Journal Proverbs 16 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” Prov 16:4
Observation: This is one of the hardest concepts in Christianity to wrap my mind around.
Analysis: When I think of God…what do I think about? Many times, I have not thought deeply, preferring the shallow to console my mind.
So far in Proverbs I have been confronted with a ton of practical matters—stay away from the lure of illicit sex; open my mouth to be found a fool, keep it shut to portray wisdom; be just in my dealings concerning money and perception of others; raise my children with me fearing the Lord; etc.
Sunday’s Bible reading included this: “…but each one shall die for his own sin…”, or paraphrased, “…each one shall be responsible for the output of his own sin…” 2 Chron 25:4b
If I include Romans 9:17, God says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that My Name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”, then I am presented with a difficulty: God’s purposes in the Gospel includes that He made the wicked for a purpose.
God’s Sovereignty. Easy to say, hard to get my mind around because I can only imagine what that means. I get clues from the Scriptures (number of my hairs, feeds the sparrows, captures all my tears, and the like) but I cannot really grasp fully what He does.
What does this mean for my everyday stuff? At the minimum it makes the statement “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” an action to suspend my own reasoning of circumstances and respond in faith with gratitude. (1 Thes 5:21)
It even puts supposed actions of the devil in perspective—God made the wicked for the day of trouble.
All of this wraps up in the Plan of the Gospel.
Even so, if I can just start my reflex to give thanks and not complain, I am inching my way to maturity.
Prayer: Jesus, your Word is life. Mysteries are found and sometimes answers; many times, it takes years of meditation and threading together Scripture to understand. I think you made it this way to encourage and build reflexes in seeking You. Help me to mortify complaining, because my complaining is complaining about Your Hand in my life. AMEN.