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Potent Prooftexts: No Worries

02 March 2011 by David

WHAT MAN OUGHT TO BELIEVE CONCERNING GOD

Q. 6. What do the Scriptures make known of God?
A. The Scriptures make known what God is, the persons in the Godhead, his decrees, and the execution of his decrees.

Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

Q. 8. Are there more Gods than one?
A. There is but one only, the living and true God.

He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. —1 Timothy 6:15–16


Question 7 asks, “What is God?” The doxology of 1 Timothy 6 gives us a considerable start on answering that question. I want to focus on the first attribute listed in this text: “blessed.”

It will be helpful to start with a definition. I used to think it odd to describe God as blessed. I thought of blessings as good things that happened to me — a raise at work, the love of a wife, healthy children, enjoyable experiences — things that came from God to me. When I encountered passages in the Psalms exhorting me to “bless the Lord,” I didn’t really know what to do with that. Isn’t God the source of all blessings? It never occurred to me that God would bless himself, and that he might use me to bless him. I believed he would use me to bless others, but not himself. I believed that because my definition of “bless” was anchored in the material, the giving and getting of good things.

The definition of “blessed” is really quite simple. It means happy. To be happy is to be content, satisfied, fulfilled. God is happy. Have you ever thought of him that way? He is content; he is satisfied. He has everything he needs and wants; he is content with his circumstances. He is not worried, frustrated or afraid. God does not experience anxiety.

That is not to say that he is unconcerned. But in his sovereignty, he has no worry that his concerns will remain unmet, because he meets them himself, infallibly. Whatever God wants, God gets. Whatever he plans comes to pass. I, on the other hand, worry. I know that my will determines nothing. My plans fail. I get hurt, people I love get hurt, and I can’t prevent it. Will my bills be paid? Will my teenagers with driver’s licenses make it home alive? So I worry.

But God doesn’t worry, because it’s all in his hands. I worry because it’s out of mine — which makes no sense at all. The God who is unworried because he is sovereign over his every concern is sovereign over mine (Matthew 10:28–31, cf. Luke 12:4–7). To know that God — who knows all things because he created and controls them — has no worries, is happy, blessed, ought to make me happy. I ought to be intirely free from fear, content, satisfied, resting in the knowledge that I, and all my concerns, are covered. I ought to be happy.