“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33). This the apostle Paul declares having expressed the surprising, convoluted, inside-out path of God in redeeming his people in history (Romans 9-11). His point: the mysterious ways in which God works in history aren’t fathomable by the likes of you and me. But God is working, nonetheless.
Such truth has been a great comfort to me in recent days. These have been hard and trying moments for our church family here at Capitol City. But these moments, too, are God’s, for every trial we face is ultimately his. So deep is God’s wisdom, so rich his mercy, so glorious his grace, that nothing happens apart from his purpose and permission. And because God is committed to building his church, no event in the universe which he permits or produces is outside his purpose to build his church.
Jesus promises, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades [hell] will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18). As he calls his church to her mission on the earth, he declares, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:18-19). The stunning sweep of Jesus’ authority: from heaven, to earth, to the gates of hell, Christ reigns supreme. Thus from heaven, to earth, to the gates of hell, Christ works to build his church. No event in history stands outside this purpose.
This Thursday evening, as I wrap up what has been a fairly arduous week, I take comfort in the ways in which God is building his church here at Capitol City. They are not the ways I would have built it, but his ways are not our ways…his ways are better. Let us take comfort in that. And let us pray for his work in building our church.