God has a fixed, determined purpose. He has His thoughts from eternity clearly and perfectly defined. The world is not in a jumble; things are not, from God’s standpoint, in chaos. They may be from man’s point of view, but from God’s they are not. One clear, sure thought and purpose is actively at work in all these things which are going on as they affect and touch the life of the people of God, and we must remember that, at the heart of the universe, are the elect; the very core of everything is the people of God, the “called according to his purpose.” That is why they are never exempt from the things which go on in the world; God never puts them into positions isolated from world happenings, never sets them aside in some place where they are untouched and unaffected. The Lord’s people are the heart of things and God’s fullest thought is centered in them; and around that people, embodying that thought of God, the whole creation is gathered, according to this Scripture, and is said to be groaning in travail in direct relation to this thought of God which is to emerge ultimately in the manifestation of the sons of God.
God’s thoughts are very high but they are not beyond any who have the Holy Spirit. Right from the beginning, before the world was created, God had a definite thought. It was not an idea that He was going to try out, not something that had come into His mind and He was going to experiment with it to see if He could bring it to pass. When God thinks a thought it is as good as an act. “I know the thoughts that I think toward you… to give you an expected end” (Jer. 29:11); and who will for a moment allow room for God’s thoughts to be ultimately defeated? No, God’s thoughts are God’s acts. So that He had a thought which was as good as an accomplishment from the beginning, and right through the ages He has been at work with that thought in relation to His own people; and in such times as this in which we are living, times of great trial for the people of God, that thought of God takes on a new meaning and His people ought to turn back to it in order that they may be saved.
What is it, then, that will secure us there? What will deliver us? It will be the basic and all-governing thought of God. If only you can be assured that God is definitely giving Himself to something, and can see what that something is, and can have, by the Holy Spirit, the witness in your own being that He is doing that in your case, you are delivered. Otherwise you are in chaos and you will soon be in despair. That is where the world is. It is indeed “having no hope and without God in the world.”
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