In a world prone to hyperbole and full of lofty promises bound to disappoint, it is easy to grow cynical and become distrusting of words.
But God’s words are both sure and pure, making wise the simple (Pss. 12: 6; 19:7). Distrust is a wise disposition towards self and the world, but a dangerous disposition toward God.
All the Alls
As I have been studying the Word lately, all the alls have stood out to me. It’s such a small word to carry such a huge connotation. A lot hangs on such a small word. Below is a small sampling of the”all” verses upon which I have been meditating:
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (2 Corin. 9:8, emphasis mine).
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8: 28, emphasis mine).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinth. 1: 3–4, emphasis mine).
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence”(2 Pet. 1:3, emphasis mine).
“For all the promises of God find their yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory” (2 Corin. 1:20. emphasis mine).
if I am honest, I often approach these alls with a squinting, searching, cynical eye. It’s hard to turn off the tendency to want to read the fine print hidden underneath promises.
My flesh wonders if all grace would abound to me even if I lost a child or received a cancer diagnosis. My flesh assumes that the God of the universe could not possibly care about the common trials of my day. My flesh tells me that there is scarcity, not abundance, in God’s provision. I buy the same lie that baited Eve: God is withholding.
My flesh finds it hard to believe and receive the reality that God’s all means all without an asterisk. No fine print. No hidden clauses.
But God’s all means all. He does not lie. He never changes. Even when we are faithless, he is faithful, for he cannot deny himself (2 Tim. 2:13).
All Without an Asterisk
We live in a batteries-not-included world
Offering inflated promises (with fine print).
Over-hyperbolized, we doubt promises;
Incredulous, we search and we squint.
Our God gave all with one small asterisk-
Forbidding that which would cause harm.
Dangerously deluded, we dared disobey,
Initiating pain we could not disarm.
We ruined all without an asterisk.
Our sin sent shockwaves near and far.
Self-bent love leaves indelible stains.
It’s notorious for its ability to mar.
He gave all without an asterisk,
Coming as man to take on our curse.
He spilled his blood and offered his life,
In his own body the curse to reverse.
He asks all without as asterisk –
Full submission without reserve.
Trembling trust is a fitting response
To costly love we don’t deserve.
He provides all without an asterisk-
We have full access to all that we need.
In seeming lack, we still have Him:
The high priest who lives to intercede.
We are called to trust him entirely because he gave himself entirely.