“Our father in heaven . . .” (Matt. 6:9a). There is no situation or location where I am ever alone, because my heavenly Father is always with me.
It is such an astounding reality that it is almost impossible for us to comprehend the full meaning of it. It assaults the way we so often think about our identity. It confronts our discouragements and fears. It exposes our self-oriented neediness and our addiction to the acceptance of others. It is the only place where we can find security that stays, that doesn’t ride that scary roller-coaster of ever-changing people and situations. It is one of the most amazing, life-altering gifts of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a deeply personal, heart-satisfying recognition that we must carry with us wherever we go.
The opening line of Jesus’s model prayer for his disciples (Matt. 6:9–13) teaches this unspeakably marvelous truth: if you’re God’s child, you have a Father in heaven! Stop for a moment and let that sink in. What a glorious and encouraging way Christ instructs us to begin our prayers. We are to begin with the most shocking and encouraging of all things that our minds could ever consider. That being who has such incomparable wisdom and power that he was able to design and create everything that exists—that being is our Father. That deity who has been able, by the exercise of supreme authority, to control every event of history; to have his will done in every location; and to completely control every life of every person who has ever lived—that deity is our Father. That One who in magnificent love put the plan of redemption in motion, so that at the right moment his Son came to live, die, and rise again so that we would have new and eternal life—that One is our Father. That King who won’t ever leave the work of his hands till everything he has purposed to do in us and in the world that he created has been fully done—that King is our Father. That God who never needed a teacher or a counselor, who knows the stars by name, and who can hold the waters of the universe in the palm of his hand—that God is our Father.
You could do nothing more important than to wake up every morning of your life and remind yourself that the One who created and controls everything that exists has been made, by grace, to be your Father. He thinks of you with pure and faithful fatherly love. He acts toward you with the giving, providing, instructing, patient, and forgiving love of a perfect father. He is always with you. His hand is always upon you. He never stops watching you. His heart is always for you. He is always at work accomplishing his plans for you and through you. He lifts your burdens and lightens your load. He is your God, your Savior, your Friend—your Father. Nothing can ever be the same again because you now live in the Father’s house, where glorious grace decorates every room.
For further study and encouragement: Psalm 105
Taken from New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul Tripp, © 2014, pp. 132-162. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.