Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Col. 3:15
Dear Lord Jesus, it’s not a formula, but I can surely see how the depth of my gratitude is largely determined by the extent to which your peace is ruling in my heart. So as this day begins, and continues, I surrender to the dominion of your peace—the governance of your grace, the might of your mercy, the sanity-making freedom of your all-encompassing sovereignty.
The increase of your government and peace will know no end, in the entire cosmos, and in my little heart as well. Hallelujah, many, many times over. I am my least grateful when I lose sight of who you are, and who I am, in your heart and kingdom. It’s patently true: When I forget the gospel is when I get my grumpiest, most distractible and anxious.
Indeed, Jesus, I am my freest, most joyful and most peaceful, when I remember that you are the Lord, and I am not—though I foolishly grasp for autonomy and authorship of my story, at times. You never sleep nor slumber, and your timing is always perfect—even though I whine and vex, before coming to realize that good news, yet again.
You never get anxious or second-guess anything; you never react to anything, because you’re never surprised by anything. You do all things well, even (maybe, especially) when you don’t do things the way I want you to. Birds eat, flowers get dressed, and stars …
”Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” Job 1:9-11
Gracious Father, I praise you for the gift of another day and for the joy of fellowshipping with you, in your Word and by your Spirit. You are an altogether holy, gracious and loving God—truth I once again affirm as I meditate on this portion of Scripture.
This arrogant retort, from Satan to you, makes me wonder if he listens to the worse of American religious broadcasting. Much “on air” teaching substantiates his charge that the only reason we love you is because of the creature-comforts and goodies you give us—as though you have to buy our attention and affection.
That you even let that despicable creature into your presence; that you indulged his putrid proposition; that you didn’t swat him with your mighty hand or squash him with your “big thumb,” speaks of your absolute sovereignty and eternal purposes… what a God you are, what a glorious God you are.
It’s hard not to be cynical when I think about this scene; but I must guard my heart and my mouth, for I’m not presently in a season of suffering of great difficulty. Nothing is presenting a …
Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: “My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” Isa. 46:8-10
Holy and gracious Father, I offer you no pushback this morning for being addressed as a rebel. I not only rebel against your commandments, I also rebel against your gospel—for it seems too good to be true. That’s why I need a Savior as big as Jesus. My only hope is in knowing that you will complete the good work of salvation you began in me. Your purposes will stand. You do all that you please, and it pleases you to justify, transform and glorify rebels like me… Hallelujah!
Indeed, I have great hope in knowing you are God and I am not. This truth is both disruptive and comforting. Disruptive, because there are some things I’m desperate for you to do—things that make all the sense in the world to me—things that seem in line with the truth of the gospel. But they’re not going to happen. You haven’t decreed them and no amount of fasting and praying will alter the perfection of your plan… Hallelujah!
Yet your sovereignty is profoundly comforting, because there are other things for which I don’t have …