Tag Archives: holy

God Moves in Mysterious Ways – A Hymn by William Cooper

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I just heard this hymn read in a sermon this afternoon, and I was completely struck (to the point of tears) with the last two lines. For the sake of proper context, I’ve included the whole hymn; I want to remind myself in future seasons of suffering and hardship that my God is sovereign, He is wise and He is holy. I can trust Him.

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

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maranatha, The Lord, Day 20

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“The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” Ps 110.1

It is so important to remember the Lordship of Jesus, especially during Advent. While reading this many prophecies talking about Jesus coming as a person, walking in meekness and humility, suffering unjustly at the hands of sinners, humbly obeying his Father’s commands, it becomes so easy for me to pity my own Savior. Oh poor Jesus. He didn’t deserve any of this. Look what we did to him. It’s just so sad.

But the truth is, we didn’t do anything to him. He is the righteous Judge (2 Timothy 4), the One who holds all creation together (Colossians 1), the Eternal I AM (Revelation 1).

Jesus, help me see you as you truly are. I ask as Moses did, “Show me your glory”. I need to fall at your feet as though dead like John did. I need to remember that You are God, that your are the Sovereign Lord, and that You are, right now, seated at the right hand of God, satisfied in Your completed work. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. We long for that day, in love and holy fear.

maranatha, holy humble, Day 17

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“The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will. The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me, and I have listened. I have not rebelled or turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard. I did not hide my face from mockery and spitting. Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame. He who gives me justice is near. Who will dare bring charges against me now? Where are my accusers? Let them appear! See, the Sovereign Lord is on my side! Who will declare me guilty?” Is 50.4-9 (NLT)

This is the incredible thing about our Jesus: the more you see Him, the harder He is to pin down. If you just read v. 6 (which was the only Advent verse for today), it would be fairly easy to see Him as a patient victim, someone who put on a bold face while being treated in the worst possible ways.

But v.4 shows him to be a shrewd and wise prophet. Powerful, knowing exactly what to say, and broken-hearted toward the hurting.

Then we see him as one desperate for the Living Water. “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:34) Obedience results in pleasing his Father, the only One whose approval carries any weight.

And finally, he rests in the Sovereignty of the Holy Father. It is as if he says in this passage: I see your brokenness and I have been given the exact remedy. Because I abide in my Father, I can see clearly what it is He would have me do. And so, with worshipful resolution, I walk forward, purposefully pursuing this atrocious maltreatment, for I know that my God and Father sees, knows and will act in justice. I know that He knows I am guiltless, and He is my only righteous judge. My standing before Him is all that matters.

What an example. There are no words to express…

maranatha: ‘Now we see things imperfectly…”, Day 4

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Since yesterday’s passage was out of Isaiah 9, I decided to pick up where I left off and read my way up to today’s section: Isaiah 11.1-5. God declares the coming judgment on his beloved Israel because of their willful rebellion through a thorough smashing from the nation of Assyria. But then He makes a turn that, when I forced myself to be honest, definitely seemed unfair to me. God declares in very clear terms that He will destroy Assyria for their actions against Israel. How could a just God punish an entire people for doing what He willed? Isn’t that punishing one people for disobedience and punishing another for obedience?

I could do my best to rationalize this judgment. Actually, there is enough explained in the passage itself to allow for a fairly clear explanation (In simplified form, God judges both people’s for the same sin: idolatry). But I know how dangerous it is to automatically look for explanations when I don’t understand or agree with something I read in God’s Word. Explaining things away makes me the standard; if I read something that doesn’t fit with my decisions on who God is or how He works, my crooked heart can dismiss it or twist it carefully enough to make it say what I think it needs to. The mental slope is so slippery and before I know it, I can be worshipping a tiny god of my own creation rather than the actual Great I AM

From this place of coming judgment God promises His people one thing: hope. Most will be destroyed, but not all.

God always leaves a remnant.

“Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot – yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment.” Isaiah 11.1-5

From this remnant God will raise up the ultimate Judge, who is the very manifestation of His character. God Himself with us. The coming Jesus, filled with the Spirit of God, is the same One who deals out justice in Chapter 10. Our God is not vindictive, nor is He contradictory. He is holy.

Lord, you don’t have to answer to me. In fact, you don’t answer to me. You are God, I am your creation. Your Word is both ultimate and right. I don’t see things clearly; change my mind. Transform me from the inside out. Change the way I think. My mental framework is nothing compared to yours. You ways are far beyond me. I trust that You are right and good all the time, regardless of my comprehension.