Sometimes I believe that if clarity had a price tag, I’d gladly pay whatever was on it. I wouldn’t even shop around, lol. That’s how pressed I am about making sense of the unknowns in my life right now. I hate not knowing. I can’t think of anyone who does. As I was thinking about it all this afternoon, God gave me some thoughts…
We place too much value on the uncovering of what we don’t know instead of learning to be confident in what we do know. Both options have distinctly differing characteristics. The clarity chase is founded upon worry and builds a house of fear. The decision to be confident in what you know about God is founded upon faith and builds a house of refuge. Don’t get me wrong…there’s nothing wrong with desiring clarity. However, your disposition should not be at the mercy of a satisfactory response to the matter. I’m totally talking to myself here, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles with this.
I recently read Psalm 118 and I’ve been meditating a lot on the “bookends” of the chapter. Throughout the book of Psalms, King David had been hunted, outnumbered, shredded spiritually and emotionally, and he felt abandoned and forgotten, among other things. He reached a lot of conclusions throughout the book, but I would consider them all to be outgrowths of this major one:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1, 29 (NIV)
A. W. Tozer defines God’s goodness as “that which disposes him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and his unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly. By his nature he is inclined to bestow blessedness and he takes total pleasure in the happiness of his people.” He also says of God’s love that it “disposes Him to desire our everlasting welfare and His sovereignty enables Him to secure it.” Some translations say of God that “His mercy is everlasting,” instead of, “His love endures forever.”
In essence, God is perfect in His dealings with us. He will only do/allow what is in our best interest and for our ultimate good. So naturally, God is not out to hurt or inflict pain on us. He doesn’t “get us back” or repay us for the sins we commit (Psalm 103:10, Romans 8:1). To do so would negate the purpose of His death on the cross. God does not delight in our sorrow. He loves us…He feels us…He is FOR us <— Know this. He won't jeopardize the fulfillment of His perfect will for our temporary happiness. But whatever He chooses to do [in the lives of those who trust Him] is guaranteed to exceed expectations (Ephesians 3:20) and will work out for our long term good (Romans 8:28). He is compassionate toward us on a forever basis. The goodness, love and mercy of God have no end…they are never exhausted…they never fail. He never tires of being who He is to us. Everything from God to us is independent of us and wholly dependent on who He is. Everything He does and is is predicated on and fully supported by the fact that He is good.
To me, God’s grace is the ultimate rendering of His goodness. He sacrificed His Son for us (Romans 5:8, John 3:16, Ephesians 1:7-12) and, in doing so, gave us direct access to Him. It is the continual work of God’s grace in us, through the Holy Spirit, that enables us to be pleasing to Him (Philippians 2:13). And as the old hymn says, “Oh, for grace to trust Him more”…I consider this the greatest and realest need I’ve ever had in my life. The fact that the Lord is good, His love endures and His mercy is everlasting is the lens through which every thought, concern and worry should be viewed. We need Him to properly “see” Him. The more accurate our perspective, the more we trust Him. The more we trust, the easier it is to put our lives in His hands.
It’s not God’s will that we seek to understand so much as it is that we trust Him when we don’t. Our faith, belief and trust are implicit in our gratitude for and acknowledgement of Who He is at all times. Give thanks to the Lord for He is perfect and kind toward us at all times in every way. He always desires our ultimate good and is the only One able, powerful and masterful enough to bring it about. He pardoned our sins and freely forgives. He gave all though we were and are so undeserving. He is consistent without end. These basic truths about God make for the perfect resting place. They are solid…concrete…unwavering. And at the same time, what better and more appropriate foundation upon which to build? As King David has drawn this conclusion and set His hope accordingly, so must we…”Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
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