I cannot share the details of the source of this quote, but what a wonderful description of God’s electing love for us.
The Lord knew you thoroughly when He first set His love upon you. Be sure to try to grasp hold of this! The Strength of Israel will never discover something ‘new’ about you which will then cause or incline Him to withdraw His lovingkindness and abandon you. How unlike the behaviour of men and women! Sometimes we learn a previously unknown detail about a friend which consequently diminished our estimation of them; our affection towards them is tarnished by the unearthing of this new fact; the bond of friendship is marred. However, the everlasting God already knew the worst about us before choosing to set His love upon us in eternity past. This is what A.W Pink wrote of this amazing truth: ‘The whole of my life stood open to His view from the beginning. He foresaw my every fall, my every sin, my every backsliding; yet He fixed His heart upon me. Oh, how the realization of this should bow me in wonder and worship before Him! The gospel of God comes to us in full view of ugliness of our sin. It was ‘while we were still sinners’ that Christ died for us.
Spend time rehearsing in your mind and heart the truth that God sees, with perfect clarity of sight and understanding, all that He is doing un this fallen and sin-ravaged world. He knows the end from the beginning. Every event in life is the unfolding of His grand scheme of redemption. Speaking of the difficulty which we have in understanding the tumultuous circumstances and events of our small lives, John Owen* perceptively observed: ‘We are like unskilful men, who going to the house of some curious artist, so long as he is about his work, despise it as confused; but when it is finished, admire it as excellent: – whilst the passages of providence are on us, all is confusion: but when he fabric is reared, glorious. And so, when the fabric is reared of the great tapestry-work which God is weaving and sowing in history – about which He knows fully, but most of which is at present hidden away from our dull eyes – how we shall rejoice and exult in our Lord! At that time, all will be made new which at present is crooked; all will be made clear which at present is obscured; and all which we trust now by faith we will see then by sight.
* The works of John Owen
(Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1991), vol.8, p.18
O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
Words: George Matheson