Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Words That Carry The Difficult Day

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because he has anointed me. . .to provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:1a & 3.

For whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son that He might be the firstborn among many brethren
The Apostle Paul, Romans 8:29

We do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia; that we were burdened beyond measure, above our strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. . .
The Apostle Paul, 2 Corinthians 1:8-9

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth --
Jesus, Matthew 28:18

This day's been crazy but everything's happened on schedule --
Caedmon's Call, Table for Two

The sum of which is that God has foreknown (foreloved) all of His own before He created them. This is the foundation for Paul's famous words at the end of Romans 8 that speak of the indestructible love of Christ from which the Christian cannot be separated. The proof of God's ongoing saving love for His people is that He has always been loving them as they are. In other words, when God was loving us before creation, He was not doing so ignorant of who we are and what we are like -- sinful. He knew us perfectly then and loved us perfectly nevertheless. This redeeming love, by grace, is forever the possession of the foreknown.

So when Paul says that he was troubled, burdened, despairing and dying as one of the foreloved, he means for us to take heart because God brings such trials upon us to teach us to trust Him and to strip us of our trust in ourselves.

And because all authority belongs to our Lord whose saving love for us is a constant, we may rest in His limiting of the pressure, since by it He means not to destroy us but purge us. In other words, our pain is planned. It is not random or haphazard. It is designed and sent as a tool in our sanctification. So Caedmon's is right - From our perspective this day may seem crazy. But everything is occurring on schedule - His schedule. Bless His holy name.

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