The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 33
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
–Romans 1:19-20 (ESV)
Consider what happens when you express your thoughts out loud: your words are carried on the air around you. Likewise, faith understands that everything that happens to you is like that air. Everything you must do or suffer carries God’s thoughts and words to you.
–Jean Pierre de Caussade
Since the world was created by the word of God, it communicates something about God. Although this function has been corrupted and distorted by sin, the created world still communicates enough about God to leave people without excuse when they deny God’s existence. This is Paul’s argument in Romans 1:19-20 (quoted above).
Later in Romans, Paul would admit that creation has been subjected to futility, and is currently groaning in bondage to corruption (see Romans 8:19-22). Part of this frustration, it seems fair to conclude, is that creation is not getting its message across as clearly as it would like. It does not just want to leave unbelievers without excuse, it wants to convince them of the reality of God, and to make his presence and power undeniable.
The good news is that creation has an ally: the mature child of God, being led by the Spirit, suffering with Christ in anticipation of future glory (see Romans 8:14-27). Faith in God answers the frustrated groans of creation with understanding, for it waits for the same thing. Faith fills that gap between what creation can teach us about God and what it wants us to know.
And it is an enormous gap. What good is knowledge of God without faith? Life becomes a series of random events that happen without meaning or purpose, ultimately remembered by no one. But by faith in Christ, meaning is restored to life, and faith hears it, even as it suffers the meaninglessness of evil.
The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.