I find it quite curious that I can usually spend a few hours on the computer in the morning and only find a few things that make the time worthwhile; meanwhile, 15 or 20 minutes reading a chapter of a John Piper book (in this case Future Grace) leaves me with a much deeper satisfaction, a sort of state of overflow, almost like it can’t all be contained within me. (Maybe that’s why I’m blogging now!) I always feel richer after reading him, it’s like my soul has had some vast amount of value added to it in a way that reading my Bible doesn’t even always bring (though I’m ashamed to admit it.) Even more than that though, it makes my Bible reading richer (nice save lol!)
Anyway, the chapter I read this morning, The Solid Logic of Heaven, expounded on Romans 8:32:
“He who did not spare His own Son,
but delivered Him up for us all,
how will He not also with Him
freely give us all things?”
It can seem pretty simple when you read it, but there’s something so very big and beautiful anxious to meet us in those words! It all comes out when you consider two things about this scripture:
The type of reasoning used there is called “a majori ad minus” or arguing “from greater to lesser.” Let’s say that you really want to build a skyscraper and at the same time, you have an equally powerful desire to make an average bologna sandwich. Realistically, which one is more likely to happen? The sandwich, right? It takes a lot less time, energy, and resources, so if you want them both equally, the sandwich is much more likely to be made because it’s convenient! Now, let’s say that you can consistently build a skyscraper on a daily basis. As much money, planning, material, and manpower as that takes, you can do it and do it well! What in the world can possibly keep you from making a sandwich?! All of that money, all of those people, all of that brilliance? Making a simple bologna sandwich isn’t an issue at all! Virtually nothing could be more simple! If you want it just as bad as the skyscraper, and the skyscraper is getting done, then it’ll get done every time as well, right? That’s the same thing that’s happening in Romans 8:32.
God loved His only Son infinitely! He was perfectly wise, caring, glorious, humble, everything! He deserved the worship of every living creature and instead, God did the impossible and gave His absolutely perfect and undeserving Son the penalty that the whole of humanity earns for themselves countless times every day. That is what was hard! That was the skyscraper for God. The easy part is giving us all things! It’s no more difficult than a bologna sandwich in the eyes of God! And remember, He wants to! He’s already given His Son for the same reason and that was a lot harder, He’ll give the rest up easily.
This brings up two questions though, what does “all things” mean and why don’t we have them? I see two simple answers for those questions:
Question 1) We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. -Romans 8:28
All things is literally all things. He takes everything, both good and bad and uses it all for our good! But what about the all things that we desire in our hearts, whether material (a home, spouse, job) or spiritual (peace, joy, strength)?
Question 2) You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don’t receive because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on your desires for pleasure. -James 4:2-3
First off, we do a lot of searching without asking Him in the first place, so we never find it. Ever tried to find something you thought you lost only to find out that someone else had it the entire time? Same thing here. It can’t be found because He has it all! It’s really that simple! Secondly, sometimes we ask for the wrong things because our desires are twisted. Like a parent who no matter how much their child cries won’t give them dessert until after dinner, God won’t give particular things to us until it’s good for us, if it ever will be. Ask him if your asking is wrong, He’ll show you. Even when it is, what He will give you will be perfect! Why? Because that’s what He wants to do!