by Lisa McHeard
According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
1 Peter 1:2 ESV
God’s knowledge is all-encompassing. He fully comprehends every minute of the past, present and future, always. In his infinite wisdom and perfect knowledge, God personally selects us to be his children. He chooses us - knowing us inside and out - our struggles, our secrets, our overwhelming doubts and fears. Looking past every excuse others use to reject us, every reason we hate ourselves, every lie we let defeat us, every bad choice or wrong thought; the High King of Heaven selects us for himself. That is the beauty of election. God knows every bit of who we are and still chooses to love us completely.
We are entirely God’s. Our safety lies in the fact that he has made a steadfast commitment to us, no matter what challenges we face our fears we entertain. Our temporary, self-centered, slanted stories are no match for the truth-filled, eternal one he wrote for us before the foundations of the world. Man’s failure to obey was just an early chapter of the magnificent story written by the Trinity, before time and space, as we understand them, existed. The power of his eternal promise expands our restricted boundaries. It widens our narrow focus, from here and now, to forever.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? …No, 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 8:35, 37-38 ESV
When conditions threaten to overwhelm us, he sees beyond them. When doubts assail, he assures. When we stumble or even fall completely, he reaches out to lift us up. Our eternal security rests in his completely informed devotion to us and not our capricious commitment to him. We are open books, fully known and understood by God, and he loves us despite what he reads! Even our vigorous rejection is no match for him once his grace takes firm hold.
How often do we base our trust in God’s love on our experiences with those who fail us? How quickly do we turn away when he calls us to draw near? If left to our own devices, we would always fail to commit with complete trust and unwavering faith. However, God does not leave us to our own devices. He fills us with his Spirit and guides us with his grace. We need only stop amid our desperation and listen. His words of promise are the comforting underpinning of every doubt and fear we could ever have.
But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his...”
2 Timothy 2:19 ESV
Take a moment to let it all sink in. God knows you completely and he loves you entirely. There is not one dark thought or dirty little secret that can change his perfect love for you. He not only loves you entirely, but he holds on, even when your shame tries to convince you to break free. It’s time to stop struggling and rest in his tender love and care.
Lisa McHeard serves as Women’s Ministry Coordinator for the New York State Presbytery of the PCA. She loves writing and is presently completing a devotional on the Gospel of Mark. Lisa is married to Ken McHeard, senior pastor of Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church, where she serves joyfully at his side.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the interview “Stillbirth: From Empty Arms to Hope and Healing" so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
Days away from the joy of holding their first child, Bill and Michelle feel their world crumbling as the doctor’s words settle in to their souls, “There is no heartbeat.” Justin and Carrie look forward to welcoming their second child into their home when their doctor gives them the same horrific news. Two couples, two responses to loss that seems almost impossible to bear.
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.