“All things are of God”
2 Corinthians 5:18
Some of God’s saints seem to have trials and temptations, one upon the heels of another. Usually those believers who have the most difficult and most constant trials seem to bear them well. They are always an encouragement to me. In the light of the heavy, heavy trials some believers bear with such grace, I get a little disturbed when people get all bent out of shape and complain about hangnails and dripping faucets!
As I thought about, and tried to pray for and help some troubled friends this week, my heart and mind have been once more directed to meditate much upon the gracious, wise and adorable providence of our God. When trials and temptations assail our souls, nothing is more helpful and comforting than the blessed knowledge of God’s all-wise, universal providence.
“All Things” — Those two words are used together in the Word of God two hundred and twenty times. More often than not, they are used in some connection with the Lord our God and his good providence. Whenever we read these words in Holy Scripture, or think about them in relation to our God, we ought always to remember that when God says “all things,” he means “all things.” He does not mean some things, or most things, or even all good things. He means all things.
God the Holy Spirit tells us, by the Apostle Paul, — “All things are of God.” How far are we to take that statement? Think about that for a minute. “All things are of God.” How far do you take that? Let me tell you. If I understand what the Book of God teaches at all, you can carry those words just as far, just as high, just as deep, just as wide as your imagination will carry you. And when you have reached the utmost end of your imagination, as someone once said, you will only have “begun to commence, to get started!”
Take this blessed, inspired declaration just as far back as eternity past, and just as far forward as eternity future. Take it up to the highest heaven. Take it down to the lowest hell. Take it around the world, through the world, and through all the ages of time. When all that is, has been, and shall be has been considered, write this title over the picture and this explanation for the story — “All things are of God!”
In Creation and Providence
In the creation of the universe, “all things are of God.” It is written in Revelation 4:11, — "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." In the wise and orderly disposition of providence, “all things are of God.” In Romans 11:36 the Spirit of God declares, — "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."
In Salvation and Grace
In the salvation of our souls, “all things are of God.” That is obviously what Paul is specifically talking about in 2 Corinthians 5. Look at any one aspect of salvation, or look at the whole package of grace. However you look at it, — “Salvation is of the Lord!” Election, predestination and redemption are of the Lord. Forgiveness, pardon and justification are of the Lord. Reconciliation, regeneration and sanctification are of the Lord. Repentance, faith, and conversion are of the Lord. Preservation, resurrection and glorification are of the Lord.
Nothing is more delightful and nothing more comforting to God's saints in this world than the realization that all things are under the absolute control of our great and glorious God. And nothing inspires us to bear our trials and troubles, sicknesses, sorrows and bereavements here with patience like the fact that all things are for the glory of our God.
In Proverbs 16:4 we are told that all things are for God, for the glory of God. — "The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." I do not presently see what God is doing in all things; but I am assured that in all things the Lord is making for himself an everlasting and a glorious name. Isaiah tells us that the Lord God led Israel "by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them." And he did so "to make himself an everlasting name" He "led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble, as a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name" (Isaiah 63:12-14).
This is what I want you to see: — In everything that is, has been, or shall hereafter be the Lord our God is making himself an everlasting and glorious name. He who raised up Pharaoh and cast him down in the Red Sea for the glory of his own great name brings all things to pass exactly as he has purposed for the everlasting praise and glory of his great name. — “All things are of God;” and all things are for God.
"God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.
He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines of never failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs, and works His sovereign will.”
Take this word from God with you through the day. May God himself grant you faith in his Son and give you the blessed rest that comes from the realization of his absolute, total dominion over all things. Rejoice in this and rest in it. “All things are of God!” Everything that is, has been, or shall hereafter be is of God. Let every child of God rejoice. All things are under the dominion of and come to pass according to the will of our heavenly Father!
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