Tuesday, September 14, 2010

God's Sovereignty

Today, I share with you what is (for me) a much needed reminder of God's sovereignty and purpose in all things. This thought comes to you from my Grace Gems daily e-mail feed (http://www.gracegems.org/). I know it can be tempting to skip over these posts because they take a little more brain power to read and digest, but I highly recommend reading the whole thing today. It's worth it.

Fate, accident, chance--or SOVEREIGNTY?

(John MacDuff, "The Thoughts of God")

"I form the light--and create darkness; I make peace--and create evil! I the LORD do all these things!" Isaiah 45:7

What a sad world this would be--were it governed by Fate! Were its blended lights and shadows, its joys and sorrows--the result of capricious accident--or blind and wayward chance! How blessed to think that each separate occurrence which befalls me--is the fulfillment of God's own immutable purpose!

Is it the material world? It is He . . .
who "forms the light--and creates darkness;"
who appoints the sun and moon for their seasons;
who gives to the sea its decree;
who watches the sparrow in its fall;
who tends the lily in the field; and
who paints the tiniest flower that blossoms in the meadow.

Is it the moral world? All events are predetermined and prearranged by Him! "I make peace--and create evil!" Both prosperity and adversity are His appointment. The Lord who of old prepared Jonah's shade-plant, also prepared the worm! He gives--and He takes away. He molds every tear! He "puts them into His bottle." He knows them all, counts them all, treasures them all. Not one of them falls unbidden--unnoted.

"The lot is cast into the lap--but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord." Over every occurrence in nature and in providence, He writes, "I the Lord do all these things!" True, His thoughts are often mysterious, and His ways are past finding out. We are led at times, amid the bewildering mazes of His providential dealings, to exclaim, "O Lord, how great are Your works, and Your thoughts are very deep!" Be it ours to defer our verdict--until their full development.

We cannot envision the thoughts and intents of the architect or engineer in the first clearing of the ground for the foundation of some gigantic structure. The uninitiated eye can discover nothing but piles of unshapely rubbish--a chaos of confusion. But gradually, as week by week passes--we see his thoughts molding themselves into visible and substantial shapes of order and beauty. And when the edifice at last stands before us complete, we discern that all which was mystery and confusion at first--was a necessary part and portion of the undertaking.

So is it, at present, regarding the mysterious dealings of God. Often, in vain, do we try to comprehend the purposes of the Almighty Architect, amid the dust and debris of the earthly foundations. Let us wait patiently, until we gaze on the finished structure of eternity.

Oh, blessed assurance--that the loom of our life is in the hands of the Great Designer--that it is He who is interweaving the threads of our existence: the light--and the dark, the acknowledged good--and the apparent evil. The chain of what is erroneously called "destiny," is in His keeping. He knows its every connecting link--He has forged each one on His own anvil!

Man's purposes have failed, and are ever liable to fail--his brightest anticipations may be thwarted; his best-laid schemes may be frustrated.

Life is often a retrospect of crushed hopes--the bright rainbow-hues of morning, passing in its afternoon into damp mist and drizzling rain. "Many are the thoughts in a man's heart," (knowing no fulfillment nor fruition) "but the counsel of the Lord--that shall stand." "From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can oppose what I do. No one can reverse My actions!"

1 comment:

  1. God alone initiates salvation. He always turns toward man first and seeks him, as when God walked in the Garden (Genesis 3:8). Man does not seek God or turn to him without God first calling man to Himself (John. 6:37, 44; 1 John. 4:10,19).

    Second, God’s initiative does not exclude man’s free response, but demands it (Catechism of the Catholic Church [Catechism], nos. 154, 155, 2002; Philippians 2:12, 13). In other words, God wills that man be free to choose His grace or reject it.

    Third, salvation is extended to each and every human person, not limited to just some, and one can fall away from grace (Hebrews 2:1-4; 6:4; 2 Peter 1:10; 3:9; 1 John 5:16, 17).

    Furthermore, it is imperative that once one is touched by grace, he perseveres in charity lest he forfeit the free gift of salvation (Lumen Gentium [LG], no. 14). Within the confines of these principles, Catholics have sought to understand the mystery of predestination.

    Though opinions and formulations have varied among Catholic theologians, with these principles left intact, there is room for legitimate speculation.

    The only proper framework to understand predestination must be rooted in the notion of a communion of persons in love. Why? The nature of God as Trinity is this very kind of communion and God created man to share in that “blessed life” (cf. Catechism, no. 1).

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