“All, Is Not Enough”

Published February 15, 2016 by

“All, Is Not Enough”
By Dave Baker

William Cowper*, a noted English poet was famous for his hymn “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” (1774). William struggled his entire life with bouts of depression and anxiety. Once in love, the bride’s father refused to bless their union leaving Cowper despondent.

In 1763, William was offered a Clerkship of Journals in the House of Lords, but was broken under the strain of the coming exam and experienced a period of insanity. At this time, he tried three times to commit suicide and was sent to Nathaniel Cotton’s asylum at St. Albans for recovery. He wrote a poem “Hatred and Vengeance, My Eternal Portions”, which was also called “Sapphics” in the aftermath of his suicide attempt. In 1773, Cowper, experienced an attack of insanity, imagining that he was condemned to hell, thinking that God was commanding him to make a sacrifice of his own life. Mary Unwin, a friend took care of him with great devotion and after a year, he began to recover once again. Mary wanted to keep Cowper’s mind occupied so she suggested that he write, of which he did prolifically. When Mary Unwin died in 1796, it plunged Cowper into a gloom from which he never fully recovered.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 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. 1:2-8)

In this passage, the apostle tells us that God has given us all that we need to know to live godly lives. However, who of us at some point have asked questions that have no answers? We have all the truth that we need but, “All, Is Not Enough”.

The unexpected and unexplained twists and turns that our lives take generate all kinds of uncertainties. We feel a profound pain accompanied with bewilderment. There is so much God doesn’t tell us—so much we think we need to know.

At these times, I don’t want to hear Deuteronomy 29:29. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever.”

God wants His creatures to live contently while trusting Him to keep his mysteries from us, allowing us to cling to His revealed truth with all our faith.

What is Enough?
It is for love that our Beloved Lord had withheld certain mysteries. God, in wise Fatherly grace and mercy protects us from stepping over that sliver of information that would reveal a reality that we as children are unable to contain, manage or understand. The children of Adam have never been equipped to handle what the Bible calls “the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2:17).

When we want God to give us answers, we need the Bible to lift our heads out of the claustrophobic narcissism of our paltry imagination and view His superbly intricate plan. We must worshipfully bow before our awesome and glorious God in submission to His wise choices.

God is an eternal being for whom time, space, and substance are inept to offer Him any hindrances. He has dimensions managed only by Him that we know nothing about nor could understand. He is Trinitarian in His essence (Matt. 28:19). He holds innumerable galaxies in their place by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3). He has created and governs every throne, dominion, ruler, and authority (Pro 21:1; Col. 1:16) and every being that is invisible, whether angel (Rom. 8:38) or demon (Luke 4:41; Col 2:15).

He is concerned with each ‘Grace Note’ or appoggiatura* of the composition of the great symphony of human history (Acts 17:26) with its billions of complex individuals past, present, and future and consequential multiple trillions of intermingling causes and effects; of which each of us only experiences a fraction. Wonderfully. He is working all of these details toward a point with the result that every knee will bow and every tongue will declare that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:9–11).

Why should we struggle to understand what God is doing in our difficult circumstances? If we could glimpse behind the curtain of God’s workings, and hear clear explanations and have the ability to understand fully the result of all the chain reactions (Rom. 8:28) we would fall on our faces in awe-filled worship. We would understand that those apparent accidents and random occurrences were His perfect work (Prov. 16:33). However, the curtain that hides His mysteries hangs limp. Our Father God in loving wisdom will never allow us to look. For if we did, our response would likely be the same as the Apostles stranger who heard things that could not be told, which man may not utter. (2 Cor 12:2-4)

Rather, our wonderful Father has given us the gift of Faith (Rom. 1:17). This faith allows us to receive His promises, rest in the arms of our Beloved and together with Him walk through His bitter providences while not knowing, but simply trusting Proverbs 3:5–6 with all our might.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make straight your paths.

His Purposes and Goal
What God does clearly promise is that every moment and level of suffering we experience as we live by faith “is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17).

That thing that you don’t want, that you’re weary of, that you plead with God to remove, and which He might remove at some point (2 Cor. 12:9)—is preparing us for glory.

God’s will for us is our sanctification, (1 Thess. 4:3) to be reshaped into His image (Rom 8:29b). He wants us to share His holiness (Heb. 12:10). It is supremely wonderful that God’s kindness is pursuing us, because without His work of sanctification we will have no real and lasting happiness. Only in His presence is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11), and only the pure in heart will see Him (Matt. 5:8). Sadly, the unknown often conjures a fearful uncertainty, but we long for Him to make us holy. We really do. Whatever it takes. Our disciplined response to any given situation must be to return as a child, who replaces anxious tendencies with a tangible faith in God and His Word.

Really, Some Is Enough!
Our God governs the visible and invisible worlds and knows perfectly what He is doing in our lives. Our God who was brutally murdered on a Roman cross knows what it’s like to suffer for a redemptive end. He always brings good out of our trials, though mysterious to us now. It is not a mystery that he will bring good out of them. It’s a promise.

Our glory is that we are chosen to participate with God in our sanctification! We get to walk with Him in the miraculous journey of working out our salvation (Phil. 2:12) by believing His promises that he has given to us (John 6:29).

As we believe God’s promises, we will bear the “peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11), which are the attitudes and actions of those who live by faith in the Son of God (Gal. 2:20). Behavior always follows belief (Pro 4:23). So our belief will move us towards faith-filled obedience to God (Rom. 1:5) and produce various kinds of faith-fueled works for God (2 Thess. 1:11).

The secret things are the Lord’s for a very good reason. We can trust Him with those mysteries. However, the revealed things are ours, and they are glorious. Believe them, and one day we’ll share God’s holiness and all the eternal pleasures He has prepared for us (Ps. 16:11).

Therefore, my beloved . . . work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
(Phil 2:12–13)


  • http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/insanity-and-spiritual-songs-in-the-soul-of-a-saint
  • (Classical Music) music a note printed in small type to indicate that it is melodically and harmonically nonessential, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/grace+note

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