"Joy in the Process"
Genesis 1:1-31 (excerpts) - In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. ... And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters ...." And God called the expanse Heaven .... And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. ... And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees ...." And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens ...." And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth ...." And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth ...." Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness ...." And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.
Have you ever watched an artist create something beautiful? It doesn't matter if it's a musician writing a song or a Boy Scout carving a stick into an animal, artists take pleasure in the process. If you offered them a magic wand so they could get the whole thing over in a flash, they would not take it. They like seeing their piece come to life—seeing it take shape and form and develop details. Sometimes it's painful, especially when the work is hard—but it's still pleasure.
We see that same pleasure in Genesis when God makes everything. God doesn't simply say, "Let there be a universe and everything in it, finished all at once." No, He takes it step by step, enjoying and approving each stage. We hear those words, "And it was good," again and again. God has pleasure in His creation. He is not in a hurry. He is having fun.
What about His re-creation, then? We usually think of that as the new heavens and the new earth that God has promised at Jesus' return. But it also includes us—the people God is preparing, remaking, to live in that glory forever. God has already begun work on us—is He enjoying that?
Sometimes we might have doubts. How could God be happy with me? we wonder. Doesn't it frustrate Him when I keep going wrong, even though I believe in Jesus and want to do what's right? Does He ever wish He could just throw me out and start over, like a Boy Scout might toss a rotten stick into the fire?
Against this, Jesus says, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you ... I know whom I have chosen" (John 15:16a; 13:18b). It is no accident that you belong to God, and that His Spirit is shaping you. Little though you can see it now, God intends to do wonderful things with you. If He is taking it slowly, that's no surprise; He did it the first time, too. Nothing the devil can do will stop the Lord from finishing His work in you. After all, He has already laid down His life to make you His own.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to be patient and trust You as Your Holy Spirit works in me. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Tell about one thing you created and enjoyed. What was it?
2. Do you like the easy projects most or the difficult ones? Why?
3. Consider a Christian you know. What good thing, big or small, do you see God working on in their life?
Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 53, 55, 58 John 13:1-20
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