Canvas of Glory (Joel Clark)

By Joel Clark

We’ve found ourselves in the middle of the storm as the whole of humanity is being squeezed in unprecedented times. Without a doubt, I have never encountered such a peculiar situation. Yet many of us are finding that the circumstances provide an open window of blessings into the realm of creativity. We see the good, the bad, and the ugly of the human condition as we are challenged to do life in a different way. We are delicate people living in a delicate microcosm. As we journey and strain to master the practicalities of this season, God has put it on many hearts to journey the deep questions of our souls. We question the sovereignty of God in the midst of panic and we should accept this challenge as an opportunity to dive deeply into the truth that our Father has for us. Be encouraged by this truth:

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.”
-Ephesians 1:4

         I believe that predestination and free will go hand in hand. God sees the story he is writing through the scope of eternity from beginning to end. We know that no man can manipulate the will of God, but at the same time we know that our prayers do have an effect in eternity. How is it that the two go hand in hand? I’ve always preached that God is the author of our lives as long as we give him our hearts, and I am convinced that God is working all things according to his will. He writes his own story through our lives when we choose to open our entire hearts to who he is in full surrender. Therefore, what the Lord has predestined for us goes hand in hand with the decisions that you and I make, most importantly the decision to accept Christ. This is the beauty of a relationship with Jesus: we walk with him and our journeys collide as he makes us his own masterpiece, the crown of all creation. He is the brilliant writer of the story; you are the vivid and vibrant illustration. He is the passionate composer; you are the instrument that lifts a sweet melody of praise throughout the Universe.
         God has called you, yes you and all that you are; your heart, your style, your personality, your passions, your thoughts and imagination, your fire and your desire; according to his purpose. God Almighty himself dwells in all that you are, and all of the wonders that he will do in the future through all of eternity, he will do with you, in you, and through you. You are the canvas of glory, and every stroke of the brush of God is laid upon his sons and daughters. God is the artist and the author and we were created to be enriched by his power. He is the one who brings dead things to life. He is the one who causes light to shine in the darkness, and in Christ you are children of the light. Jesus prayed that he would be with us wherever we go, and also that we would be with him wherever he goes. This is our destiny: to walk in step with the Creator of the Universe, the Maker of a billion billion stars. He resides in us, and we in him, creating a partnership that overcomes the gates of Hell and causes the glory of Heaven to flood the Earth.
         So choose to see life differently. If you are in Christ, you were chosen to be without fault in the eyes of God. Know that in your walk, you carry a hope that saves souls and restores purpose and life to humanity. I know that it often feels like what you have to offer this world is overlooked, but take heart and trust that your inner-most being is fully known and cherished by your Father in Heaven. God never wastes a single moment, he never overlooks a single thought. He sees you. Remember that many don’t even acknowledge that God is real, yet we believers are sure of his existence and his love. We know that he reigns supreme over all creation and he treasures his children so much that he chooses to write his story in the details of our lives.

Your storms and your triumphs are the canvas for God’s grace and redemption.
Your character and your personality were destined to saturate the ideas of God with beauty and diversity.

“For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, 
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
-Ephesians 2:10
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