Wednesday, May 6, 2015

No purpose of yours can be thwarted

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness…1

The opening lines from A Tale of Two Cities give an uncanny description of the headlines from the last few weeks. Natural disaster, turmoil, injustice, and the list goes on. If you take all of human history into account, maybe it's not the absolute worst of times, but the current picture isn't pretty. Of course, its grimness could be compounded by the speed with which news travels and the glut of information that inundates us whether we like it or not. But nevertheless, it's easy to get discouraged and fearful when I consider the state of the world. The problems begin to loom larger and larger, and if I'm honest, God begins to shrink bit by bit in my estimation. At this point, it's time to turn off the news, shut down the computer, and refresh my memory with a little history lesson.

My pastor has been preaching through Genesis recently.2 In every sermon, he has been reminding us that each chapter is another step that brings us closer to the fulfillment of God's promise in Genesis 3:15. Despite thousands of years of ups and downs, wanderings here and there, wars, dire threats, and captivity, the "skull-crushing seed of the woman"3 arrived on the scene at exactly the right time and in exactly the right place. Jesus' mission was finished, fully accomplishing God's plan of salvation. (John 19:30; Hebrews 10:5-14)

What does this have to do with news-induced fear? Everything!

Page after page of Scripture clearly demonstrates Job's final realization: "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." (Job 42:2) Isn't this the anchor our souls need in these uncertain times? God isn't a topnotch crisis manager who responds and reacts to events outside His control. He doesn't stay one step ahead of mankind's blunders. His purpose isn't a lone thread in the tapestry of human history that He managed to cleverly weave in. No. God has ordained human history so His purpose can be carried out.4

I will still grieve over the state of the world and pray that righteousness prevails. But in the end, I can't judge the Lord by my feeble sense. He is God and I am not. His ways and thoughts are higher than mine. (Isaiah 55:8-9) But He is good. He is faithful and true. And when I am faced with the onslaught of media hype and tempted to fear, I can point to His track record. I can look at the incarnation, the cross, the empty tomb, and the ascension. God fulfilled His promise in Genesis 3:15. His purpose hasn't deviated one inch, and He will fulfill his promise in Revelation 21:1-4.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

1. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens.
2. Sermons on Genesis, Pastor J. Ryan Davidson.
3. Borrowed this phrase from Pastor Ryan.
4. My daughter gets the credit for the tapestry analogy.


  1. This was so good to read Persis. I think we're all, and especially Christians, feeling overwhelmed by the things going on in the world. I have been and will continue to pull back from the Internet because it's just too much to keep taking in. It's so important for Christians to stick together and to keep encouraging one another as the day of His appearing draws closer. Love you!

    1. Thank you, Diane. And yes, may we stick together and encourage one another as the day draws near. Praise God, we know the end of the story already and He wins!