“All things work together for good…” Romans 8:28
All. Everything. Nothing excluded whether good or ill. All. God is involved in it all. God has a purpose in it all. All that we do or say he already knows. Nothing surprises Him. He knows…all. So, all that comes in my life is filtered through His hands.
Rev. John Macduff wrote, “Be it mine to merge my own will in His; not to cavil (make petty or unnecessary objections) at His ways, or seek to have one jot or tittle of that will altered; but to lie passive in His hands; to take the bitter as well as the sweet, knowing that the cup is mingled by One who loves me too well to add one ingredient that might have been spared!”
Sometimes, yea, many times, it is hard for us to understand that God has a real purpose in our struggles. We don’t lay passively in His hands. We are usually too busy telling Him how we want our lives to run. We are control freaks who have a plan and are working our plan or agenda as we ask God to bless. If things don’t go our way, we get annoyed and we blame God or lash out at those we see as in the way of our goal. We are not willing to take the bitter as well as the sweet.
It is a good thing that God knows all about us already. It is a good thing that He is not thrown off track by our temper tantrums and demands. Like a strong loving father, he holds the line. He knows his plan means that everything will work out in the end for His glory and he wants us to be a part of that praise.
We will someday. Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess His Lordship. Why not start now? Why not bow on earth and allow him to control all of the events in your life? Why not recognize that he already does?
“casting all your care upon Him for he careth for you..”
(I Peter 5:7)
All my cares He knows and wants to carry. The instruction, “casting”, means to literally throw over your shoulder. I take my cares and throw them behind me. They have no power. I toss all of them to Him and he is able and willing to take care of them – all of them, because He cares about me.
I used to image the throne room of prayer like something I saw in the movies: a grand hall of marble lined with tall columns and the throne the end of the hall in great splendour. I would pray to God from behind one of those columns poking my head around once in a while to see if he was still there.
Then, I came to realize that this was not a true and honest valuation of God’s desire for me. I wasn’t coming boldly before the throne, but timidly and not in a strong measure of faith!
It revealed to me that I didn’t truly believe that God would hear my prayer, much alone decide to answer.
So, as I prayed, I begin to imagine myself stepping out from behind the column and standing in the middle of that hall. My prayers changed. I was no longer begging, but requesting aid from my Lord who was fully able to hear and help.
As time has gone by, I now know that I can take whatever care I have straight up to the throne and speak to my Heavenly Father personally. He cares about my concerns. He will talk with me about them. He will show me ways to deal with them. Ultimately, he will take care of them for me because he cares about me.
Since all things are under his care, I would best spend all my time praising and trusting and my days knowing all is well and whatever is askew He will set straight and use for His glory. So what is left to be concerned about?
“..able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we think or ask…” (Eph 3:20)
For all I might ask, He is able to do more, exceeding abundantly more. I can never ask too much. I cannot even imagine all that He is able to do.
I had always had a desire to go to China. I had read missionary stories and was captivated. I wanted to see the Great Wall of China. Well, that was just a dream until one day a friend asked me if I would like to go to China with her.
“Well, YES!”, I replied, and I was on my way! But for my Father that wasn’t enough to simply answer to my little heart’s desire. Though I had enough money for my ticket, my friend used her Air Miles and the trip only cost $200. But that wasn’t exceeding abundantly above for my Father yet.
Because she had used Air Miles, she could also choose a layover somewhere. So, a week in Hawaii was thrown in. But that wasn’t exceeding abundantly above for my Father either. So, He threw in the accommodation in Hawaii as well, and my husband was able to join us there. Now, that’s pretty exceeding abundant if you ask me!
My Father’s abundance is not limited to holidays and material blessings. He is able to work in hearts and situation with amazing accuracy and plenteous mercy. We just fail to ask and fail to recognize the great work he does all around us.
If He is able to do more than I can imagine, I would best not be trying to figure it out all by myself. My solutions would be too small, too limited. He is able to do more than I could ever imagine! Exceedingly, abundantly more!
What amazing thing would you ask if you believed He was able?
“…my God shall supply all your need…” (Phil 4:19)
He will supply all that I need. There is no need that I can come to that He cannot meet.
We usually think of food and material needs when we read this verse. I have found God amazingly able to meet my material needs. He will use others, he will use bargains, or he will simply stretch things out in order to meet my material needs. I do not have to worry where the next meal is going to come from as long as I am happy and satisfied with whatever he provides.
Financially, he can supply my need. Testimonies abound where God has miraculously provided finance to meet the immediate need. We should take these testimonies on board. Others are telling us of His greatness and ability to provide. We can draw faith and assurance from these.
God can also meet my emotional needs. He loves me. He knows me. He understands that I need a friend, or a hug, or some counsel and he will meet that need. We have all said at times, “No one understands me.” Well, that is a very true statement if we are looking for understanding from others. They cannot understand us fully. We all fail in communicating our deepest feelings. No one can read our minds in order to make us happy every time. Looking for someone to understand can be a futile exercise.
But God, he is different. He does understand. He knows everything about us. There is nothing we can hide and the nothing we should fear. He truly does understand and he truly does care. Beyond that, he is able to supply all of our emotional needs.
Can you recall God’s provision for your needs? Are you giving Him thanks for even your daily provision?
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
The songwriter said, “God is too wise to be mistaken, too good to be unkind…” So, all my concerns are in His capable hands; all my needs will be met by Him. All my limitations are nothing compared to His limitless ability. He is my all in all!
With that confidence, God’s Word tells me that I can then serve him. Not because the power lies in my own greatness, but because He lives through me. As I learn to trust Him with my cares, and accept that whatever comes across my path has been filtered through His love for me and recognize his amazing ability to not only supply what I need, but do more than I can imagine, then I am equipped to do all things through Him.
There is no place for fear or doubt. God will prove himself faithful and capable so that I can go in obedience to do whatever he might ask of me. Stop and imagine, what might God ask you to do? What thing looks so big that you would be afraid to try? You know, that thing might be really big, but God is bigger and his power working through you will enable you to do amazing things.
Jesus told the disciples in John 14:12 that if they believed, they would be able to do the same type of works that Jesus did. And, they must have believed, because in Acts we see them doing those things. But Jesus went on to add that they would even be able to do greater works. I don’t know what that might be, but the truth of the promise is that believing God and acting upon that belief allows the power of God to work through us to do all things.
What might God want you to do? Do you believe that he is able to work through you? Are you willing?