The Thought of God

by John Yoder on August 14, 2014

Here is one of the lessons that we learned from Mark 4:35-41 last week: we need not fear, if we recognize the presence of God with us in Jesus Christ and believe.  So in times of fear we are to turn to thoughts of God and appropriate the truth by faith.  The following quote from The Thought of God by Maurice Roberts has similar encouragement:

“The art of good thinking is to carry thought to its logical conclusion.  Sir Isaac Newton is said to have claimed no more for his profound theories than that he took the lines of his thought farther than other men did and so perceived the hidden ‘laws’ which he formulated.  That is a lesson which Christians can learn from.  The mere thought of God should end all anxiety.  Then why in my case does it not?  Because I fail to carry thought to its proper conclusion.

If God be God, then no insoluble problems exist.  And if God be my God, then no problem of mine is without its appropriate solution.  There is in God just exactly what is needed to solve every riddle of life.  Such a Being is God that he comprehends in himself all that we could ever need to neutralize all evils, veto all temptations, negative all sorrows and compensate for all losses.  More still, there  is in God such a supply of competence and wisdom that he is able to transform every ill into good as soon as it touches us.  God has, so to say, the ‘Midas touch’, by which all the Christian’s problems turn to gold in his hands.  To be told that ‘all things work together for good’ [Rom. 8:28] to us is to have more than a cordial.  It is to have the elixir of life.

Panic is the sinful failure to apply our knowledge of God to particular problems.  Peter looks at the waves and begins to sink.  The disciples in the boat are alarmed at the storm.  Like them, we also fall into periodic fits of despair at the state of society, the state of the church, the state of the mission-field where we serve perhaps, or else at the imperfect state of our own souls.  Panic is possible only when God is obscured from our thoughts by visible circumstances.

It must follow from what has been said that the degree of a Christian’s peace of mind depends upon his spiritual ability to interpose the thought of God between himself and his anxiety.  When the dark cloud of trouble first looms up on the horizon of our thought, then is the time to apply our theology in downright earnest.  For it is not outward circumstances that can drag us down, but our own reaction of despair to them, when we fail to perceive the hidden hand of God in all events.

There is no situation in life too hard for God.  But many situations look too hard at first sight.  These are ordained to give us room to wait on God for his deliverance.  There is a blessing attached to waiting patiently on God in evil days.  The impatient urge to resign and run away when times are trying is unworthy of the sons of God.  There is a better way.  Let us remember God and take fresh courage.  He who believes shall not make haste and, conversely, they shall not be ashamed who wait for God [Isa. 28:16; 49:23].”

Roberts, Maurice, “The Thought of God,” in The Thought of God (Carlisle: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1995), 6-7.

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