“God knew you would struggle with this,” she told me.
I was in well over my head and had felt completely at a loss. What if I messed this whole thing up?
I think a lot of us fear ruining pieces of our lives – maybe we can’t get the clarity we want on God’s direction. Maybe we thought we had it and then everything fell apart. Maybe we did slip up, and the consequences seem beyond repair.
Whatever the category, the simple words of my dear, wise friend ring true – God knew.
He is omniscient, knowing all things for all time. And he is sovereign, powerful over all things for all time.
Yet sometimes it seems like we develop this idea that God is sitting in Heaven, watching circumstances spiral out of control while trying to figure out how to fix it. Or that he’s absent just because he seems silent. Or that he’s given up on us entirely.
But God is never surprised. He’s never inactive, never absent, never unfaithful.
We are not powerful enough to mess up his plans, and we are not powerful enough to change his character.
He is the one we are called to look to, our place of refuge in times of trouble, our safety. We don’t have to get it all right for his favor to fall on us, as if his forgiveness and mercy would expire upon salvation. He wants to be there for us, he wants to be with us.
In his book, Gentle and Lowly, Dane Ortlund puts it this way –
Through his Son he drew near to us when we hated him. Will he remain distant now that we hope we can please him? He eagerly suffered for us when we were failing, as orphans. Will he cross his arms over our failures now that we are his adopted children?
Of course there are natural consequences to behavior – you stay up late, you get tired. You miss a payment, you’re charged a fee. You buy lots of plants, you smile. You stop watering them, they die. Action and reaction.
Disobedience before God will always affect our relationship with him, but if we are in Christ, we are secure. Our sin can’t sever the union because our own obedience wasn’t the adhesion. In Christ, we stand free of condemnation, because we are a new creation, and our hope is firm in Him.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Faith in Christ is not a risk. We can be sure of Heaven, sure of the day of redemption and restoration, sure that one day every tear will be wiped from our eyes and death and pain will be no more. We can be certain of the God whose image we can not see, certain that he is who he says, certain that he does not change.
Sometimes I wonder if the hardest part is simply believing the Gospel. We are already fully and completely loved. Whether our struggle is a natural consequence of sin or a battle of spiritual warfare, God is passionately on our team. All of our failures have already been paid for, and all of the warfare is already building a harvest of reward. He knew exactly what he was getting when he chose us, and he knew exactly what it would cost him. And he still said yes.
And nowhere, in all of scripture, does God ever subsequently question – did I just mess this up? Did I waste my blood? Did I rescue the wrong sinner?
Of course not. Of course not. Because he knew.
Originally, I didn’t find particular encouragement in my friend’s words. I don’t like to struggle. But to any of us who fear messing up, we can find not just a momentary pep but a standing confidence when we consider who the All-Knowing One is. He is all-powerful. And he is good. To me and to you. And there is just simply nothing that we could ever do to change that.
But while we were sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus – Romans 8:1
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him. – Isaiah 40:10
Who has understood the mind of the Lord, or instructed him as his counselor?
Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?
– Isaiah 40:13-14
Read: The whole Bible 🙂 just keep opening it, keep coming to Jesus, keep learning about him, keep talking to him.
Some starters: Psalm 23, Psalm 103, John 1:1-34, Hebrews 11-13,
And keep singing, keep worshipping, keep praising his holy, unchanging name.
God is in this Story
No Longer Slaves
Yes I Will
I fully understand that one little blog post can never capture everything we walk through nor everything about Jesus. Please reach out if you want to connect more!
Related: El Elyon, God Most High