. When “every man does what is right in his own eyes” the culture eventually collapses.

But what an opportune time this is for the Remnant in the land! The solution will not be found in power changes at the top, but from personal transformations at the bottom, through the attractively winsome “engaging” in deep relationships that the body of Christ must begin to do with their neighbors.

This is our day. This is our time.

Not for us, but for His glory alone. Soli Deo Gloria!

 

[1] I know this is grammatically incorrect, but I’m quoting the comic strip.

[2] “For God’s glory alone” vs “For My glory alone!” My apologies to the Latin language or its aficionados. “Soli Ego Gloria” or “Meus” or “Mihi” would have been more correct, but I was seeking the play on words and to highlight the transformation and transplantation in our culture from “God” to “Me”, from “Deo” to “Meo”. Chalk it up to poetic license. 


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Guide

The number one question young college students ask me is “What is God’s will for my life?” and “How do I find it?” I’m not sure I communicate it sufficiently to them, but I try to help them understand it is much more important to know that God will faithfully guide you than it is to know where He wants you to go.

As soon as the children of Israel left Egypt, God began the process of guiding them with a cloud, a pillar of fire, and the Holy Spirit:

“Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the desert. By day the pillar of cloud did not cease to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them...” Nehemiah 9:19-20

They knew their destination, the Promised Land, but God didn’t give them the map or specific directions. Instead, He guided them daily “on their path… on the way they were to take”.

Of course this is familiar to us, for He is the “light to our path” just as He was for the Israelites. But this is usually only enough for a few steps. The Way is clear, for Jesus said that He was the Way, and that should be sufficient for us, but we are often found demanding more than a few steps… we want the map and the detailed directions.

But God isn’t a Map. He is our Guide.

Which means we are to have a moment-by-moment eye upon Him… a constant watching and listening.

But what are we looking for? Are we seeking something that isn’t there?

Let’s look closer at the “light to our path” passage:

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105

Most of us want something more than the Word to guide us. We are more interested in specific answers to our personal, all-about-me questions. We are impatient with the general wisdom and moral guidance of the Word and less inclined to desire the walk by faith and more inclined to just getting a direct answer to our question. This way we don’t have to wrestle or spend time in contemplation or study of the Word, or wait on Him in prayer, or seek godly counsel from others, or patiently watch for His providential Hand, or any of the other tedious and laborious things that are simply known as “walking by faith”.

There is something interesting throughout the passages that reference God “guiding” us, for it appears as if this is one of the key roles of the Holy Spirit. The Israelites were “instructed” by the Spirit in conjunction with the pillars of cloud and fire in the way they were to go. It was the Spirit that told Peter to “go downstairs” and eventually to the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:19-20); it was the Spirit that set apart Saul and Barnabas and sent them on their way to minister to the Gentiles (Acts 13:2-4); it was the Spirit that turned Paul’s path away from Asia (Acts 16:6). And Jesus said it would be the Holy Spirit that would “guide us into all Truth”.

The question is do we believe this is really real? Do we believe that God truly “guides” us by His Spirit? Isaiah spoke it this way:

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Isaiah 30:21

In this context, it was this still small voice that led them to turn from their idols, throw them away with disgust and say “Away with you!”

So, we come to the key to all of this: the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit will always be in accordance with His Word or will remind us of the guidance in His Word. Too many have run asunder by confusing the voice of the Spirit with the voice of their inner desires, when their inner desires are far from the guidance of the Word.

One can also go to the other extreme and think that God has to guide them in every thing. However, the vast majority of things we do in a day are “adiaphrous”… meaning they are without an ethical right or wrong. We don’t have to be “guided” as to whether we are to tie our left shoe first or the right. We don’t have to pray for guidance about wearing the blue shirt or the green one, or if I am to sit on the sofa or in the armchair.  We have freedom in all of these things.

But for the child of God, there is clear guidance when we come to those things that please God and those that don’t. And that guidance comes from His Word. The Word is the lamp unto our feet. And it is the Holy Spirit that prompts us with the Truth from His Word. This is similar to what we read in Proverbs 6: 21-22 where the commands of the father and mother, bound on the heart, speak to the son:

Bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. Proverbs 6:21-22

It is to be conversely understood that if they are not bound upon the heart, then you won’t hear them guide you. In fact, this reality is even a test of whether or not we are His children:

“… those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Romans 8:14

And so, we must say some things that are hard.

Every child of God has heard the Spirit guiding him from the Word. It isn’t audible. It doesn’t come with a chirp from our smartphone that a divine text has arrived. This is the recognized, still small voice of God that guides us as we walk along the Way. And I will be so bold as to say that if you don’t hear Him then you are either not His child or you are doing something that stills His voice.

One of the great mysteries in the Word of God, yet a fact, is that the Holy Spirit, our guide, can be silenced, doused, extinguished. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says that it is possible to “quench the Spirit”. Similarly, Ephesians 4:30 says we can “grieve the Holy Spirit”. How do we do this? Well, the context of each of these passages may help us. In the former, do you find yourself always rejoicing or complaining? Are you diligent in your prayer or is it often forgotten or clinical? Are you giving thanks in everything or constantly murmuring? Are you abstaining from evil? In the latter, looking at chapters 4-6, do unwholesome words come out of your mouth? Are you angry, bitter? Are you unkind, lacking compassion, unforgiving? Are you walking in immorality or impurity? Are you not treating the members of your family right?

I know how much our culture is caught up in the Hollywood “show” of gushing over each other, saying the smooth things, the affirming, sweet things. But I don’t apologize for saying the hard things for God speaks them to us in His Word. If we think we will continue to hear His voice clearly when we are quenching the Spirit, then we don’t understand the Word nor how our Father deals with us as His children.

One of the simple clues that tells us we have grieved or quenched the Spirit, or run off on our own and no longer walk close or abide in Him, is that He we no longer hear His still small voice. I don’t know if this is because He grows silent or our ears grow hard, but this is the time, dear brothers, to awaken from our sleep and turn back to Him that we might enjoy His fellowship and guidance once again.

The true child of God cannot stay away very long for we, too, become grieved in our spirit. This is, also, a faithful guidance from God, who, though we stray, provokes us and guides us back to Him.

How full of grace is the guidance of God.

 

P.S. For those who are frustrated at this point because you do have a desire to find the “will” of the Lord in key decisions in your life, we will address this in another post. But it will not deviate much from this, for our guidance comes from the Word of God and the means to gain answers to those key questions in our life are found there as well.

 

Verses to ponder throughout the week:

... in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. Nehemiah 9:19-20

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21

 Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19

 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters. Psalm 23:1-2

…this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.  Psalm 48:14

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Psalm 73:24

And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us[a] from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:79

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak… John 16:13

You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode. Exodus 15:13

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:9-10

I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. Proverbs 4:11

Bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk about, [a]they will guide you; when you sleep, [b]they will watch over you; and when you awake, [c]they will talk to you. Proverbs 6:21-22

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11

 

 


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A Republic--If You Can Keep It

After the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “What have you given us?” His famous response was, “A Republic, if you can keep it.

Most focus on the fact that the Founders had established a Republic—a point that needs to be continuously made. But seldom do we ponder seriously his wise admonition that it must be “kept”, for the reality is that in a fallen world, it requires toil and sweat to grow and maintain both crops and Republics. Just as weeds will take over an untended garden, so will the relentless tide of political and societal weeds destroy our liberty and freedom if we are not diligent to tend our Republican garden.

If one were to step back and assess the health of our nation today, it would be easy to bemoan what appears to be a loss of rational civility—witness the recent call by a congresswoman to personally and publicly harass anyone in the current administration. That call was immediately carried out as an administration’s family was harassed and refused service in a public restaurant. Personally, I am increasingly fearful of the unchecked hatred that is openly seething in the left—with absolutely no accountability from the blue media.

These are tenuous times for the Republic.

So what do we do to “keep” it?

Well, other than the obvious: prayer, which the Scripture calls us to, the number one task that we have is to insure that our children are well schooled in the principles of liberty and freedom, which I believe are biblical principles—God’s design for the state. And, we have a responsibility to speak of them to our neighbors.

“These are the things that you shall do: speak the truth to your neighbor...” Zecharaiah 8:16

And third, we need to speak of them in the public square. When you can, write an attractively winsome letter to the editor or use some other public forum to graciously speak the truth. There was a time when most of the nation understood these principles—but now they are no longer taught in our schools. Instead, political and societal weeds are sown in our children’s minds throughout all academia. Those weeds are sown continuously from every quarter as well—especially from the media and the morass of entertainment—the fountain from which teens consume 9 hours/day and adults six.

That’s a lot of weed seed.

Teach and promote the foundations. Resist the false notion that the “keepers” are the elected officials or the cleric.

We are the keepers of the Republic... if we can.

P.S! addendum. Facebook refused to let me "boost" this post (Facebook doesn't release posts to all followers of a page, charging a fee to "boost" it to more followers). They refused because it was "political". Here we are, ironically on the  4th of July, facing the increased hostility towards those who express opinions from a biblical or conservative perspective. I believe Facebook has the right to refuse service to anyone, but if they censor this one, which is so benign, what will they do when I speak directly against things I believe are biblically wrong? Take note, we are going to have to find other means to communicate with each other as Internet companies like Facebook and Google use their worldview leanings to only allow postings favorable to their worldview.

 


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Good

Although this is one of the most oft-stated attributes of God: “God is good!”…  “All the time!” we dutifully reply, it is also one of the most misunderstood and disbelieved. Misunderstood because we have crafted our own personal definition of “good”; and disbelieved because we “say” God is good, but often act as if He were not.

The former happens when I begin to think that I can define what is “good” for me and conversely what is “bad” for me. Notice here the prominence of “me”. When I do so, I have developed a false god because I believe that my golden calf or my Jesus doll should do what I want… not only bringing about what I believe to be “good” in my life, but also keeping me from any “bad”.

The latter is best described when Jesus quoted Isaiah: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Matthew 15:8) He was describing the ugly situation in which people pretend to give praise and glory to God, but they don’t really believe it. Paul echoes this in Titus when he says “They profess to know God, but by their actions they deny Him.” (Titus 1:16) These are troubling statements for us because we, too, are deeply prone to say Christian phrases about God, but in the every day reality of our lives, act as if they aren’t really true.

Both of these deformities in our thinking are really from the same pathology. When I form in my mind what I think is “good” for me and then that “good” doesn’t happen, I begin to internalize the lie that God isn’t really “good”. And even more so, when something that I define as “bad” hits me, it reinforces in my heart, where my real beliefs are found, that God is not only not “good”, but I might even begin to think that He is “bad”. This is rapidly followed by bitterness toward God and/or disbelief and a rejection of Him.

There are many who have stumbled over this lie and are now trapped in a deep hostility or even hatred of God over some very difficult event in their past that didn’t turn out the way they wanted it to turn out. This self-centered thought process has given rise to the modern “problem of evil” where we can’t reconcile in our minds that a good God could exist if there is evil in the world. I actually see this from the totally opposite perspective. I am convinced that the presence of evil in the world actually confirms that God is good, for when the entire universe fell because of the rebellion of Adam, God could have evaporated everything and started over.

But He didn’t.

And not only did He not wad everything up and throw us in the cosmic waste bin, but He promised that He, Himself, would make the necessary sacrifice to save some and eventually restore all things. This only comes from a God who is truly good… a God whose steadfast love endures our rebellious hearts every day.

This is the ultimate demonstration of the goodness of God.

However, in response, we whine and protest about it all. We are like one who fell into the rapids, headed hopelessly over the raging falls that descend into a bottomless pit, and yet, having been miraculously rescued at the cost of the Rescuer’s son, we complain of a rope burn.

Trying to make even a partial list of the infinite ways that God is good would take days. For sure, He sustains all things and gives us breath; He pours out His generosity to us in a multitude of ways, giving us life and breath, sun and an earth that yields sustenance for us; He grants us sleep at night and the joy of community and fellowship and familial relationships; He gives us a mind and senses to think and feel and sample the world around us; He brings rain to refresh and the cool breeze to delight; He dazzles us with the colors of the sunrise and the beauty of the wildflowers in the meadow.

The goodness and generosity of God is innumerable.

Though much of what we have listed would match our own personal definition of “good”, we must not forget that the God who prunes is also good when He does so.

The problem is found in redefining “good” into “my pleasure” and thinking that God is somehow, because He is good, obligated to conform to my definition. And, conversely, He is obligated because of His “goodness” to keep me from all forms of discomfort or pain or loss or grief or lack of control or broken relationships or tragedy or just not feeling really chipper.

Do we mindlessly profess, “God is good” and yet when tragedy strikes or my plans get totally wrecked, become angry or upset or frustrated? If so, it reveals a heart that has embraced something other than “God is good… all the time”.

Now, of course, we aren’t saying that we should be happy when our dog dies or the sewer backs up into our basement. But any sense of inner joy in the midst of trials and tribulations is ultimately fed by the deep and unassailable belief that God is good.

As I write this, I am in South Carolina where I have come to spend time with family for a special event, yet I find myself isolated in a bedroom because I don’t want to infect my loved ones with whatever crud has descended upon me. I could sit here and fume about all of this, or I could rest in the goodness of God. I know that there are some who would say that God doesn’t want me to be sick, but physical wellness has never been promised to me. Paul instructed Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach ailments… ailments which must have been significant for Paul to write about in a time when it took weeks or months for correspondence.

And… death will someday take me as well.

Not only have I not been promised perfect health, but I have also not been promised perfect relationships or eternal dogs or dry basements. Our very dear friends lost their entire house and everything to the Black Forest fire several years ago. They didn’t have a divine promise that wouldn’t happen. But they do have, and we do as well, the surety that God is working everything out for “good” for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

And it is here that we have the key to God’s goodness: He is faithful to fulfill the promises that He has made to His children according to His good purposes and plans.

I remember very clearly a talk I had with Joni Eareckson Tada. I asked her what she thought God was thinking just before she dove into the water and broke her neck, leaving her quadriplegic for the rest of her life. I was stunned by her answer. It went something like this: “Well, I think God was looking at me and saying, ‘There’s Joni. She’s been walking a path that isn’t for her good. But soon she will learn the depth of my love for her and the special way that she is going to bring glory to Me and have the most fulfilling life she could have ever imagined.’”

Now some would be astonished at this. But Joni isn’t. For she has learned the reality of what it means to say “God is good, all the time”… even in the most tragic of circumstances.

Peter, in his first sermon, declared that Jesus had been “delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God”. It is here, in this act of God, we find the greatest suffering bound up inextricably within the greatest good that has ever been graciously and generously poured out upon mankind.

How blessed is the man who sees the goodness of God in the trials of life, for he has gazed upon the face of God and is filled with a never-ending spring of joy that will sustain him through the valleys and the summits, the smiles and the tears, both in life and death.

 

Verses to ponder throughout the week:

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. Exodus 33:19

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6

I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. Isaiah 63:7

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.

On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. Psalm 145:3-7

For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty! Zechariah 9:17

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28


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