“God is still in heaven”… God immediately brought that phrase to my mind when I woke up at 4am this morning aware of several significant prayer requests for today. Yes, today is filled with sorrow and anxiety for many today. My uncle may go home to be with the Lord today. My heart grieves for my cousins. My step-mother travels to her hometown for her sister-in-law’s funeral. My heart grieves for the family. Another friend will have a double heart catheterization. She is still young in the Lord and I know she is scared. My heart is with her even though I can’t be there. I have a doctor’s appointment that was moved forward three weeks. My world was rocked a little when I got the phone call saying “the doctor would like to see you tomorrow.”

“Lord, it’s a day of big requests in my world, but I know that you are still in Your heaven and because of that, it is well with my soul.”

The verse comes from Psalm 115 and I’ve sometimes been disquieted by it:

2    Why do the nations say,
     “Where is their God?”

3    Our God is in heaven;
     he does whatever pleases him.
Psalm 115:2-3 (NIV)

When life seems to be falling apart, we are tempted to lay the disasters at the feet of God. Does what has just happened please God? What kind of God is pleased with such things? Can such a God really be good?

I am thankful that I came to the Lord in my early twenties – it gave me the opportunity to become well-grounded in the confidence of God’s goodness before the challenges of my life became overwhelming. You may or may not be in that situation – like my friend having heart surgery, perhaps you have recently come to the Lord and are facing serious situations. Let me reassure you of two things:

God is still in heaven and He does whatever pleases Him.

What pleases God is always for our ultimate good.

Let’s look at a couple of verses that tell us what pleases God.

19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Christ], 20and through [Christ] God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
Col 1:19 (NIV), 1:20 (NRSV)

It pleased God to have all His fullness dwell in Christ – even though Christ would come to earth and live as a human, never sin and yet submit to die a tortured death. How can that please God? Verse 20 answers that question. Scripture doesn’t say that God was pleased that Christ was crucified. It says He was pleased to reconcile all things to Himself through the blood of Christ. There is a big difference.

Crucifying Christ was a sinful act. God takes no pleasure in sin. What pleases God is our reconciliation with Him. Without the fullness of God dwelling in Christ, He could not have lived that perfect, sinless life. His death would not have been the acceptable sacrifice which reconciled us to God. So God was pleased to have His fullness dwell in Christ.

God does whatever pleases Him. What pleases Him is to make a way for us to spend eternity with Him.

A few verses later we learn something else that pleases God.

27For it has pleased God to tell his people that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory.
Col 1:27 (NLT)

It pleases God to share the riches and glory of Christ not only with the Jews, but also with the Gentiles. It pleases God to share the secrets of salvation with the world.

God is in heaven, and He does what pleases Him. It pleases Him to make the gift of salvation available to all people. “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16a) it pleased Him to make salvation available to all.

Let’s read the Apostle Paul’s testimony to learn more about what pleases God:

13You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted the Christians. I did my best to get rid of them. 14I was one of the most religious Jews of my own age, and I tried as hard as possible to follow all the old traditions of my religion.

15But then something happened! For it pleased God in his kindness to choose me and call me, even before I was born! What undeserved mercy! 16Then he revealed his Son to me so that I could proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles.
Gal 1:13-16a (NLT)

It pleases God to show mercy to those who don’t deserve mercy. It pleases God to choose each of us and call each of us to know Him and serve Him. It pleases God to reveal His Son to each of us so that we can partner with Him in sharing the Good News.

God is still in His heaven, and He still does what pleases Him. It pleases Him to show mercy. It pleases Him to reveal His Son to us.

I’m so very thankful I serve such a God. And I’m so very thankful He is STILL in His heaven and that He does whatever pleases Him.

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