resting in the mystery

This joyous work of art, O Happy Day, by Lena Zieber seems to be the perfect visual as my heart was drawn back to Ephesians Chapter One for a word study of the word, mystery, from Ephesians 1:9-10

Amplified Bible: Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him, [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth.

New Living Translation: God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.

J.B. Phillips:
 For God had allowed us to know the secret of his plan, and it is this: he purposes in his sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in him.

Wuest: having made known to us the mystery of His will according to that which seemed good to Him, which good thing He purposed in himself, with respect to an administration of the completion of the epochs of time to bring back again to their original state all things in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in Him.

Young’s Literal: having made known to us the secret of His will, according to His good pleasure, that He purposed in Himself, in regard to the dispensation of the fullness of the times, to bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth — in him.

Mystery (musterion) as used in the New Testament is not mysterious or mystical but describes previously hidden truth now revealed by God and in fact describes truth that can be known only through revelation mediated from God. That which was once hidden is now revealed and a secret out in the open. It does not convey the idea of something that we cannot take in or understand even when it is declared to us. Musterion in the Bible means those truths which are part of God’s plan and can only be understood as He reveals them by His Spirit through His Word. Stated another way musterion is “a secret purpose of God which when uncovered is understood by the Spirit-taught believer.” It refers to a truth which without special revelation would have been unknown and  is commonly used with words denoting revelation or knowledge. Musterion is a divine secret or truth which is unknowable apart from divine revelation and which has now been revealed in Christ.

I recently read this story describing the mysterious ways in which God moves—how God took two men who were mortal enemies, brought them together, and led them to Himself. He is in control . . .He knows what He is doing. Jacob DeShazer served the US Army Air Corps in World War II as a bombardier in the squadron of General Doolittle. While participating in Doolittle’s raid on Japan in 1942, DeShazer and his crew ran out of fuel and bailed out over China. He was taken to a Japanese prison camp where he trusted Jesus as his Savior. After his release, he became a missionary to Japan. One day DeShazer handed a tract with his story in it to a man named Mitsuo Fuchida. He didn’t know that Mitsuo was on his way to a trial for his wartime role as the commander of Japanese forces that attacked Pearl Harbor. Fuchida read the pamphlet and got a Bible. He soon became a Christian and an evangelist to his people. Eventually, DeShazer and Fuchida met again and became friends.

My daily relationship with our living Lord Jesus Christ reinforces my belief in the sovereignty of God, that nothing comes into my life that is not filtered through God’s hands of love. I believe there are no “accidents.”  I believe that God sees the end from the beginning. He knows me intimately, He knit me together in my mother’s womb, one day I will see Him face-to-face and I will know as I am known. It is His plan that’s important, not my desire. I didn’t bring myself into this world, and I can’t take myself into heaven. I really don’t know what is best for me or for those I love. I ask God to make me sensitive to the reality that He is in control, and that He is using this–even this–to conform me to the image of His Son. I want that most of all. I train my mind to acknowledge God’s hand in whatever it is I’m living with. I pray, “Jesus, You know what You are doing,”  “I will trust,” “I release it all,” because God is sovereign. He is the beginning, He will be the ending, and in between, by His grace, He lets us be part of His perfect plan, for His glory and for our good. In the meantime, I am trusting Him, resting in the mystery.

Heavenly Father, I trust You, You know what You are doing, I rest in the mystery of Who You are and Who I am in You because of Your perfect work on the Cross. I ask You to help me to do these things: to lean on You, to meditate on Your character and attributes, and to trust You with all my heart. Thank You for Your promise that Your perfect peace will guard my heart and mind. In Christ, we are relaxed and at peace in the midst of the mysteries, confusions, and perplexities of this life, because we trust in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Ephesians 1:9-10 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:9-10…pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is_________, I will_____________.”

Look Out—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:9-10 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

About the author : Beth Willis Miller

Beth Willis Miller

Meet Beth Willis Miller, M.Ed., author of Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ with illustrator Krista Hamrick; contributing author of three books: Under His Wings: Truths to Heal Adopted Children's Hearts; 21 Stories of Generosity: Real Stories to Inspire a Full Life (A Life of Generosity); A New Song: Glimpses of the Grace Journey (an anthology of essays, poems, stories and photos celebrating God's grace on life's journey); and member of AWSA, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Beth has a Master's degree in Education, in curriculum, instruction, and supervision. She writes articles on a variety of topics to inspire and encourage others. Her expertise as a creative and critical thinking specialist is steeped in years of experience as a writer, presenter, educator and former Florida Department of Education State Consultant for Gifted Education. Seeing others' lives transformed by the truth of God's Word is her passion and purpose. She is married with two adult children, and two adorable grandsons.

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