Quotes by Dean Ulrich
The plan of salvation ultimately is not about us but about the preeminence of Jesus who saves us. By means of our salvation that has been accomplished by Jesus’ humiliating death, God in His infinite wisdom has exalted His Son over all creation.
Our faithfulness becomes the stage for God to perform mighty deeds. Through us God works out His redemptive plan. It is not as if our decisions force God’s hand, but He has mysteriously chosen to work in concert with human activity.
Of all that could go wrong…in your life, God brings about good. No, we do not always know what good can come out of the situations in our lives, but God does. He makes no mistakes. We can believe that He is up to good on our behalf.
God is working behind the scenes to accomplish His purpose. Nothing occurs in our lives by randomness or chance. Seemingly small and insignificant decisions serve His purpose for our lives. We think nothing of day-to-day encounters, so-called accidents of history, but God uses ordinary events to advance His purpose.
God does want His people to lead upright lives that conform to His revealed moral standards… [Yet] morality and virtue are not the “chief end of man”… They are the result of God’s grace through Jesus Christ and part of the good work that God has foreordained for His people to do for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom and the glory of God.
Only the internal work of God’s Spirit can transform a person’s predisposition so that he or she willingly and cheerfully observes the commands of God.
Between the two comings of Jesus, believers experience what is often called the tension between the already and the not yet. Jesus’ followers can look back and see that D-day, the decisive strike, has already occurred and now guarantees thorough defeat of the enemy. Nevertheless, the time after the first coming and before the second coming involves ongoing warfare with the spiritual forces of darkness and their terrestrial supporters. V-day has not yet arrived, and so the potential for setbacks and defeats still exists. All too often, God’s people succumb to temptation and score a victory for the enemies of God. Still, the decisive strike at the first coming of Jesus guarantees ultimate victory at the second, and Jesus’ followers fight the good fight with assurance that God who has begun a good work at the first coming of Jesus will bring it to completion at the second.
Trusting God’s providence means believing that God will use a string of seemingly unrelated events to accomplish His good purpose. We, of necessity, make decisions that seem prudent at the time, but we are completely unaware of how those decisions will play out.
Once in a while, God advances His kingdom with a big splash on the stage of history, but, more often than not, He increases His glory through the quiet, persistent deeds of gratitude and kindness that never make the newspaper.
We do not trust God to give us what we want. Rather, we trust Him to accomplish His redemptive plan and evidence that trust by doing His will in the situations of our lives.
It is foolish for humans, including God’s people, to imagine that they are self-sufficient. God does not help those who help themselves. Rather, He helps those who cannot help themselves, know it, and rely on Him.
We judge God’s love and faithfulness by how many of our desires have been met. When our desires do not materialize, our words are telling. Angry, accusing words reveal the idols in our hearts – so do selfish prayers couched in pious and deferential language. Too often, it is not God’s will that we want, but our will made possible by God.
Throughout the Bible, bleak situations provide the stage for God’s intervention in the lives of His people. We trust in a God who provided redemption in Jesus Christ when circumstances looked as if no redemption was possible. The events of our lives are the scene of His providential and redemptive activity. Nothing occurs by chance, takes God by surprise, or exceeds His power to handle. This is the foundation of trust.