How Pleasant to Lean Upon an Almighty Arm

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms!” (Deuteronomy 33:27)

“Oh, how pleasant to lean upon an almighty arm, and to commit ourselves without anxiety to the guidance of infinite wisdom and love!”

– John Newton, The Letters of John Newton

We Must Begin With God

“We readily acknowledge that life is a profound problem, and that we are surrounded by mystery on every side; but we are not like the beasts of the field—ignorant of their origin, and unconscious of what is before them. No! ‘We have also a more sure Word of Prophecy’, of which it is said you do well that you “take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the day star arises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). And it is to this Word of Prophecy, we indeed do well to ‘take heed,’ to that Word which had not its origin in the mind of man—but in the Mind of God, for, ‘no prophecy came not at any time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke moved by the Holy Spirit’ (2 Peter 1:21). We say again, it is to this ‘Word’ we do well to take heed. As we turn to this Word and are instructed there, we discover a fundamental principle which must be applied to every problem: Instead of beginning with man and his world—and working back to God; we must begin with God—and work down to man. “In the beginning God’ (Genesis 1:1)! Apply this principle to the present situation. Begin with the world as it is today, and try and work back to God, and everything will seem to show that God has no connection with the world at all. But begin with God and work down to the world—and light, much light, is cast on the problem. Because God is holy—His anger burns against sin. Because God is righteous—His judgments fall upon those who rebel against Him. Because God is faithful—the solemn threatenings of His Word are fulfilled. Because God is omnipotent—none can successfully resist Him, still less overthrow His counsel. Because God is omniscient—no problem can master Him and no difficulty baffle His wisdom. It is just because God is who He is, and what He is—that we are now beholding on earth, the beginning of His out-poured judgments! In view of His inflexible justice and immaculate holiness—we could not expect anything other than what is now spread before our eyes.”

– Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, p.9-10

He Is Never Taken By Surprise

“Without a doubt, a world-crisis is at hand, and everywhere men are alarmed. But God is not! He is never taken by surprise. It is no unexpected emergency which now confronts Him, for He is the One who ‘works all things after the counsel of His own will’ (Ephesians 1:11). Hence, though the world is panic-stricken, the word to the believer is, ‘Fear not!’ ‘All things’ are subject to His immediate control. ‘All things’ are moving in accord with His eternal purpose, and therefore, ‘all things’ are ‘working together for good, to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose’ (Romans 8:28). It must be so, for ‘of Him, and through Him, and to Him—are all things’ (Romans 11:36). Yet how little is this realized today even by the people of God! Many suppose that He is little more than a far-distant Spectator, taking no immediate hand in the affairs of earth. It is true that man has a will, but so also has God. It is true that man is endowed with power, but God is all-powerful. It is true that, speaking generally, the material world is regulated by law, but behind that law is the law-Giver and law-Administrator. Man is but the creature. God is the Creator, and endless ages before man first saw the light ‘the mighty God’ (Isaiah 9:6) existed, and before the world was founded, made His plans; and being infinite in power and man only finite, His purpose and plan cannot be withstood or thwarted by the creatures of His own hands.”

– Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, p.9

The Fixed and Sufficient Resting Place For the Heart and Mind

“It is in view of what we have briefly referred to above, that we say, present-day conditions call loudly for a new examination and new presentation of God’s omnipotency, God’s sufficiency, God’s sovereignty. From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth—that God still lives, that God still observes, that God still reigns! Faith is now in the crucible, it is being tested by fire, and there is no fixed and sufficient resting place for the heart and mind, but in the Throne of God. What is needed now, as never before, is a full, positive, constructive setting forth of the Godhood of God. Drastic diseases call for drastic remedies. People are weary of platitudes and mere generalizations—the call is for something definite and specific. Sweet syrup may serve for peevish children, but an iron tonic is better suited for adults, and we know of nothing which is more calculated to infuse spiritual vigor into our souls, than a scriptural apprehension of the full character of God. It is written, ‘The people who know their God shall be strong and do exploits!’ (Daniel 11:32).”

– Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, p.8

God Must Either Rule or Be Ruled

“Who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God, or the Devil? What do the Scriptures say? If we believe their plain and positive declarations, no room is left for uncertainty. They affirm, again and again, that God is on the throne of His universe; that the scepter is in His hands; that He is directing all things “after the counsel of His own will” [Eph.1:11]. They affirm, not only that God created all things, but also that God is ruling and reigning over all the works of His hands. They affirm that God is the “Almighty” [Gen.17:1], that His will is irreversible, that He is absolute sovereign in every realm of all His vast dominions. And surely it must be so. Only two alternatives are possible: God must either rule—or be ruled; God must either sway—or be swayed; God must either accomplish His own will—or be thwarted by His creatures. Accepting the fact that He is the “Most High God” [Psalm 78:35], the only Potentate and King of kings [1 Tim. 6:15], vested with perfect wisdom and illimitable power—the conclusion is irresistible, that He must be God in fact—as well as in name!”

– Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, p.8

Believing Lies Instead of Trusting God

“Not many people think of themselves as someone who believes lies. But every time we don’t trust God’s word we’re believing something else, and that something is always a lie. If I get angry when I’m stuck in traffic, it’s because I don’t trust God. I believe the lie that God isn’t in control or that his purposes for me are not good. If I overwork it’s because I don’t trust God, perhaps because I believe the lie that I need to prove or justify myself. This is a radical view of sin. It means many of our negative emotions are sinful because they’re symptoms of unbelief–the greatest sin and the root sin.”

– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.75