O Love beyond Compare,
Thou art good when Thou givest,
when Thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With Thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless Thee that Thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If Thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
Thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not drown;
If I am to die,
I shall see Thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify Thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for Thy use.
—The Valley of Vision
Ascension doesn’t mean absence; it means sovereignty, exercised through the Spirit.
—N. T. Wright
The Ascension of Christ doesn’t mean absence; it means sovereignty, exercised through the Spirit.
—N. T. Wright
There is no attribute of God more comforting to His children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse conditions, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation—the kingship of God over all the works of His own hands—the throne of God, and His right to sit upon that throne. On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a football, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and to make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow His bounties. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean. But when God ascends His throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth. And when we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter, then it is at that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love. They love Him anywhere better than they do when He sits with His scepter in His hand and His crown upon His head. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne whom we trust. It is God upon His throne of whom we speak.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Divine Sovereignty” (sermon)
The Lord is King! Lift up thy voice, O earth; and all ye heavens, rejoice:
From world to world the joy shall ring,The Lord omnipotent is king.
The Lord is King! Who then shall dare resist His will, distrust His care,
Or murmur at His wise decrees, or doubt His royal promises?
The Lord is King! Child of the dust, the judge of all the earth is just;
Holy and true are all His ways: let every creature speak His praise.
Come, make your wants, your burdens known; Christ will present them at the throne;
For He is at the Father’s side, the Man of Love, the Crucified.
One Lord, one empire, all secures; He reigns, and life and death are yours;
Through earth and heaven one song shall ring, ‘The Lord omnipotent is King!’
—Josiah Conder, 1824
(can be sung to the tunes CHURCH TRIUMPHANT, NIAGARA, OLD HUNDREDTH, CREATION, & others)