A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Sweet Arrow Lake, Pine Grove, PA
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"According To His Purpose"
Message summary: Today God has called us according to His purpose. His peace prevails when we wholeheartedly believe (trust) that His almighty purpose cannot be thwarted. In a rather obscure verse from the prophet Isaiah we read, “For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart Him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:27). The answer to both questions is an absolute resounding “NO ONE!”
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“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).
This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
Carol is a friend of ours we met through chaplaincy many years ago She shared a heart-breaking experience in her life that illustrates the main theme in today's message, "according to His purpose”.
Her two week old son had died as a result of a heart catheterization that punctured his heart causing him to bleed to death. She wrote about the intense pain and loss she endured but how this tragic experience helped her to relate to others whose children die. She testified of her assurance that God was in control even in that tragedy, although she could not see it then but only believed it to be true, claiming our daily verse.
A situation like this always puts us at a crossroads. We can grow bitter or we can trust the Lord in the midst of the awful pain in what are, at times, His incomprehensible ways. What a wonderful testimony she shared:
"After our son died, my husband and I became involved in a Bible Study for children and eventually conducted the study in our own home and had nearly 50 different children learning God's Word. We never had done anything like that before, and had we been caring for a new baby plus our two other children, we would never have been involved in that ministry. Over a period of about 11 years we had the opportunity to lead about 25 of those children to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today those children are grown and have children of their own. Some of them teach Sunday School and have led their own children to the Lord. They tell me that the teaching in our home and the enjoyment of having their neighborhood friends all gathering together at our house to learn about God's Word was the incentive that led them to their belief and desire to serve today."
How often believers through the ages have drawn strength and assurance from the wonderful promise in our daily text. It was one of the first verses we memorized as young Christians and we have often obtained assurance by meditating on it. It is also a great truth to share with others in the course of ministering comfort during a time of loss or trial.
In our reading of Romans 8:28 we tend to focus on the first part and particularly the phrase “works for the good”. But today let us consider the final phrase, “who have been called according to His purpose”. His purpose is always good, whether expressed toward the individual or to the cosmos. In Ephesians 3:11 Paul writes of God’s “eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
Summing up God’s purpose in a single thought or phrase is bound to be deficient but theologian J.I. Packer attempts to do so with this thought: “God’s purpose, here and hereafter, is to keep expressing His love in Christ to us".
Or, as Oswald Chambers observes, “I thought God’s purpose was to make me full of happiness and joy. It is, but it is happiness and joy from God’s standpoint, not from mine". Amen, and that’s the rub; we must be continually seeking to understand God’s standpoint.
Today God is still working all things out according to His purpose. His peace prevails when we realize that His almighty purpose cannot be thwarted. In a rather obscure verse from the prophet Isaiah we read, “For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart Him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:27). The answer to both questions is an absolute resounding “NO ONE!”
When seminary Professor E.C. Caldwell ended his lecture he said to his class of students, “Tomorrow, I will be teaching on Romans 8. So tonight, as you study, pay special attention to verse 28. Notice what this verse truly says, and what it doesn’t say.” Then he added, “One final word before I dismiss you—whatever happens in all the years to come, remember: Romans 8:28 will always hold true.”
That same day Dr. Caldwell and his wife had a tragic car-train accident. She was killed instantly and he was crippled permanently. Months later, Professor Caldwell returned to his students, who clearly remembered his last words. The room was hushed as he began his lecture. “Romans 8:28,” he said, “still holds true. One day we shall see God’s good, even in this".*
I count on one thing
The same God that never fails
Will not fail me now
You won't fail me now
In the waiting
The same God who's never late
Is working all things out
You're working all things out.
(from song "Yes I Will")
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, what tremendous comfort the Scriptures bring when I consider the uncertainties of life. About the time I get comfortable or think I’ve figured out what the future holds I am thrown a ringer. I’m so grateful for passages of reassurance such as Romans 8:28 that reminds me You’re working on my behalf even though evil is prevalent and I’m often affected by its presence. As a blood-bought child of Yours, You have called me to work Your purpose and will for my life. What You have purposed for me cannot be thwarted though the enemy may stalk me or make me his target. After all, since You are for us, who can be against us. Help me to receive Your deep abiding peace even in the midst of difficult and perplexing situations, because I know that You use even those circumstances for our long-range good. May our trusting response to these undesirable sufferings prove to believers and unbelievers alike that we are becoming more and more like Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"This Is My Father's World" Video Norton Hall Band
"All Things Work Together" Video Twila Paris
"All Things Work Together" Video Vessels of Mercy
"All Things" Video Covenant Worship
"Yes I Will" Video Vertical Worship
* Illustration from “Our Daily Bread”
The birthplace of Robert Fulton the inventor of the steamboat among other inventions is right here in Lancaster County.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
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