Monday, April 5, 2010

In All Things God Works for the Good

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

~Romans 8:28 (NIV).

Every dimension exists. All sorts of possibilities are possible. We can see life through different viewpoints—none of these are necessarily more right or wrong than the next. The world belongs to the open mind.

These statements above, whilst appearing perhaps postmodernly utopian, have a truth about them so far as God’s concerned.

“[T]he promise to us is that there is nothing in this world that is not intended by God to assist us on our earthly pilgrimage and to bring us safely and certainly to the glorious destination of that pilgrimage.”[1]

Many people—no matter their persuasion of faith or paganism—have different slants on the truth. Some prefer the negative and pessimistic view, others the positive and optimistic view. I believe God’s character is the latter, and I believe he is calling us to this—his purpose.

And his purpose is surely making good of all the bad on this earth.

God’s power is about the notional ‘silver lining’ to the cloud. And the practical means of this power is his indwelling positivity whenever we face trials and tumults; we, at these times, are tempted to deplore the circumstance and see it for how we physically see it—it looks bad, so we believe it to be bad. But that’s not God’s sight of it.

And neither should it be our own. For our sight can play tricks on us. Whenever we ‘consider it pure joy in our struggles’ (James 1:2-4) and reverse the devil’s play on him we gain God’s strength, his insight, his patience, his joy, and not to mention his humility—all over us.

God stands not in our way. So, then, why would we choose to give the devil more credit than he deserves; which is almost none! We claim that a song is written about drugs when it is equally talking about all forms of ecstasy, not just the negative devil-facilitated forms. Why do we remain so focused on such “facts?” God is equally at work in making right (as far as possible) all the evil in the world.

God works, or more closely, is at work in our lives. He is active in this. He is making the bad into good, continually. We see this in faith—not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

And this is the point. Our viewpoints are our choice. Our wills, surrendered to God’s will, will end up having for us the effect of seeing his viewpoint just as readily as we see our own natural viewpoints. But our choice simply aligns less naturally with his. This becomes easier with practise. His sight for ours; it’s a “trained” response.

God wants us to see through his eyes. And yet, there are still too many would-be theologians, philosophers and visionaries who abuse their intellectualism and see only a fraction of what’s truly on offer—they hence hem themselves in, into a realm of sight that’s severely limited. They see not God’s heart on many things simply because they find their own sight—their human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1–3)—as more attractive.

We must open up to the wide expanse of God’s sight—getting away from our staid and legalistically-human viewpoints. His sight “checks” ours. We’re forced to reflect, reconsider and change i.e. repent.

God truly works for our best in all of this.

How is it that God made the very best out of the worst possible outcome—Jesus hung on the cross? And yet, out of the abyss of death comes the most cataclysmic victory over evil; this is so far beyond the human mind (Isaiah 55:8-9).

This is our God Almighty at work. This is your God and mine. This God laughs at “impossibility” (Psalm 2). He makes his way through the miraculous.

And he can always turn a negative into a positive. It is his craft—to the eternal chagrin of the enemy. When we believe, we—with God’s help, install this characteristic of God’s nature over (through and inside) us. This is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. All things are possible.

This is Light!

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

[1] Douglas Moo, The Epistle to the Romans – NICNT Series (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), p. 530.

No comments: