Wow! I don’t even know what to say, when I think about what today is – Thanksgiving day. I am led to know that in The Word every single book is laden with thanksgiving to God, because we are to be grateful for what we have, who we are, why we are; which means why we are Created. The fact is that The Word says that we were Known before we were born; so that our paths are predestined.
Predestination refers to God choosing who would inherit eternal life in Glory. Every professing Christian believes in predestination to some degree. The issue is when did it occur? Did predestination happen before the fall or after? Let’s take a look at the doctrine of election!
- Supralapsarianism – This viewpoint states that God’s decree, or choice of election and His decree of reprobation has to logically occur prior to His allowing the fall.
- Infralapsarianism – This view states that God allowing the fall logically happened prior to the decree to choose the election and when He passed over those whom would be reprobate.
1) “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” John 15:16
2) “Knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you,” 1 Thessalonians 1:4
3) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
4) “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” Colossians 3:12-13
5) “Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness.” Titus 1:1
6) “The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil.” Proverbs 16:4
God chose us
We did not choose Him. It pleased God to choose us. It was according to His kindness. God choosing us brings glory to His name because of His unfailing mercy and grace. The Bible is clear, God chose us. He personally set us apart from the rest of His created people. God chose those who would be His and passed over the rest. God alone is responsible for this process. Not man. If man had any part in this choice, then it would rob God of some of the glory.
describe those who have been predestined. It means set apart or chosen. God didn’t have the author of these New Testament book use the term Church or Christian or Believer. He chose to use the word elect.
Again, only God can justify. Only God can bring about our salvation. God chose us before the foundation of the world, and gave us mercy so that through His grace we could accept Him as Savior.
7) “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” 2 Timothy 1:9
8) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” Ephesians 1:3
9) “But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles.” Galatians 1:15-16
10) “In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:4
11) “And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” Matthew 24:31
12) “And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?” Luke 18:6-7
God’s sovereign election
Even in the Old Testament we see God sovereignly choosing His people. In the Old Testament, His people were a nation. This nation didn’t choose to serve God. God set them aside as His. He didn’t choose them because they were lovely, obedient, or special. He chose them because of His kindness.
Our salvation has nothing to do with our choosing God. It has nothing to do with our worth, our behavior, the words we say. It has absolutely nothing to do with us. Our salvation is a work of the Lord. It is a mercy of God bestowed to us.
We can look throughout scripture and see how many times and individual who served the Lord was known before their time. Simplicity is looking at the book of King David when we look at King David he was smaller than his brothers and was in the field taking care of cattle or sheep, he was able to practice his liar or his harp while he was in the fields tending the Sheep. But in the Statue he was too small to be of much regard. Right quick, when the profit Samuel came to the house of Jesse (David’s father), he saw the brothers and physically each and every one of them looked like they could be the next king of Israel. It was awesome that Samuel had learned to listen to the voice of God from time when he was a small child or even from the time it was born, so rather than anoint one of them he heard a voice in him say the boy is not here so he asked Jesse and said do you have any other children, at which point Jesse said yes I do have a son who is out in the field tending the Sheep so Samuel then send for David to be presents before they ate dinner. It is amazing to think that they were going to have dinner without David being present but this all changed.
Right quick, King Saul was still the king of Israel even though David had been anointed as God’s chosen. There is so much to learn about this one fact but we will do that in time. David was sent for and the spirit of the Lord touched Samuel and he then and empty the sister of oil on David’s head and appointed him as the next king of Israel. He went back to tending sheep as he had done even before he was anointed. This makes me smile! In time while Saul and the Israelites were fighting against the Philistines David’s father sent him to deliver a care package to his brothers while they were at war with the philistines. To cut a long story short, David was able to experience the taunting that Goliath levied against the Isreali army. He listened to a voice within him that said that he could defeat this Giant. Long story short, king Saul at that point had them dress him with armor that was so heavy, he could hardly move! Death token! The ‘voice’ again within him led him to a brook where we selected smooth stones! Think on this for a minute! A small/slight boy against a giant among men. Yet! We all have read what occured!
We may be facing a Goliath in our lives.
“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2–4 HCSB In the book of James, he says, “WHEN” we face trials, not IF we face trials. In other words, we will face trials during our lifetime. We have all endured trials. Some of us are enduring trials right now.
Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. We will all have trials again, and again.
When we do face trials, James says we should count it all joy. When our world is upside down in suffering and pain, this idea seems crazy to our human mind and body. But true joy does not stem from our circumstances, but rather from our trust and relationship with Jesus through The Holy Spirit. James is not saying we have to pretend there is no pain in the trial. But, he is saying we should practice patience in action and look for the positives in the situation.
What is God revealing in the present situation?
Many times God is trying to teach us something specific through our trials:
- We can learn and nurture patience through trials.
- We can realize our true character under pressure
- We can grow in our faith. We can learn to nurture our time with God.
- We can cultivate a stronger prayer life.
- We can recognize places of unforgiveness or brokenness in our lives.
What other positives might God show us through trials?
God can reach and teach others through our trials. Think about Paul’s time in prison. In 2 Corinthians, Paul reminds us of how he endured the hardship of being in prison. He took that bad situation and made it good. He made it for God’s glory. Paul looked beyond his trial and beyond himself. He saw the prison guards despair. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, he sang praises to God. He encouraged the guards and shared the gospel. He led them to Jesus! That is counting it all joy in action, my friends.
Let’s count our joys and always reflect our Light.
Like Paul, we should look for ways to demonstrate our faith regardless of our circumstances. We are lights for Jesus. There is a testimony within our trials.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the eternal salvation and peace You make available to each one of us through Your Son – Jesus, and The Holy Spirit. Father, I pray each person reading this devotion has received Your gifts and is trusting in You. May we all experience Your peace and joy that surpasses all understanding, even in our hardest and darkest of days. In Jesus’ name, Amen.