Grasp this!

John Newtonby John Newton

“The LORD does whatever pleases Him–in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from His storehouses.” Psalm 135:6-7

God’s sovereignty is but another name for the unlimited exercise of wisdom and goodness and power. Nothing can hinder Him.

Every drop of rain hits its appointed target–and every particle of dust is carried by the wind to its appointed resting place.

If we could but grasp this in the depth of our being, our souls would be liberated to depend fully on God’s governance over our lives, and to learn to count trials, all joy!

“Our God is in heaven–He does whatever pleases Him.” Psalm 115:3

“All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: What have you done?” Daniel 4:35

by John Newton

 

Joy and Godliness

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

“I rejoice and share my joy with you” (Phil. 2:17).

True joy is directly related to godly living.

Philippians is often called the epistle of joy—and rightly so because the believer’s joy is its major theme. Paul loved the Philippian Christians and they loved Him. When they learned that he had been imprisoned for preaching the gospel, they were deeply concerned.

Paul wrote to alleviate their fears and encourage their joy. Of his own circumstances he said, “Even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. And you too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me” (Phil. 2:17- 18).

Often a Jewish animal sacrifice was accompanied by a libation or drink offering (e.g., Num. 15:1-10). The animal was the greater sacrifice; the libation the lesser. Drawing from that picture, Paul placed greater significance on the faith and spiritual well-being of his readers than on his own life. To suffer for Christ’s sake brought him joy, and he wanted the Philippians to understand that perspective and rejoice with him.

He also wanted them to understand that joy doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It’s directly related to godly living. Christ is its source; obedience is its sustenance. We see that in David’s cry of repentance: “Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation” (Ps. 51:12). Paul knew the joy of the Lord because he trusted Christ and obeyed His will.

The scarcity of joy and godliness in the world today makes it imperative that Christians manifest those characteristics. As we do, others will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16).

by John MacArthur