A Loving Hand

In his book Chosen in Christ, Richard Phillips offers this wise pastoral counsel:

If you resent the hand of God shaping your life, then me let me encourage you to look at that hand. What you will see there is the marks of nails that pierced the flesh of Jesus Christ; you will see the marks of God’s love for you that took up the cross, dying in your place, “the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

At the center of God’s glorious plan is the cross of Jesus Christ, where God’s love for sinners is revealed in the highest. It was God’s will that humanity should have the skill to fashion iron into hammer and nails; it was God’s plan that humanity should take wood from the tree and make it into the shape of a cross.

Donald Grey Barnhouse writes:

The Lord will allow man to take hold of Him and bring Him to that cross; He will stretch out his hands to that that cross, and in so doing will take the sins of man upon Himself and make it possible for those who have despised and rejected Him to come unto Him and know the joy of sins removed and forgiven, to know the assurance of pardon and eternal life, and to enter into the prospect of the hope of glory with Him forever. This is even our God, and there is none like unto Him.

That is the hand that presses upon the clay of your life, fashioning you into something glorious according to his sovereign plan. It is also the hand that beckons you to come, to hear the gospel and believe.

(Richard D. Phillips, Chosen in Christ, Chapter 10 pp 139-140)