Friday, February 15, 2008

Two Great Certainties!

One of the things I love and appreciate about God is that He always sends exactly what we need into our lives, and His timing is always perfect. I have been struggling with uncertainties about the future of our family's finances, and have been valiantly trying to take every thought captive. I know that God is GOD - He is good, He is in control, He does all things well, He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and is present everywhere. He designs trials for our good, and even when we do not understand why things are happening, we Christians know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God knows, that He is not surprised and His plan is never thwarted in any way.

But sometimes I need a bit of a reminder. And God knows that. He knew I would pick up the latest copy of Tabletalk, and read this:
'As Charles Spurgeon once said, "There are two great certainties about things that shall come to pass-- one is that God knows, and the other is that we do not know." It is true that we do not know all the truth about the future, but we do know the truth. It is the truth that abides within us, the truth that sanctifies us, the truth that makes us free, the truth that ensures our future. And although we don't know the future, we know the One who sovereignly holds the future.'
~ Burk Parsons
I needed to read this and to remind myself that there is no need to fret. God really is Who He says He is.

Our Beautiful God never changes. He is the One who sent the storm to the Mediterranean sea, after Paul had appealed to Caesar and was on his way to Rome. I can imagine the trial...never-ending winds, rain, streams of water pounding from sky and sea against the vessel. For 14 days they fasted, too distraught to eat. It was so dark that it was hard to tell when night ended and day began.

Yet God loved Paul. He had chosen Paul for a special purpose, to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. I wonder if Paul's faith faltered, even for a second, during that terrifying voyage.

God had a plan. That plan included a shipwreck, the loss of the cargo and the ship, but it did not include the loss of one of the 276 souls aboard. God's plan overruled the plan of the soldiers, which was to kill the prisoners so they could not escape. God's plan miraculously kept Paul alive after he had been bitten by a poisonous viper - and that was so the islanders would see that this man, Paul, was someone special, someone worth listening to.

Were it not for the shipwreck and the bite of a viper, the people of Malta would not have witnessed the healing of Publius. God had a plan to demonstrate His power through Paul, and He did what He intended to do.

It makes me wonder if we'll see Publius and his countrymen when we gather in heaven. No matter what, of this we are certain: God knows the future. He holds it in His almighty hand. And if He deigns to use us weak and flawed vessels as instruments of His grace, then so be it.

There is no safer place than a shipwreck in the middle of a storm, when we are in the centre of God's will.

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