Posted by Jerry White on Jul 18, 2016
“God’s people have no assurance that the dark experiences of life will be held at bay, much less that God will provide some sort of running commentary on the meaning of each day’s allotment of confusion, boredom, pain, or achievement. It is no great matter where we are, provided we see that the Lord has placed us there, and that He is with us.”
“We are moved by the act of God. Omniscience holds no conference. Infinite authority leaves no room for compromise. Eternal love offers no explanations. The Lord expects to be trusted. He disturbs us at will. Human arrangements are disregarded, family ties ignored, business claims put aside. We are never asked if it is convenient.”
Samuel Chadwick, quoted by J. Oswald Sanders Enjoying Intimacy With God, 97
In your darkest night the Lord of love has not forgotten you. The hand that guides you is nail scared because He loves you. Your Father who directs your steps sacrificed His all for you in His Son. When you have unanswered questions and heaven seems silent you can know your Shepherd is tending you. Jesus said to a father in a dark time of receiving word of his daughter’s death, “Do not fear, only believe” (Luke 8:50, ESV).
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 27, 2015
“Not a drop of rain can fall outside the orb of Jesus’ sovereignty. All our days—our health, our illnesses, our joys, our victories, our tears, our prayers, and the answers to our prayers—fall within the sweep of the sovereignty of one who wears a human face, a thorn-shadowed face. All of God’s sovereignty is mediated through one who was crucified on my behalf. For Christians, that means God’s sovereignty can no longer be viewed as a merely creedal point, still less as the source of endless mystery. There is more than enough material for creedal confession here, and not a little mystery; but these mysteries revolve around one who died in my place. The mysteries of prayer remain, but they dissolve in worship and gratitude. It is far easier to accept the mysteries of divine sovereignty when the divine love is as great as the divine sovereignty.”
D. A. Carson
A Call To Spiritual Reformation, 179-180
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
John 15:9 (ESV)
Would the Heavenly Father love His only Son and not watch over every detail of His life? Possessing all authority, power, and wisdom would the Father allow His Son to go through any unnecessary trial or difficulty? Could Jesus of Nazareth live with even the slightest uncertainty about whether His Heavenly Father was in sovereign control of all His circumstances and relationships and was carefully guiding His steps? Could the Lord Jesus doubt for a second that His Father was hearing His prayers any time and especially in dark and turbulent times? When our Savior says that He loves us just like His Father has loved Him will I doubt Him? Will you? This love can never be measured or plumbed to its depth. It is pure, infinite, eternal and unchangeable. Do I believe that He watches over every detail of my life? Can I live with the certainty that He is in sovereign control of all my circumstances and relationships and is indeed guiding my steps, even when I don’t understand? Do I doubt for a moment that He hears my prayers when I am in a dark and troubling place? His divine sovereignty blends perfectly with His infinite love, and with His Father’s tender heart He shepherds you and listens to you when you pray. You can trust Him!
A Disciple’s Notebook, 38-39
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 20, 2015
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
Psalm 115:3 (ESV)
“We are moved by the act of God. Omniscience holds no conference. Infinite authority leaves no room for compromise. Eternal love offers no explanations. The Lord expects to be trusted. He disturbs us at will. Human arrangements are disregarded, family ties ignored, business claims put aside. We are never asked if it is convenient.” (Samuel Chadwick, quoted by J. Oswald Sanders, Enjoying Intimacy With God, 97)
She was a teenage girl. He was the town carpenter. Mary was legally pledged to be married to Joseph, but she was still a single virgin when God miraculously impregnated her by His Spirit. What would this do to her reputation among the townsfolk, even family? What about the whispers and the smirky glances cast her way? Would Joseph even believe her, and what would her betrothed do? “The Lord expects to be trusted.”
Joseph was a righteous and just man (Matthew 1:19). He considered what he should do. Divorce her quietly? But an angel of the Lord spoke to him through a dream. “Take Mary as your wife.” This is “the act of God.” She bears God’s Son by God’s Spirit. “The Lord expects to be trusted.”
Because of a decree from Caesar Augustus that everyone should be registered, Joseph must leave his work, take Mary in her last week of pregnancy, and travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a journey of seventy plus miles through dangerous mountainous terrain. God Himself arranged these difficult circumstances. He would fulfill His promise that the Messiah, His only Son, would be born in Bethlehem. “He disturbs us at will.” “Human arrangements are disregarded.”
After a long three day journey there was no place for these peasants to stay in the inn. Surely sovereign God could have reserved a place for His Son to be born indoors. Instead, these chosen earthly parents for the Savior were directed to an animal shelter with all its unsanitary conditions.
These poor parents endured very difficult circumstances for God’s only Son to enter our world without any recorded complaint. “Eternal love offers no explanations.” “We are never asked if it is convenient.” “He does all He pleases.” “He expects to be trusted.”
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 1, 2014
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John1:1).
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son (Hebrews 1:1).
Why was God speaking?
One reason, and one reason only, moved Him. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son (John 3:16). His incomprehensible love—-love higher than the heavens—-is God’s motive.
What is God speaking?
His heart. In His Son made flesh He was declaring the heart of God—-His character, how we can be made right with Him, and how we can please and honor Him. All that God did for Christ, with Christ, and through Christ was God making His heart known to us. This means both His actions and His words reveal what God values and treasures.
God chose peasants, not wealthy ones or royalty, to be His Son’s earthly parents.
God chose to impregnate a young unmarried Jewish virgin by the Holy Spirit in spite of the bad reputation this would give her.
God chose for Mary to make a three day journey to Bethlehem through treacherous and dangerous mountainous terrain in the last week of her pregnancy.
God chose not to reserve a place in the inn for these poor, weary parents, but rather in His sovereignty He arranged for His Son to be born in an animal shelter with the smells, sounds and insects that naturally would be present.
God chose not to provide a midwife to assist this young woman giving birth to her first-born child but rather a young carpenter whom she had never intimately known.
God chose not to announce the birth of His Messiah to world or religious leaders, but rather to lowly shepherds tending their flocks out in the fields.
The lesson is clear. God values lowliness, faith, and obedience. A person’s status, wealth, reputation, and comfort is not His primary concern. His will—-for His glory—-is His purpose.
See the last posting below for information regarding a book of selected readings from A Disciple’s Notebook that is now available for purchase.
Posted by Jerry White on Aug 26, 2013
God is a person, an invisible Spirit person but a real person. Even though He is all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful, he is not untouchable. Even though He is sovereign, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, He is intensely personal. We can dare to say He is profoundly intimate. Not a sparrow falls apart from His will (Matthew 10:29). He feeds the bird of the air (Matthew 6:26). He clothes the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:28). He calls each star by name (Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:26). He numbers the hairs of your head (Luke 12:7). Not a thought crosses your mind but what He knows it perfectly (Psalm 139:2). He is acquainted with all your ways (Psalm 139:3). He numbered your days before there was yet one of them (Psalm 139:16). Not an atom moves without His control (Colossians 1:17).
The Trinity is the most intimate relationship in existence, one in three and three in one—tri-unity. Far beyond human comprehension are three distinct persons in one God, each knowing Himself distinct from the others but each equal in essence, power, and glory with the other persons, and each fulfilling His particular role in the Godhead. We must rest content that there is no possible way we can grasp, illustrate, or explain with finite minds this infinite, wondrous truth.
All of creation reveals what God can do, but mankind was created to reveal what God is like. God intended mankind to be the visible expression of His invisible and magnificent character. Just as Jesus declared that he who had seen Him had seen the Father (John 14:9), so God intended the same to be said of us (Ephesians 4:24). He created us in His image to manifest His beautiful character.
Eve, the first woman, was deceived by Satan into eating the forbidden fruit, and then by her temptation to the first man, Adam disobeyed God’s clear command (Genesis 3:1-7). His disobedience brought the entire human race into slavery to sin, and death followed, just as God had promised (Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 5:12).
In time, as the human race increased, God saw that man’s wickedness was great in the earth. He further saw that every imagination of man’s heart was only evil continually, and He was sorry that He had made mankind (Genesis 6:5-6). Then follows this stunning statement about sovereign, infinite, eternal God—and it grieved him to his heart. God as a person can be grieved to His heart by our sin—yours and mine. Love grieves over loss. Our behavior affects God with either grief or delight,
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 2, 2012
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9, (ESV)
When one considers the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth it becomes quite clear that God’s ways are not what any human would naturally choose. Humans always desire what is comfortable, convenient, and explainable. We often think God should act in ways that make sense to us without leaving unanswered questions. God is not concerned with our comfort, convenience, and unanswered questions about what and why His will is what it is. A significant part of death to self in order for Christ to rule in your life is to lay down any hope of understanding God’s infinite, all-wise ways. Who can grasp the expanse of the heavens or count the grains of sand on the oceans’ shores plus the world’s deserts. That would be easier than understanding God’s sovereign ways. He accomplishes His will by His Spirit for His glory with infinite love, and He answers to no one for the way He chooses. Peace comes when we leave it all quietly in His loving hands with complete trust. He is working all things together in the best possible way for His purpose.
Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth (Chapter 2) illustrates this vividly.
Was God not concerned about Mary’s reputation when His Spirit impregnated this unmarried teenage girl? What about Joseph’s reputation as her husband to be?
Why would God arrange for a census to be taken at the end of Mary’s pregnancy so that she would have to travel in her last week on a three-day difficult journey to Bethlehem?
Why would God not reserve Mary and Joseph space in the inn instead of having them go to an animal shelter with animal droppings, insects, and a feeding trough for His baby Son to rest in? Why did God not provide a midwife to assist Mary in childbirth instead of only Joseph to help her?
Why would God announce the birth of the Savior to a few lowly shepherds in a field rather than to religious and / or world leaders in Jerusalem?
With far less than ideal circumstances, God accomplished His decreed will. He still works this way, and says, “Trust Me even though you do not understand.”
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 8, 2012
At ninety-three years of age, with a body worn out, my widowed mom longed to be with Jesus. She often asked me to ask the Lord to take her home, and she did not understand why the Lord left her here. I would respond that I trusted Him to take her in His time that was appointed before she was born (Psalm 139:16). After her broken hip, her decline was quite stark both mentally and physically. We visited her in July (900 miles away) and even though her ability to remember and speak clear sentences was greatly diminished, one day when I was sitting alone with her she said with strong voice and passionate affirmation, “I just want to go be with Jesus!” I knew she meant it with every ounce of her being. I once again assured her of our Lord’s perfect plan and timing for His will to be done. We trusted and rested in His gracious will.
This morning (Sunday, January 8, 2012) at five o’clock the Lord Jesus called His redeemed child to Himself, and now she gazes on the glorious splendor of His majesty.
There are moments of grief for the loss of Mom who loved me so much, her only child, and faithfully prayed for me all these years. Yet there are moments when my soul inwardly stands up and shouts Hallelujah! We believers are born again to a living hope (1 Peter 1:3).
O death we defy thee!
A stronger than thou
Hath entered thy place;
We fear thee not now!
O sing Hallelujah! O sing Hallelujah!
O sing Hallelujah, be joyful and sing,
The grave cannot scare us—Christ Jesus is King!
Our Lord Christ hath risen!
Day breaketh at last;
The long night of weeping
Is now well-nigh past.
O sing Hallelujah! O sing Hallelujah!
O sing Hallelujah, be joyful and sing,
Our foes are all conquered—Christ Jesus is King!
Lord Plunket –Bishop of Meath (1629-1681)
(Note: I will not post again until these days for mom’s funeral are past.)
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 7, 2011
“The Lord was pleased to visit me with a slight illness in my late journey. The Lord gave me much peace in my soul, and I was enabled to hope He would bring me safe home, in which I was not disappointed. I have reason to speak much of His goodness, for it was sweetened with abundant mercies. I thought that had it been His pleasure I should have continued sick at Oxford, or even have died there, I had no objection. Though I had that joy and sensible comfort which some are favored with, yet I was quite free from pain, fear, and care, and felt myself sweetly composed to His will, whatever it might be. Thus He fulfills His promise in making our strength equal to our day; and every new trial gives us a new proof how happy it is to be enabled to put our trust in Him.
Take it for granted upon the warrant of His word, that you are His, and He is yours; that He has loved you with an everlasting love, and therefore in loving-kindness has drawn you to himself—that He will surely accomplish that which He has begun and that nothing which can be named or thought of shall ever be able to separate you from Him. This persuasion will give you strength for the battle. Be strong therefore, not in yourself, but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
John Newton (1725-1807), formerly a slave trader
Fill Me With Hope, April 17
Compiled by Paul M. Miller
Through him [Jesus Christ] we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand.
Romans 5:2 (ESV)
As God’s child you are always steadfastly in His grace and nothing can ever remove you from that secure position. It needs to be settled in your heart that whatever comes to you comes by the Father’s permission, tenderly measured by Him, in order to accomplish in your soul His eternal purpose for you. If you do not live with this strong conviction, then you have no anchor for your soul, and you will be tossed to and fro by whatever happens.
Posted by Jerry White on Mar 24, 2011
“Recently I sat in the garden with my friend and secretary. We were in perfect health, rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness. We were happy as we sat there reading the Word of God and meditating. Dare we think of being so happy? Within five days I was stricken with disabling pain, and worse, far worse, he was called upon to lose his wife. Here is our comfort: the Lord has done it. The best rose in the garden is gone. Who has taken it? The Gardener. He planted it and watched over it, and now He has taken it. Does anyone weep because of that? No! Everyone knows it is best that He should come and gather the garden’s finest.
Are you deeply troubled by the loss of your loved one? Remember, the next time the Lord comes to your part of the garden, He will only gather His flowers.
Would you prevent Him from doing this, even if you could?”
C. H. Spurgeon
Beside still Waters, 46
Roy H. Clarke, Editor
“If we are to experience serenity in this turbulent world, we will need to take firmer grasp of God’s sovereignty and trust His love even when we cannot discern His purpose. We must remember that the hand molding the clay is nail-pierced, and that our God’s sovereignty will never clash with His paternity.”
J Oswald Sanders
Enjoying Intimacy With God, 95
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Job 1:20-21 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Nov 30, 2009
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
Psalm 115:2-3 (ESV)
The Lord Jesus is on His throne and no one can dethrone Him. He rules the universe. All nature is subject to His command. Every nation is like a drop from a bucket, and every nation’s ruler is under His authority. Because He is sovereign He does whatever He pleases. Rejoice with peace—our Almighty Savior is in charge. As Master Builder and Owner He holds all the keys in His omnipotent hand and no one can snatch them from Him.
Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
“It is not easy to be still in this rough and restless world. Yet God says, ‘Be still’; and He also says, ‘In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength’ (Isaiah 30:15).
Be still, and know that I can put all enemies to shame. The Lord shall hold them in derision. Who shall contend with Him who made the heavens and the earth? Remember, I am God.
Be still, and know that I can uphold My own truth in a day of error. Is not My truth precious to me? And My book of truth, is it not above all books in My eyes? Remember, I am God.
Be still, and you shall know that I can say to the nations, ‘Peace, be still.’ The waves rise, but I am mightier than all. Remember, these tumults do not touch My throne. Take no alarm; I am still God.
Be still, and you shall see the glorious issue of all these confusions. Know that this world is My world, and you shall see it to be so. Remember, this earth shall yet be the abode of the righteous, because I am God.
Horatius Bonar (Scotland, 1808-1889)
Fill Me With Hope, compiled by Paul M. Miller, October 14