In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep… (Genesis 1:1-2 NASB) But what if God had stopped there, what if we lived in a dark and formless world?
God could have left the earth formless, void, and dark. But instead He choose to create an environment that is filled with constantly changing shapes, colors, textures, and so much more. Genesis chapter 1 concludes by telling us that everything God created was not only good, but it was “very good.” He didn’t skimp, He didn’t give half measures. He created an environment for us that was very good! And, even though what we experience today has been defiled by sin and the consequences thereof, it is still quite an amazingly awesome world.
One of the blessings of living in Norway is the natural beauty that is everywhere. No matter where I look, I see either the sea, a crystal clear lake or fjord, or a mountain. For someone like me who enjoys the outdoors, this is a perfect place to call home. But even in the short time that I have lived here I find myself getting caught in two different traps. One is taking the beauty for granted, the other is enjoying the creation without acknowledging the Creator. I believe that God has revealed His glory to us through creation in order that He might receive glory from us. But the only way He receives that glory is for us to acknowledge and worship Him and to encourage others to do the same.
Whether we look at the deserts, the skies, or the jungles, there is always a natural beauty that should cause us to admire it and to praise the Creator for it. The Bible tell us in Job 36:24 “Remember that you should exalt His work, Of which men have sung… (NASB)
Dear friend, I believe that enjoying the creation without worshiping the Creator is an offense against God because it robs God of the glory He deserves. And, no matter where you are there is plenty of God’s beautiful creation around you to remind you of His awesomeness, His supremacy, and His unequalled power. Won’t you take a moment to praise God and worship Him because of who He is and what He has done?
This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
I have been meditating on this verse for over a week now…
A few mornings ago I was sitting on our deck about 250 yards from the sea enjoying my coffee and watching the boats go about their business. It was 60-65F, overcast, and calm wind. It was a perfect time for me; early morning, outside, and enjoying God’s creations; both the view and the coffee. It was easy to “rejoice and be glad” that morning because everything was perfect. But I wondered how I would respond when the day doesn’t go perfectly? That would be the true measure of my faith and obedience to God’s word.
The very next day when I got up, the view was completely gone. There was a thick fog blocking everything and my wonderful view was missing. And, the fog also ruined my planned bike ride. This day was not so perfect.
But, even though I couldn’t see the same things as yesterday I still knew they were there. Just because the fog was blocking my view didn’t mean the sea and the boats no longer existed, it just meant they were temporarily out of sight.
The fog actually helped clarify Psalm 118:24 to me. Whether I “see” a good day or not God desires that I rejoice and am glad in the day that He has made. Not because of how the day turns out, but solely because God created the day. Regardless of what the day brings, I please God when I rejoice and am glad that He is the giver of the day and that He has ordained/allowed everything in that day to happen. I can choose to submit myself to God’s sovereignty in my life and praise Him regardless of the situation, or I can choose to whine and complain because this isn’t what I planned. One is glorifying to God, the other is not.
As I write this, I have two dear Brothers in Christ who are experiencing the world of cancer. One is living it himself and the other is watching his wife live it. I’m sure that not too long ago, each of them woke up one morning and said “this is a perfect day,” and then they heard the doctor say the “C” word.
These two men are heroes to me because in spite of their situations, they choose to praise the Father. Not just when life is going well, but also when life doesn’t turn out like they had planned. They could have chosen to look at the cancer and say, there is no God or how could a loving God allow this to happen to me. But instead, they have chosen to say “because God has created this day, I will praise His name and accept what He allows.” Whether it is a beautiful day or a foggy day, they praise the name of the Father.
When God’s word seems unrealistic or contrary to my human thinking, it doesn’t mean those words are no longer valid or that I no longer need to follow them. It simply means that I must follow them by faith. And if the God who placed the sun and the moon in the sky desires me to praise Him even when life doesn’t turn out like I planned, then I will praise Him. I will praise Him because He is worthy of my praise.
As I complete this writing the sun is out and I can see the water and the boats again. But, I can hear the Holy Spirit telling me, “Dave, trust me, not
what you can see!”
May the words of my mouth, the works of my hands, and the attitudes of my heart, bring praise, glory, and honor to the one and only Jehovah God, regardless of my situation.