January 17
‘For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose’ Philippians 2:13
Bible reading: Isaiah 26:10-16 (Go to the Bible passage)
There is no greater peace and no deeper trust in God, than when we make the surprising discovery that everything worthwhile in our lives has actually been done by God Himself. ‘Lord, You will establish peace for us, for all that we have accomplished You have done for us’ (:12).
People who do not reckon with God, are often blessed as well, for He sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). But these people do not recognize blessing for what it is: it is grace. And because they do not recognize it, they do not learn to live by His grace. And that makes their lives so poor and barren! They did not yet learn to live by His grace, and therefore they did not yet learn to reckon with God. And so they are locked in this vicious circle.
These people think that God should reckon with them. In other words: whoever still expects any good of himself, thinks that God takes this into account, and therefore he anticipates God’s blessing upon him. These people continue in their own, old ways and trust God to pursue them with His blessing. Such people do not regard the majesty of the Lord.
But whoever seeks God in the despair of his own failure - and recognizes the problems in his life as discipline of the Lord - will see that God’s hand is upon us as the hand of a loving Father, even in the most difficult circumstances. And what can delight us more than knowing - in all situations – that we are safe in the care of our heavenly Father? Then our entire life - even in the most difficult circumstances – will be filled with worship of the greatness and faithfulness of God: ‘Your name alone do we honor.’
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