Meditations on God 8

God intuitively and constantly sees the whole of this great and complicated system, and governs every particle and part of it in connection and conformity with the whole. He never suffers one link in this chain to be broken, nor one wheel in this machine to move slower or faster, or in any other direction, than he always intended. He governs all objects from the greatest to the smallest, and all creatures from the highest to the lowest; not as distinct and separate individuals, but as connected and constituent parts of his immense creation. Every dispensation of his universal providence, which is thus systematically administered towards any individual of mankind, may sensibly and deeply affect thousands and millions more. (Nathanael Emmons, Instructions to the Afflicted)

Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.

As we try to deal with what it means for God’s purpose and how He works all things after the counsel of His own will, even on the surface it is an incredible statement that will cause the heart to revolt with enmity or bow in worship. It is not just that in some objective way that God’s purpose stands supreme as He works all things after the counsel of His will, but that each true believer (in this text) has been predestined in accordance with His purpose. The purpose of saving the individual, then, is not just for the individual’s sake, but it is to the praise of the glory of His grace (Eph 1:6) which tells us something of His purpose. Sinners are saved for the sake of the glory of God and all things that happen to them are also for the sake of His glory. When the children of God grow in learning to love His glory more than their circumstances, they can know that God is working in them love for Himself and His glory in accordance with His own purposes.

As the children of God behold the universe and see all (all that they can) that He is doing every moment of every day, they can behold the breathtaking glory of God as He sovereignly works all for His pleasure. The child of God can know that despite his or her circumstances, God is working for their greatest good and their greatest good is His glory and pleasure. This shows us that God is not working for our ease and convenience as such, but He is working in accordance with His good pleasure which is His own glory. As the Father works in His children through all the things of daily life so that Christ can be seen in them and through them, we can behold the very glory of God’s love for the Son. God’s love for the Son and His glory in and through the Son is so great that He is willing to bring hard things on His fallen children so that His glory would be seen in and through them. When the child of God loves God, it is really God’s love for the Son in them and the Son loving the Father through them that is being expressed and manifested. This shows us in a grand demonstration that God loves Himself and His children. All things are working together to put God on display.

There is no need for God to adopt a timetable for our convenience, but instead He operates according to Himself and His own eternal plan. While it appears that everything around us is broken, and in one sense all is broken because of the fall, yet all things are still operating according to His Divine plan. The child of God must have his or her eyes torn from self and the things of the world that they may see the high calling to which they have been called. They are not here for worldly pleasures and they are not here to be consumed by the world. They are here to be instruments of His glory as their greatest purpose in life and to which all other purposes are to be aimed at. We do not live in a universe or a planet without purpose and we do not live without purpose. Neither do we have to determine a purpose for anything. Instead, we are to live and die for Him for whom we were created for.
He has created all things for Himself, and for who pleasure alone all things are, and were, created. He does His pleasure in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of earth. The scepter of whose authority He sways over all things, all worlds, and all events, with irresistible power, and unerring wisdom and righteousness. His absolute providence and decrees embrace the very hairs of our heads, unalterably fixes the number of them, and makes it perfectly impossible that one of them can fall from our head without an order from His throne. Life, death and hell, and worlds unknown, Hang on His firm decree… (Gilbert Beebe)

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