“If God is for us, who can be against us?” the Apostle Paul asked. The question itself is the answer…
“God is for us. Paul here arrives at the mountain height of the Christian position! And that, so to speak, by way of experience. He does indeed, in the word “us” bring all the saints with him. There was first our state of awful guilt and Christ’s work for us, and justification thereby. Then came knowledge of indwelling sin, and the Spirit’s work within us, and deliverance from sin’s power thereby. Now Paul has arrived upon the immovable mountain-top… and sees God Himself FOR us! Not at all meaning here that God is merely on our side in out struggles, but God’s uncaused, unalterable attitude with respect to those in Christ. God is FOR them! Nothing in time or in eternity to come has anything to do with matters here. Our weak hearts, prone to legality and unbelief, must with great difficulty receive these mighty words: God is FOR us! Place the emphasis here where GOD places it: on this great word “for”. God is FOR His elect. They have failed, but He is FOR them. They are ignorant, but He is FOR them. They have not yet brought forth much fruit, but He is FOR them. If our hearts once surrender to this stupendous fact that we are those whom God will be eternally FOR…whose lives do not at all affect the fact that God is FOR them, then we shall be ready to magnify the God of all grace!” —William Newell (emphasis in the original)
There is an unassailable star gleaming in the night of the world—a hope shining beyond the reach of any looming shadow, be it personal, political or spiritual. It is there, though clouds obscure it, and it will remain when they are forever banished.
It’s been a rough year for many, and as Thanksgiving arrives there are empty chairs at the feast and many bruised hearts that find it hard to sing.
“If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.” —Senior Chaplain John Akers
God is not just with the brokenhearted, He is for them, and He will even be glorified in the hurt.
O, the grace of God that He would call us to serve Him—we undeserving, incapable, ignorant slaves of earth. Yet He calls us, and that is but a part of His great grace to us. Jonah was among the recipients of God’s grace in all its wonder, that He would use such as him. More wondrous still is that He wants to use us.
What follows is part of a breathtaking sermon by “Father Mapple”, a fictional minister from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, adapted by author Ray Bradbury…
“And God spake unto the Whale. And from the shuddering cold and blackness of the deep, the Whale breeched into the sun and vomited out Jonah on the dry land. And Jonah, bruised and beaten, his ears like two seashells, still multitudinously murmuring of the ocean, Jonah did the Almighty’s bidding. And what was that, Shipmates? To preach Truth in the face of falsehood. Now Shipmates, woe to him who seeks to pour oil on the troubled waters when God has brewed them into a gale. Yea, woe to him who, as the Pilot Paul has it, while preaching to others is himself a castaway. But delight is to him who against the proud gods and commodores of this earth stands forth his own inexorable self, who destroys all sin, though he pluck it out from the robes of senators and judges! And Eternal Delight shall be his, who coming to lay him down can say:
Oh Father, mortal or immortal here I die.
I have driven to be thine,
More than to be this world’s or mine own,
Yet this is nothing
I leave eternity to Thee.
For what is man that he should live out the lifetime of his God?”
I am a preacher and I am speechless.