Bill Bright

Can you imagine Queen Elizabeth II giving up her crown to live as a pauper? Putting aside her jewels and dressing in rags? That is unthinkable.

But that is exactly what God did. Read the description of His throne as described by the Apostle John:

I saw a throne in heaven and Someone sitting on it! The One sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled His throne like a rainbow. Twenty-four thrones surrounded Him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. And from the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder...In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal.

In the center and around the throne were four living beings...Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty—the One who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”

Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the One sitting on the throne, the One who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the One who lives forever and ever. And they lay their crowns before the throne and say:

“You are worthy, O Lord our God,

to receive glory and honor and power.

For You created everything,

and it is for Your pleasure that they exist

and were created. (Revelation 4:2–11)

What majesty, perfection, honor, and glory envelops our great God and Savior! Heaven is a place of such beauty and peace, where no sin mars the atmosphere. Pain and hurt are unknown. Angels and all other beings continually praise God.

When God’s Son, Jesus Christ, was voluntarily born in a humble manger in Bethlehem, the only people who worshiped Him were lowly shepherds. The stable must have been drafty and not very private. What kind of place was this for the Sovereign of the universe? Where were His crown and His scepter?

Jesus did not live like a king either. He became tired and hungry, was ridiculed, beaten, spit upon, humiliated. The soldiers ripped off His clothes, and He was taken to court before a cruel ruler named Herod. The crowd shouted that they wanted Him killed. All His friends ran away, afraid for their own lives. Then He was cruelly nailed to a cross in front of a jeering crowd. He could have shaken the world in defiance, but all He said was, “Forgive these people, because they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).  They did not know what they were doing, but Jesus knew what He was doing!  They saw only a moment in time; He saw all of time.  He had every person (past, present and future) in mind as He hung on the cross. 

Jesus did this because God loves us so much. His love motivated Him to communicate His love and salvation to us. To do this effectively, He had to become one of us—to walk, talk, eat, and look like us. Just the thought of our sovereign God putting aside His magnificent glory brings me to tears. How can we ever reach the depths of that love? How could we ever fear putting our lives into His hands?

Submitting to God’s sovereignty can be compared to putting together a billion-piece picture puzzle. History is like that giant picture. Only by looking at the photograph on the box cover can you see what everything will look like once all the pieces are in place.

Now imagine that you are given one piece of the puzzle. This is where you fit into God’s great plan for the universe. What can you do with this piece? You have never seen the picture on the outside of the box. All you know is that your piece has a little dark color here and a few bright spots there. So, you run around trying to match what you are doing with someone else’s puzzle piece. The chances of finding one other person who has a piece that matches yours is almost zero. Therefore, there is no way you could ever understand what the completed picture will look like.

From a human standpoint, it is impossible to understand the many uncertainties in life. But if you let God direct you, He will help you put your puzzle piece in the right place. He is big enough to see the whole picture; He created it.  You can trust His sovereign will and perfect love.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21, NIV)

By Bill Bright, GOD, Who Are You Anyway?

©2023 Copyright Bright Media Foundation