Committing To a Faithful Creator
By Kent Heaton
“Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1Peter 4:19).
In the beginning God created all the heavens and the earth. When He finished with His grand scheme of creation, the Lord God looked upon His work and declared it very good. Everything formed by the hand of God had a purpose and design. Creation was unfolded in a precise manner as each day of creation became dependent upon the previous. Light was created before the firmament, plants, animals and heavenly bodies because everything requires the source of light for life. Man was created last as the first of creation. As the Creator of the world, the Lord is the master designer with each particle of His design accomplishing the purpose He intended. When Peter exhorts the saints to face bravely the persecution of being a Christian, he appeals to the nature of God as being the Creator for the brethren to have hope and confidence. At first glance it might be considered in times of peril the Holy Spirit would use the idea of trusting in God as a “Savior” or “Lord” or an endearing term of courage to rally the faith of those facing persecution. Rather, the soul needs to commit to God as to a faithful Creator if they are to suffer persecution as a Christian.
The Holy Spirit does not mince words when He guides the writings of holy scrip. All of God’s people have suffered the humiliation of oppression since the beginning of time. Living in a world of darkness is difficult for those who profess the light of God. Peter instructs the first century disciples to bear up under the heavy trials of standing for truth and righteousness before a world filled with hatred, jealousy and wrath. The fiery trials of persecution would come by separating themselves from the wickedness of the world. Their lives would be holy, pure and devoted to obedience to the word of God and the world would not understand. Peter’s appeal is to remember that like the creation of the world, God has a design and a purpose for everything He establishes. Facing the cruel hand of suffering as a Christian is in the creative design and purpose of God.
It is very difficult to see the hand of God working in the life of one who is enduring persecution but when the heart is committed to knowing the Lord has a purpose in all He has created, hope springs forth with a peace that passes understanding. Those who suffer are to do good – not evil. God created His righteous people to be the light of righteousness. Why does He allow His people to suffer at the hands of ungodly men? When Jesus suffered the humiliating death of crucifixion what did the centurion say when he saw the Lord die? Jesus committed His soul to the Father and died according to the design and purpose of His Father. The centurion said, “Certainly this was a righteous man.” If anyone suffers as a Christian, they must commit their souls to God and trust Him as a faithful Creator.
Facing persecution can only come from those who see God as the Creator and trusting that in all things He is a faithful Creator who will bring about everything He has promised. God is always faithful and will bring to pass what He has promised. He has never failed in His promises. The righteous man Job learned the faithfulness of God when he faced insurmountable trials. As a faithful Creator, the Lord worked in the lives of Abraham, Moses, David and His Son Jesus Christ. All creation cries out the design of God is for His glory, wisdom and power. Suffering as a Christian is the design of the Creator who has made faithful promises of eternal life for those who commit their souls to Him. Looking to the Father with the confidence He will never fail His children, those hearts that face sorrow, trials, tribulations and heartaches can have the courage to endure all things for His glory. Jesus faced the cross with joy because He knew His Father was faithful. And He was right! Why should we believe anything less? God has a purpose for my life. Let me show the glory of God by committing my soul to His purpose and design. To God be the glory.
We are not God
It is a good thing that we are not God; we do not have to understand God’s ways, or the suffering and brokenness and pain that sooner or later come to us all. But we do have to know in the very depths of our being that the ultimate end of the story, no matter how many aeons it takes, is going to be all right” (Madeleine L’Engle).
When people blame their parents, siblings, people they work with or for, neighbors or the general social conditions that surround them, they are blaming their environment. Although we are undoubtedly influenced substantially by environmental conditioning, ultimately we cannot blame anything external to ourselves for what we think, say and do. That is, we are who we choose to be.
It is doubtful that any person will ever be completely satisfied with what he has done with his life. We may even despise what we have become. But we must not use our past failures or current habits as excuses not to improve. The most important part of moral courage and developing godliness is accepting responsibility for who we are today, so that we can choose a responsible course for the future. (Oscar C. Miles)
With the appearance of the two-bathroom home, Americans forgot how to cooperate. With the appearance of the two-car family, we forgot how to associate. With the coming of the two-television home, we forgot how to communicate. With the coming of a smart phone in every hand, we have forgotten that we have families.
A Teen-Ager’s Prayer
“Dear Father in heaven, I am young and don’t understand what it is like to be a parent, but it must be very hard. I pray you will help Mom and Dad to be good parents, strong in the ways you want them to be. I want to look up to them with admiration and feel confident that their instruction is right.
“Help me, dear Lord, to understand my parents. Remind me that, when I don’t get my way, it is because they love me and not because they want to be mean or deprive me of a good time.
“When I become stubborn and refuse to listen, help me, God, to accept the fact that they have wisdom and experience since they were once teen-agers themselves; whereas I have never been a parent.
“Put in my heart the respect and consideration they deserve for their years of hard work and sacrifice. They raised me as best they could. Let me not repay them with grief or shame. Rather, help me to give them obedience, respect, forgiveness and love.
“Most of all, God, while I still have my parents here on earth, help me to appreciate them and let them know I do.”