God’s Great Power, God’s Great Love
By Dot Bowen
He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. Psalm 147:4-5 (ESV)
Over the past few months, I have become aware of how little I understand what God is doing in my life and the lives of the people I love. I have been bold enough to try and explain to God how frustrated I am trying to understand His willingness to allow certain things to happen, but before I get my questions out of my mouth, I hear the same question He asked Job, “Where were you when I created the heavens and the earth?”
I recently began reading Bill Bright’s book, God: Discover His Character. I respect Bill Bright as the co-founder and president of Campus Crusade for Christ International. The people closest to him describe him as a man with one passion in life—to know God and make Him known to everyone possible, by any means possible. I’ve read and listened to numerous books and sermons on the attributes and names of God, but this particular book really opened my eyes to the wonder of knowing God. I don’t believe anyone can truly describe the glory and power of God, but I want to share some of what I gleaned from his book. Do you know:
- Our universe alone displays God’s creative power.
- We live on one of nine planets that revolve around the sun.
- Our sun—the dominant light of our solar system—gives off far more energy in one second than all mankind has produced since creation.
- The sun could hold one million planets the size of the earth, yet it’s only an average-size star among 100 billion stars in our galaxy.
- The Pistol Star gives off 10 million times the power generated by our sun, and one million stars the size of our sun can fit easily within its sphere.
- It takes 100,000 light-years to travel from one side of our galaxy to the other.
- Our galaxy is moving through space at a phenomenal speed of one million miles per hour!
- If our galaxy were compared to the size of the North American continent, our solar system would be about the size of a coffee cup!
- It makes my head hurt to think about the enormity of the universe! But the same God who created the heavens also created us and knows us by name! He is the ultimate source of all power, and nothing is too difficult for Him! To be honest, I have no trouble believing God is all-powerful. I know God is capable of doing all things, but my question is will He? It’s easy to see God’s power in the universe, but do we see His love and goodness? I have never questioned God as Creator, but I have questioned His love for me. Oftentimes it’s like there’s a demon sitting on my shoulder whispering, If God loves you, He would never let these things happen. I would panic if I believed a demon was actually sitting on my shoulder, but the thought does come to my mind. As I thought about this, I began to wonder if I’m the only one who struggles with understanding why God doesn’t use His power to change some things? When we study our galaxies, we stand in awe of God’s power. Yet, in the same powerful way, the cross displays God’s great love for us.
The only way I can humanly understand the application between God’s power and His great love is to relate it to the way I love my family. If my family should ask me to give them something I know will bring them harm, I will not give it to them even if I have the power to do so. Why? Because I love them enough to say NO! No matter how many times I explain the dangers of holding a sharp knife to my three-year-old grandson, he will never understand. God has the power to give us all we ask for, but out of His great love and endless wisdom, He will say NO if it’s the best answer for us. God does not withhold what is best from His children! Dear friend, we must believe God knows more than us and is very aware of what is going on in our lives. And if He chooses not to change our circumstances, we must trust He is looking out for our best interest. I must confess to you, if I’m stressed or upset, it’s because I’m not interested in God’s love or power. My focus is on what I want at the moment. I can’t remember a time in my life when I ever questioned God’s power, only His love. Where would we be today if God had used His power to take Himself off the cross instead of exercising His love and sacrificing Himself for us? Thank you Jesus for loving me enough to not give me everything I asked for even though I know you have the power to do so.
Further Reading Psalm 19; Jeremiah 32:17-19; Psalm 33:6-11; Job 38