Tuesday, November 25, 2008

God is able to make all grace abound in all things at all times

(This past Sunday morning God truly touched the hearts and blessed the lives of those who were with us during our worship time together. As a pastor I am always deeply humbled and overwhelmed with joy how our Lord sovereignly and intimately moves among His people. The same spirit was with us during our business meeting the same evening - yes, at a business meeting! Here is the devotion that I shared with them that evening in opening our time together.)

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

It’s somewhat hard to make sense of all that is going on in the world. At times it seems we are in a time of unprecedented chaos – the world is at war, economic uncertainty and financial instability abound, there is great political division in North America and much unrest in the lives of people, in our communities, in our countries and throughout the world. Yet I remember those same things were going on 40 years ago.

Historically 1968 is now seen the watershed year during the second half of the century. The summer of discontent ultimately became a year of chaos. And we lived through it. God proved He was still God. As the world and Canada and the United States is going through turmoil in these days, we will too. Port Alberni and the communities around us will feel the effects of what is going on. But you have seen hard times here before. And though it wasn’t easy, you lived through it. God proved He was still God.

Watching CTV news the other night I found myself discouraged. They didn’t have much good to say about anything. But I did hear something which caused me to laugh – one of the reporters said we are “living in times of uncertainty.” Well, maybe for some people. But not for me. And not for you. God is still God.

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

During the political season, it was good to know that the world would not fall apart or hold together because of who won or lost. The Lord gives and takes away. God will always remain. As we watch the price of gas plunge and the value of our dollar do the same, what a blessing to know that our treasure is not on this earth but in heaven. We are not here to possess the world – but to show the world that Jesus possesses us.

As we gather together at times such as these, our decisions must be based on God’s truth and the assurance of God’s character. We must not use caution to hide our fear or wisdom as a cover for our weakness, but rather stand with the psalmist who writes: "Though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling . . . God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear" (Psalm 46:1-3).

As we face the uncertainty of what will happen in regards to our employment and our health and our families and our future, we can stand on the assurance that we intimately know the One who knows the certainty of “all things.” Our God, in His sovereignty, is working out “all things” - for our good and for His glory.

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

Yes, we have to live in this world and work through the struggles and trials that will be constantly before us. But brothers and sisters, for those of us in Jesus Christ there are a great many unseen things at work - that are vastly more precious than what we see in this world. God is at work “in all things at all times.”

In the days before us, we need to remember that our hearts are attached to something greater. We were created for God and His purposes. Someday we will inherit both the Kingdom of God and this world. For now we must deal with both the blessings and the struggles that God gives us. He gives both so that “in all things” we would show that Christ is our treasure, not the things of this world. And so we need not fear. We must not retreat. These things will pass. God is still, and always will be God. Jesus is, and always will be Lord and Savior.

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)

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