Read: Acts 7:51-60
There is a striking confession made by the child of God: he has a “firm trust” in God his Father. That firm trust remains no matter what my Father determines for me.
That confession is so contrary to much which one hears today. One is told that he must pray—earnestly pray—that Father will provide with good health or great wealth. If he is very sick, he is to pray for recovery and deliverance. If only his faith is strong enough, Father will answer with healing. If one seeks many others to pray for and with him, the certainty of healing would be greater.
Lest we be misunderstood, we must assert that God hears and answers prayer. That, however, does not mean that God will give whatever we ask Him.
What is it that we can “firmly trust” that God will surely do? We confess that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. That’s the truth of greatest comfort for the Christian. Whether I have serious sickness which may lead to death or I have been given health and strength, neither can separate me from the love of God. Whether I am in abject poverty or have great wealth, neither can separate me from the love of God. Whether I am martyred for my faith’s sake or remain relatively free to worship, neither can separate me from the love of God.
Scripture gives remarkable proof of this. Rom. 8:35-39 states this explicitly. Stephen was stoned to death (Acts 7:50-60). King Herod killed James, the brother of John, but was unable to kill the Apostle Peter because God’s angels delivered him from prison (Acts 12).
The conclusion is Scriptural: God will work whatsoever He sends to His own so that they are preserved in His love.
It is the great truth of God’s Providence that “all creatures are so in His hand that, without His will, they cannot so much as move.” That is a profound statement! Fallen angels (including the devil), governments, storms, earthquakes, yes—and all conceivable things in God’s creation are “in His hand.” Because that is true, we can believe that “nothing can separate us from the love of God.” If that were not true, we could fear separation from God’s love. Then God is not almighty. He Himself could not prevent His people from being forever lost. Thank Him that He is indeed Sovereign and surely preserves His own in love.
Van Baren, Gise J.
Rev. G. Van Baren (Wife: Clara)
Ordained: October, 1956
Pastorates: Doon, IA - 1956; Randolph, WI - 1962; First, Grand Rapids, MI - 1965; Hudsonville, MI - 1977; Loveland, CO - 1994
Emeritus: 1999Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Rev._Gise_Van_Baren
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