You have crowned the year with Your bounty, And Your paths drip with fatness. The pastures of the wilderness drip, And the hills gird themselves with rejoicing. The meadows are covered with flocks And the valleys are covered with grain; They shout for joy, yes, they sing. Psalm 65:9-13
I love this time of year. I love it when the trees are still hinting at their greenery, not yet fully displayed. For with that hint, it reminds me of God's faithfulness. Even in nature we hear the Lord telling us that He loves us, cares for us, when we hear the beauty of the birds or see the violets bloom in all their regal splendor. He cared enough to make that birdsong for us, He cared enough to let our eyes feast on the beauteous colors displayed through gentle blossoms every new spring.
I turned off the computer early last night. No rest or peace came through the worldwide web so I searched through some of the books in my library to aid me in Bible study. I happened upon one I bought years ago but never took the time to read.
This old volume was penned by Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, and entitled Major Bible Themes. First published in 1926, it contains chapters of all the basic tenets of our theology, followed with questions to sum up the points made in each chapter. Chafer reminded me that when things around me don't appear to make sense, I must trust beyond what I see with my physical eyes and see instead with the eyes of faith. My existence at this time of human history is not about me, what I can accomplish or even having a great family. We are all part of something much bigger than that. He writes what the purpose of the Bible is:
We understand from the written Word of God that there is one supreme purpose which actuates God in all that He has done or will do from the beginning of creation to the farthest reaches of eternity whether it is in Heaven or on earth. For this one purpose angels were created; so, also, the material universe and man, and though hidden behind an inscrutable mystery, we know that even sin was permitted and redemption was provided with a view to the realization of this supreme purpose. This supreme purpose is the Glory of God.Ahh, even the bad things will somehow be shown one day that they were allowed in a plan that would eventually end up redounding to His praise. For He even tells us in Psalm 76:10: "For the wrath of man shall praise You..." Unless I know the attributes of God, that nothing evil could ever come from Him, I know that I would stumble by reading this verse. How can He make even bad things work for His praise? Chafer continues:
That God should bring all things to pass that He might be glorified would seem self-seeking to an infinite degree, from a mere human viewpoint; but this theme cannot be limited to the range of human conceptions. In the light of Scripture revelation, we conclude that because God is infinite in His being, His perfections, and His blessedness He is worthy of infinite glory, and it would be an injustice of infinite proportions should His creation withhold from Him that honor and glory which are rightfully His.(Quotes from Major Bible Themes, pages 15-16. Published 1926, 1953 by Dallas Theological Seminary, written by Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer.)
Knowing it is all about His glory alone gives me a reason to want to continue growing in His grace and in the knowledge of Him with the rest of the days allotted to me. None of us knows when God will call us home, but while I have my breath I can still pursue the knowledge of this wonderful, benevolent God who left the glory of heaven to redeem me to Himself. If I keep my heart fixed on that, life is bearable. We can trust that God is still in control, even when it appears that things are out of His control.As the Apostle Paul tells us emphatically states:
Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable are His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36)He will be glorified, whether I live agreeing with that or not, so why make it hard on myself? Today I agree with You God, You are worthy of my love and praise. You are the only One who brings my heart peace, and one day soon, all created beings, even Your enemies, will end up giving praise and glory to You, Amen.