God’s Surprising Ways

Habakkuk 1:5   (KJV)   5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

Our God is a sovereign God. He is a creative God. He’s not bound to anything or anyone, not even to the ways He’s done things in the past. In fact, the Lord will do something new Habakkuk 1.5 - God's Surprising Waysin our nations, something wonderful and marvelous. It will be so amazing that it will be so hard to believe if we are told about it now.

Godlessness pervades our nations. We find it in every corner and facet of society. Lies, deception, and fake news are everywhere. But our just and loving God don’t just sit idly by. He won’t allow the righteous to be caught in insidious plots and deadly traps of the enemy.

The wicked trusts in their own devices; they glory in their ability to deceive; they don’t realize that God watches over His people. They march boldy brandishing their banner of evil while gleefully setting up the righteous for a fall, not realizing that they’ll be caught in their own snares. The harm they plan for God’s people will boomerang to them.

God, our heavenly Father Who created this big, vast, inscrutable universe surprises His enemies. They can’t predict how He does things. We as His people, though surrounded by evil, live in peace. Our confidence is in the LORD. We’ve tasted and seen that the LORD is good. He never leaves us defenseless. We may not be sure as to the ways He delivers us, but we’re sure He always delivers us.

Even though lawlessness may exponentially increase, even though our economy may suddenly collapse, even though our freedom may be greatly threatened, even though God’s people are constantly harassed, we will neither fear nor be dismayed. We will find our joy and our peace in the God of our provision and protection. He is our strength; He establishes our steps. After all is said and done, everyone will recognize: God is God. He continually governs in the affairs of man. He rules over all nations. The lives of kings and queens, presidents and rulers are in His hands. Every knee will bow, and every eye will see: He is Lord. So yes; we’re at peace—always ready to be amazed by our Father’s new yet always astonishing interventions.

Divine Prerogative

Acts 16:7   (KJV)   7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.

It’s okay if we don’t fully understand all of the Lord’s ways. That’s just expected: the finite can’t contain the infinite; our limited brains can’t contain omniscience. Besides, there are things the Lord prefers to keep as secret. Those secret things belong to Him. There are acts-16-7-divine-prerogativethings He reveals to us; those are opportunities He gives for us to enjoy, to be guided by, and to show our loving obedience to Him.

Who would have thought that the very detailed instructions of implementing the Old Testament sacrifices were symbols and foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus and His sacrifices? He wants us to go, preach the Gospel to everyone, and make disciples of every nation, but there are times when the Holy Spirit stops us from going to preach in certain places. We don’t know why God’s people in the Old Covenant weren’t allowed to eat such and such kind of food, but we’re allowed to eat them now. We don’t understand why they were unclean before and they’re clean now.

Most of God’s people then may not have seen the mysteries of God, but what mattered much is that they willingly, humbly, and lovingly obeyed our sovereign God. God surprises us pleasantly and repeatedly with His ways. We’re comforted knowing that our heavenly Father is predictable; predictable in a sense that He has revealed much of His will, ways, and plans to us; unpredictable in a sense that He’s the sovereign God—totally and absolutely free to do what He wants to do, when He wants to do it, how He wants to do it. Look at the weather forecast: there are times when they’re accurate, but there are times when they aren’t. Somehow, during those occasions, God decides to blow the wind different from expectations. I say, in those times, it just shows: God is God, and He really has the final say.

It’s okay, we don’t sweat it; we trust. I have pretty good hypothesis about His surprising ways; it remains to be seen. As for now, we restfully trust and lovingly obey His leading. So far, He’s been perfect. And oh, He’s perfect, and will always be perfect. He’s really worthy of all our worship, love, trust, and surrender.

The Nation’s Hope

Psalm 125:3   (KJV)   3 For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.

God’s supreme governance over the affairs of humanity or the entire creation is a source of the many encouragements and comforts we as believers have. We do have differences of choices when it comes to who shall lead a nation. The choice becomes hard when you have psalm-125-3-the-nations-hopeto choose between two godly candidates. But it becomes an easy decision when choosing between one that stands for more evil and one that stands for more good.

There comes a seeming threat when the majority favors the ungodly choice. That’s why we rejoice in God’s sovereignty. He makes the determination as to who to set up as the head of a nation. Another very reassuring reason to rejoice is the basis—at least one of them—as to who God chooses. He bases it on the people, more specifically, His people. When the land is identified more as of the righteous, God makes sure the wicked’s rod won’t hold sway.

He cares for the righteous—His people. He leads us not into temptation. He knows our frame; He remember that we are dust with much frailties. He’d rather not get us close to the mouths of roaring lions looking to devour us. That’s why we pray that we get our acts together. We as His people humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways—sincerely, truly. As He promises, He hears, forgives us, and heals our land.

God to Obey

Deuteronomy 26:17  (KJV)   17 Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice:

People can choose who they will worship as God. Their choice will determine how they relate to their God/god. If they chose the LORD God, it follows that they need to submit to Him, listen to Him and obey Him. One of the natures of the LORD God is sovereignty. He rules supreme. We don’t command Him; He commands us. He’s not the One to obey His people; His people obey Him.

A god we can control proves he’s no god at all. God by essence is the greatest, most powerful, most exalted Being. He’s neither our servant nor our slave. He tells us what to do; we follow. That’s just a sensible arrangement. He sees the end from the beginning; isn’t He the most qualified to give us direction? He sees and knows all things; wouldn’t He know the best for us? He knows everything in and about us, what we’re able and unable to do, our joys and our sorrows, our triumphs and our trials, our struggles and our successes, our needs and our treasures. He knows how to deal with us perfectly. And knowing that He loves us so greatly, that’s a huge plus; we can trust that all His commands for us are for our greatest welfare.

Our perfect God, thank You for showing us the way to You – that we may meet You and know You and believe in You – the one true God. It would have been a disaster had we missed out on You. Ahhh, I can’t imagine the emptiness and horrors of finding ourselves worshiping a wrong entity. You are God – the only true God. Being God, you ought to be obeyed. Knowing that You’re God omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, immutable, holy, just and loving, that definitely and infinitely multiplies the reasons for us to heed Your Word and live in them, – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Good Out of Evil

Genesis 50:20  (KJV)   20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Joseph’s brothers wronged him and his Dad terribly. By selling Joseph, and making it appear to their father as if he had been devoured by a wild beast, causing Joseph and their Dad to be separated for years, were horrible acts of evil. After many years, their paths crossed again. Joseph forgave them, invited them and welcomed them to live in very close proximity with him. He gave them the best of the land to dwell in. But after their father died, the brothers feared for their lives. They guiltily presumed that Joseph’s forgiveness was conditioned to their father’s existence. But in their extreme fear, Joseph uttered these comforting and assuring words of forgiveness. But they also revealed Joseph’s “worldview” that enabled him to extend such difficult yet precious, true, and lasting forgiveness that definitely brought peace to his brothers. He looked at everything that has happened in view of the sovereignty of God Who worked out everything, even his the brothers’ unthinkable evil intentions and actions, to bring about the wondrous good of saving many lives.

The greater the offense, the harder it is for many of us to extend forgiveness. We ought to live free, and the way to live it is to let go of anything destructive – especially those that have the ability to consume us to the very core and pull us down to unfruitfulness. Unforgiveness can stall us and keep us from reaching our utmost potential. When we forgive, we sever whatever lingering hold our offenders may still have in us. To not forgive is to allow them to keep on effectively offending us long after their acts of offense. To forgive more easily, we ought to believe God’s sovereignty truthfully. God’s sovereignty is neither a license nor an excuse for evil, but it gives us a wider perspective; it shows us that no matter what people do to us, God has a way and will make a way so that even the worst of treatments we receive, God already has great good planned for them.

Sovereign Savior, may we always remember that as we faithfully live for you, there will be many things that will happen to us that we don’t have control over. There will be dreadful times when we will be badly treated. Please help us to always remember that You won’t allow anything to happen unless You have something so good already purposed for them. In Jesus’ Name, amen.