13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord,because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To continue on what I was saying from yesterday: God is in control of everything. Likewise, as Paul has explained that God has control of unbelievers for His purpose, He has control of those who believe for His purpose. This is why Paul gives thanks to God for their belief, because He has specifically chosen them to believe. This is inspiring to any evangelist who sets out to help others realize the Glory of God. It is affirmation that Paul’s ministry is in accordance with God’s Will.
Since I wrote yesterday I’ve thought what I’m sure every believer has thought at some point in their journey: what if I’m believing the wrong thing? The thought has crossed my mind occasionally because of the fact that I also think that those who don’t believe the same things as me are “wrong”. Then it comes back to, who am I to say they are wrong, especially if God is in control of all things? If He is in control of our beliefs and faith, then who am I to say they are wrong for believing what they believe since God is in control of what they believe? This accents the fact that we aren’t here to judge, but to love, just as Christ did.
Likewise, our “spreading of the Gospel” and “planting the seed” is just that. It is to be informative. I’ve talked about this before, especially in examining Paul’s letter to the Romans. We aren’t to convince people by trickery or elaborate speech, but rather just explain the zeal we have for God and why we have it. It’s up to them to make the decision and God to change their hearts. This is also why arguments about religion and beliefs are fruitless. Think about it: if we are arguing with someone about their beliefs that God implanted, then aren’t we arguing against God? Who are we to do that? Certainly, He wants us to tell him what is on our minds, even though He already knows. (This is where I want to digress into the purpose of the relationship with God, but I’ll save that for another time.)
We aren’t called to condemn others for their disbelief in what we believe, we are to celebrate and give thanks for the gift of our belief!!! Because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. This is why I love the movie Constantine. We see someone who is condemned to hell even though he is seemingly doing the Lord’s work. He believes in God and his calling, so he does his best anyway, because he loves God. His reward? Well, I won’t ruin the end for you in case you haven’t seen it yet, but I will say this: by loving God unconditionally he was rewarded eternally. That you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Is what I believe “wrong”? No. Why isn’t it wrong? Because God has gifted me with it. It is what He wants me to believe right now. Just like 5 years ago it was what He wanted me to believe at that time. Trying to comprehend God’s sovereignty is something we will never fully be able to do. But accepting it, respecting it, and loving it makes our lives a lot easier. I’m just glad it isn’t up to me to control the world, or even my part of the world.
Do you truly believe in God’s sovereignty?