God hath in Himself all power to defend you, all wisdom to direct you, all mercy to pardon you, all grace to enrich you, all righteousness to clothe you, all goodness to supply you, and all happiness to crown you.
For His part, God forgives our sins, reveals His glory, rescues us from our heart of disbelief with its life of disobedience, and brings us back to Himself again and again so that we might learn to live by faith in His promises. For our part, Abraham, as the "father" of the faithful (Rom. 4:16-17), is the beginning of a people who respond by learning over a lifetime to look to God alone to meet their needs.
Anybody can worship Santa Claus. But hanging in there with God in the midst of intense suffering, as Christ hung on the cross, magnifies the worth of God as the one who sustains us. God’s goal in suffering, therefore, is to teach us that in life and in death, as in all eternity, He Himself is all we ultimately need.
He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.
One of the Old Testament names of God is El Shaddai, meaning “the All-Sufficient One.” It is a name rich with meaning. Those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth find Him adequate for every necessity of life. They do not need any supplementary experience, a stronger dose of His redemption, or any other spiritual or emotional accoutrements. God has given to every believer abundant grace that is utterly sufficient to fulfill our deepest longings, our most intense cravings, our most profound needs – every human requirement.
Jacob is about to enter the Promised Land. He will be one of the venerated Patriarchs of the faith. But before Jacob can become Israel, the man must be broken. Jacob needs to learn that his life is to be one of continual striving with God, but doing it with full dependence on God. He will learn that with God there is a continual heat from the refiner’s fire, but through the adversity there is an unspeakable joy in the journey. And though God probably won’t be wrestling with any of us physically like He did with Jacob, there is a continual tension of finding our greatest peace when we are most intimate in close communion with God. At times we struggle, but in the pain we learn to submit to His will, allow Him to expose our defects, yield to the wounds He creates and then trust Him that the pain is for our greatest good as the “old man” is further put to death. If we act in the flesh and run away or defend ourselves or blame others or whine and complain, we’ll never experience this. As creatures so prone to follow our selfish instincts, there is a serenity that comes when God wrestles us to the ground, breaks us further of our pride and reminds us that our sufficiency is only in Him.
Everything without God is pathetically inferior to God without everything.
The sovereign God wants to be loved for Himself and honored for Himself, but that is only part of what He wants. The other part is that He wants us to know that when we have Him we have everything – we have all the rest.
We think it safer and more effective to look to other people to relieve our emptiness. In some cases, when love is sweet, we might even feel that we have found it. Sadly, this feeling misleads us. It reinforces our sinful idea that people might be the answer to our need, so we pursue them with an obsession. The love that we desire, however, can only be found in the living God.