For today's post I'll highlight a favorite proverb from Proverbs chapters 16 through 18. I'm not even close to covering all of each chapter so I encourage you to read them.
"The LORD works out everything for His own ends...
even the wicked for a day of disaster." Proverbs 16:4
This proverb speaks of God's sovereignty. When I say God is sovereign I mean that He rules over all things and causes all things to be for His glory. This proverb reminds me of what Joseph said to his brothers, at the end of his life after all he had suffered and all he had accomplished. He said in Genesis 50:20: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." God is sovereign over all things and all things are for His glory!
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but the LORD tests the heart." Proverbs 17:3
Pain and trials in and of themselves may not be good, but God uses them to accomplish His good. As the previous proverb says, God works out EVERYTHING for His own ends... EVERYTHING. God redeems everything, even evil, to carry out His good and perfect plan.
Peter says it this way, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith... of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire... may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:7
Pain and suffering suck, but God is sovereign over EVERYTHING even pain and suffering and He will accomplish all things for His glory and the good of His beloved. This is a hard and sweet truth.
"The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
they imagine it an unscalable wall." Proverbs 18:10-11
Who is your functional savior? I stole this question from somebody but I'll use it because it is a fantastic one. Who is your functional savior?
The righteous know that God is the true strong tower and the only source of real rest. But the rich can be fooled into believing that their wealth will save them. Before you point a finger at someone else think about your own life. Is your security found in your 401K, your bank account, your insurance policy, your job? Or is your security in Christ alone? I'll admit that this is really hard for American Christians because we have so much wealth and our wealth does give us some security. We have to remember that all earthly wealth is temporal, but God is eternal. Make God not just your proclaimed Savior but your functional Savior, too. Actually lean on Him and see what He will do with your life.
So, remember that God is sovereign over all, even the pain in our lives. And make your functional savior the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, not wealth today.