Great is our Lord
By: Ryan Nelson
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.
A.W. Tozer says, “Because God knows all things perfectly, he knows no thing better than any other thing, but all things equally well. He never discovers anything, he is never surprised, never amazed.” (click to tweet).
“Beyond measure” is a tough concept to grasp. In The Heavens: Intimate Moments with Your Majestic God, Kevin Hartnett grapples with what understanding beyond measure looks like:
“Indeed, through His own gracious revelation of Himself, we can understand God in part, but we can never fully comprehend Him, or even a single one of His qualities. There will always be more of His wisdom to understand, more of His power, more of His holiness, more of His love. We will never fathom Him, and we will never tire of Him. Through all eternity, we will look upon Him and marvel at the endlessly creative, wonderfully gracious, uniquely righteous, timelessly beautiful, unsearchably glorious, infinitely loving Maker and Ruler of all.”
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. (see whole passage).
The FSB has a lot to say on this one verse. In the second layer of notes on “before you were born” it remarks:
“The Apostle Paul seems to have applied this aspect of Jeremiah’s ministry to himself in Galatians 1:14–16. Paul’s rationale in doing so appears to be based on Jeremiah’s reputation as a prophet ‘to the nations’ and reflected in his calling ‘from the womb.’ Paul makes an implicit comparison between himself and Jeremiah as a means to legitimize his own qualifications as an apostle to the Gentiles.”
God had a purpose and a plan for Jeremiah before he was even born. But that doesn’t mean Jeremiah knew his purpose—he tried to convince God he had the wrong guy (Jeremiah 1:6).
Don’t be discouraged when you don’t know God’s plan. God knows where you’re going, and he knows what you need to get there (Jeremiah 1:7–9).
By: Ryan Nelson
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
“The finger of God symbolizes His power: Pharaoh’s magicians attributed the third plague to the finger of God (Exodus 8:19); the finger of God wrote the Law on stone tablets (Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10); in the New Testament, Jesus cast out demons by the finger of God (Luke 11:20).”
When we look at the work of God’s fingers, our lives seem far less significant—and that makes his deep concern for our lives that much more meaningful.
“The psalmist marvels that God—the supreme Creator—involves Himself with humanity. Job uses a similar phrase but with a different emphasis. Instead of wondering at God’s care, Job—in the midst of his suffering—wishes God would leave him alone (Job 7:17–21).”
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” Hebrews 4:16
When I was a little boy growing up in Hackensack, New Jersey, I would often fall asleep listening to my little radio. One of my favorite shows was “Big Joe’s Happiness Exchange,” beamed to my bedside from the heart of nearby New York City. The program always began with a deep, mellow voice saying, “Have no fear, Big Joe is here,” and then to the best of my memory he would sing something like . . .
Somebody cares about you and worries till the sun comes shining through!
Somebody cares if you sleep well at night
If your days go all wrong or if your day has gone right.
Then the song would conclude . . .
Please believe me it’s so,
but in case you didn’t know it,
Then people from all over the city would call in to talk to Big Joe. With an understanding and quieting spirit he would listen and encourage those who were hurting and lonely. If they had material needs, other people would call in to offer help. It was love, grace, and mercy in action. And there was something really comforting about it, even to my little soul as I fell asleep.
I’ve always been glad that Jesus offers us comfort and help like that.
Even more caring than Big Joe and much more capable to meet our needs, Jesus desires to be personally involved in our lives, to grant peace to our anxious souls, and to supply all our needs. Not limited to a one-hour call-in program, our God is “an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). And, when our troubles are so complex and overwhelming that we don’t even know what to ask for, we are assured that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness,” praying for us “with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26). He promises that God will meet all of our needs “according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) and that He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20)! And just when you think you are down for the count, He assures you that you are not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:9) and that nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:31-39)!
Knowing that He is there “24/7” is great news!
I loved Big Joe as a kid. As an adult, I love Jesus even more! What comfort and strength to know that He is ready and waiting to supply mercy and grace in our time of need.
Have no fear—Jesus is here!