Hidden behind these beautiful mountains ranges, expansive heavens, flowing rivers, color filled, forested valleys, and rolling hills lie ages of unraveled mysteries which challenge us to consider the unique design of our planet and how this vast universe transcends understanding while hinting that it is the place where we have always belonged.
Scripture’s statements about God’s creativity are amazing and reassuring but can also be startling and even mildly disconcerting at times. The King James Version says God “created all things for his pleasure.” Another version says He created what He “pleased.” (Revelations 4:10 NLT2)
Those should be comforting statements because what pleases God is good. However, to willful, self centered, authority-resistant humans who believe in self determination and concentrate on personal desires, such a doctrine is cringeworthy. It can appear to reveal a controlling, egotistical god whose creation is woefully flawed! That perception is often predicated upon the human experience of suffering and evil. So, tension arises between God’s capabilities, sovereign purposes, the concept of free will, and the sacred revelations of God’s flawless, holy, loving, just, omniscient, authoritative character.
Tension between these ideas lessens a bit if one considers that God acts within the confines of His holy, just, and loving character but also within an individual’s will, choices, and circumstances (good or evil) to accomplish His ultimate purpose of redemption and restoration of all creation! Perhaps the greatest example of the interaction of divine love and human evil is found in Christ’s sacrificial death for humanity’s salvation. He was crucified through the evil intents of men but for our ultimate benefit. That onerous and unspeakable provided hope for mankind.
Although there are many things which please God, there is one prerequisite. Faith! “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists.” (Hebrews 11:6) We are free to seek or not seek God. However, we cannot please Him by any means, efforts, or methods apart from belief.
Eden was ours before it became “Paradise Lost” due to our brokenness and unholy imperfections. However, God wants us to regain what was lost. So he fixed our brokenness by paying the consequences of our sins and thereby accepting us into his kingdom through Christ’s perfection and redemptive work. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.” (Ephesians 1:7-8)
His grace plus our faith equate to a restored relationship with God. Jesus said that it pleases God to give us His Kingdom! “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” which the Apostle Paul reminds us is not a matter of eating and drinking but is a spiritual Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. It is a place of spiritual rest and protection. (Ephesians 2:8-9) (Luke 12:31-32)(Romans 14:17)
God has created us so that we may experience His pleasure. Everything that is good and perfect flows from His grace. Most importantly, He has given us Himself so that we might know the deep pleasures of peace and eternal hope.