Thursday, March 10, 2016

The tapestry of beauty

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men,
yet they cannot fathom what God has done
from beginning to end.

So often we cannot see what the Lord is doing.

Trusting Jesus when the circumstances in front of us do not make sense to us -- this is the essence of faith.  Faith is believing that God's unfailing love will bring beauty from ashes when we have no idea how.  We do not need to figure out how.  We need to trust in His goodness.

We know He is good, because while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, to pay the sin debt so we could receive forgiveness.  Jesus became sin for us so that we could be clothed in His righteousness.  The Innocent One died to save rebellious sinners.  This is good, so good we can hardly even grasp it.

God is at work, weaving a tapestry from the fabrics of all our lives, masterfully embroidering together something of amazing beauty.

At the right time, everything will come together in glorious harmony.  Situations that look dire and hopeless will be transformed under the artful handiwork of His fingers, into sections within the tapestry that miraculously enhance the breathtaking beauty of the whole.

Romans 8:28 (NIV)
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.

We know that God can transform tragedy into glory, because that's exactly what He did at Calvary.  He took the darkest day in all history, the day an eclipse covered the sun at noon as the Son of God Himself died, a bloody, beaten victim nailed to a shameful cross.  He took that terrible day, and He used it to overturn sin, death and the power of Satan once and for all.  He broke down the very gates of hell as He rose victorious, the firstfruits and Redeemer of God's great harvest of immortal souls.

Ephesians 1:18-21 (NIV)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart
may be enlightened in order
that you may know the hope
to which He has called you, the riches 
of His glorious inheritance in the saints,
and His incomparably great power
for us who believe.
That power is like
the working of His mighty strength,
which He exerted in Christ
when He raised Him from the dead 
and seated Him at His right hand
in the heavenly realms,
far above all rule and authority,
power and dominion,
and every title that can be given,
not only in the present age
but also in the one to come.

God is always at work.  He never slumbers or sleeps.  He watches over us.  He knows the exact number of hairs on each of our heads.  His ears are attentive to our cries.  He has a perfect plan.  Nothing ever surprises Him or catches Him off guard.

His love is unfailing.  I don't think that merely means He never stops loving us.  I think it means: not only will He never stop loving us, but His love is perfectly effective and will never fail to accomplish His purposes.

Psalm 33:22 (NIV)
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,  
even as we put our hope in you.

At the end of time, God will not be left holding an ugly, sloppily crafted tapestry of the lives of men, full of holes, loose threads and mismatched seams, regrets and sorrow.  No.  At the end of time, we will see how the plans and purposes of God have come to completion in perfect beauty, how every single detail of every single life somehow works together with all the other details of all the other lives to shine forth in beauty that illuminates the glory of God for the comfort and joy of His people.

We don't need to worry.  We don't need to be afraid.  He will work it all out, and it will be good.

Isaiah 46:10 (NIV)
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.

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