“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jer. 31:3)
From The Christian Church in the Last Days
The best example to illustrate the perfection of the purposes of God is the life-script of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God. What is seamlessly perfect about the divinely composed life-plan of Jesus is that it is absolutely unselfish. Jesus is not leisurely sailing the Mediterranean Sea with people waiting upon Him to satisfy His every need. Everything that Jesus does is for us. Even though the suffering of the cross adds a new perspective to God’s reality that He never experienced before (Hebrews 5:7-9), there is no redemptive value for Jesus Christ on the cross, because Jesus does not need redemption from sin. Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God sacrifice for the sins of the world. The sacrifice on the cross is for us.
What is astounding is that God is so brilliantly creative that He can compose a life-script for the perfect Son of God Jesus Christ, which actually contains an element of challenging difficulty. God knew that we would have difficulty with the second half of the cross that requires our self-in-charge nature to be set aside so that God can effectively work with us. Jesus says in Luke 12:50 “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am straightened till it be accomplished!” (KJV), not because, like us, Jesus is in need of character growth through adversity. Jesus is already divinely perfect.
In Luke 22:44, it is recorded that Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane went back a second time to “pray more earnestly.” This is beyond our comprehension. We would normally assume that everything Jesus did, especially prayer, was perfect the first time. In Luke 22:42 Jesus prays “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” How can God be so brilliantly creative to be able to write into the earthly experience of the divine Son of God Jesus, the element of difficult challenge which is totally foreign to the perfect nature of God, just so He could tell us He personally understands our own difficulty in picking up our cross in order to follow God? Even within the absolute perfection of the ways and purposes of God, the life-script of Jesus manages to contain God-challenging elements of difficulty written-in for our future consolation and encouragement. This touches me at the capacity of my intellect and the depth of my heart.
It is the precise and intricate ways and purposes of God that enlists our own in-built facility for purpose, which can be integrated by God into any set of current life circumstances and events. Whether we are a heart surgeon, congresswoman, appellate court judge, school teacher, auto mechanic, pastor of a small-town church, writer of Christian books, or housewife raising children, God can overlay and integrate His higher ways and purposes into our lives if we will surrender and yield our self-wills to Him in faith and trust. The deliverance and salvation of God within the challenges of life, expressed so beautifully throughout the Psalms, takes place within the plans of God, and not our own. Innate purpose translates into reality at the highest most glorious level when orchestrated and directed within the framework of a God-composed journey of faith.
Sometimes purpose and worldly conventional normalcy do not mix. Sometimes we cannot have both the risk-filled pursuit of truth and the security of conventional normalcy simultaneously within the dynamics of this broken world. Jesus, the Lamb-of-God sacrifice for the sins of the world can only die and be resurrected if His generation rejects and crucifies Him. Only God can knit together a meaningful and purposeful tapestry of the commendable aspects of the Protestant work ethic with the worldly incomprehensible, biblical journey of faith through the cross of Calvary.
All of the people of faith in the Bible gave up some measure of worldly conventional normalcy in following God’s life-script for them. This separates out and elevates the quality of purpose and meaning into a higher zone that only God can orchestrate. This highlights the wisdom of God in the area of purpose, and like the scriptural example of God composing a life-script for Jesus that contained challenging difficulty for our consolation, it reveals an imaginative creativity that is at the edge of perfection regarding brilliantly directed purpose. If even our hardships work an eternal glory in us that we cannot fully understand in the present moment, orchestrated, managed, and moderated by a loving and brilliantly wise God at the limits of perfection, this should bolster our faith and confidence when outward appearances seem close to hopeless.
The narrative stories of faith in the Bible tell us that God knows precisely what He is doing, dovetailed perfectly with the type and measure of purpose He has placed within us. Laws, rules, precepts, psalms of praise and encouragement, prophetic warnings, and historical events all occupy their place in the revelation of God to man. But the biblical narrative stories of faith demonstrate in action the will and ways of God within life-events to reveal His craftsmanship in the management of our journeys of faith and discovery.