This post is part of my book launch, Meeting God at Wits’ End: Hope for the Weary …
Great Hope and Comfort
. . . though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls . . .
It’s with some reluctance that I add this verse to Hope for the Weary. How can such a controversial chapter be hope-giving? Throughout the centuries, Christians have hotly debated its meaning, dividing over its message. Why add it? Isn’t there a better verse to convey comfort to those who are at wits’ end? Why bring in theological controversy?
One of the reasons I added this verse is because Jesus gave one of the greatest gospel invitations after stating the same truth. He said: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” He then stated: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:25-28). He stated God’s selective choice in not revealing His Son to the people of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum and the universal call of the gospel in the same breath.
Today’s verse and the previous paragraph show that God has sovereign control. Isn’t that a source of great hope and comfort when we’ve reached the end of ourselves? That means that not everything is lost. Those who are at wits’ end know that only God will do.
What does today’s verse state? Our salvation isn’t based on anything we’ve done, “either good or bad,” including those foreseen actions. It’s entirely based on God! When we’ve reached the end of ourselves, we need a God who’s in control—One who’s sovereign over all things.
Yes, it deeply humbles us, but it also gives hope and comfort. Many times, we don’t know the true nature of ourselves, not realizing how utterly dependent we are on Him. Wits’ end is a place of self-discovery. We realize that we’re not as self-sufficient as we thought we were. We need God!
For example, Jesus referred to those who persevere to the end as “the elect”: “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24). Left to ourselves, Jesus indicated that we would go astray. It’s only because He’s chosen us that we don’t do so. That’s why election isn’t meant to be a source of controversy, but of great hope and comfort, including at our wits’ end. He will not let us go!
Lord, help me to realize that my salvation and perseverance is solely based on You.
The Devotional Writer
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