“Acquainted With Grief”
He is…a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. —Isaiah 53:3
We are not “acquainted with grief” in the same way our Lord was acquainted with it. We endure it and live through it, but we do not become intimate with it. At the beginning of our lives we do not bring ourselves to the point of dealing with the reality of sin. We look at life through the eyes of reason and say that if a person will control his instincts, and educate himself, he can produce a life that will slowly evolve into the life of God. But as we continue on through life, we find the presence of something which we have not yet taken into account, namely, sin— and it upsets all of our thinking and our plans. Sin has made the foundation of our thinking unpredictable, uncontrollable, and irrational.
We have to recognize that sin is a fact of life, not just a shortcoming. Sin is blatant mutiny against God, and either sin or God must die in my life. The New Testament brings us right down to this one issue— if sin rules in me, God’s life in me will be killed; if God rules in me, sin in me will be killed. There is nothing more fundamental than that. The culmination of sin was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and what was true in the history of God on earth will also be true in your history and in mine— that is, sin will kill the life of God in us. We must mentally bring ourselves to terms with this fact of sin. It is the only explanation why Jesus Christ came to earth, and it is the explanation of the grief and sorrow of life.
by Oswald Chambers
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
Most of us would call this symbol—∞—a figure “8” turned sideways, but math majors know it as the symbol for infinity. Our English word “infinite” comes from the Latin infinitus, a combination of in (not) and finitus (finished). Therefore, infinity means “not finished” or never-ending.
Infinity isn’t easy to grasp, but it is biblical. For instance, Psalm 147:5 says, “[God’s] understanding is infinite”—His understanding is limitless. Paul doesn’t use the word infinity in Ephesians 3:20, but the impact is the same: God is able to do far beyond what we ask or think. There are limits to our thoughts, and God is able to do far beyond our limits in everything. Consider the matter of forgiveness. If we think there are limits to God’s forgiveness of our sins, we need to remember that God is able to exceed our limits in terms of what we ask or think. In fact, the Bible gives no reason to think there are limits at all on God’s love and forgiveness.
If you despair of asking God to forgive you “yet again” for your sins, remember that His understanding—and His forgiveness—are infinite.
God does not wish us to remember what He is willing to forget. George A. Buttrick
Recommended Reading: Psalm 51:1-2, 7-12