Friday, 11 July 2014

The Wonder


Occassionally people say things to me quite innocently, but end up having a profound effect upon me. Sometimes it is something they have learned. Other times it is simply a part of their story which lingers in my mind. Things that linger in people's minds can be profound, thought-provoking, and fruitful - but sadly they are sometimes horrific, invasive, haunting, and traumatic. Our minds are created to wonder and this design feature can be one of the most aspects of being human if harnessed appropriately.
¶ Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians 4:8
It's called cognitive behavioural therapy ("CBT"). Trained therapists show their troubled clients how to think differently. Thinking is now regarded as a behaviour - that is, just like any other behaviour, it is something you can control. While this might be the latest discovery in psychology, the Bible revealed this before these modern psychologists by about two thousand years! Not only does the Bible reveal that we can manage our thought-life, it prescribes what should ponder - and even wonder about.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it..
Psalm 139:4-6
The Psalmist was pondering the wonderful greatness of God. Pondering the nature of God and His dealings with a person, causes a person to deeply wonder. The conclusion of the Psalmist was that this was too wonderful for him to process. I sometimes hear people say that they think too much about spiritual things. I'm sure this Psalmist would like to gently correct them and say that the nature and acts of God cannot be thought about too much - rather these our minds do not have the capacity to fully ponder them! The same Psalmist goes on to reveal that he had been pondering the bodies that God had made for us (vs. 14). He's not the only one to do this. We are perfectly designed for life on earth (and the earth is perfectly designed to sustain our life here).
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well."

Psalm 139:14
Every part of the human body is designed by our Creator for a specific purpose - to primarily fulfil a specific purpose. Our body parts are designed to be treated in a certain way. Respect this, and we generally enjoy good health. Disrespect this, and pain and discomfort often result. The Apostle Paul had apparently been pondering this as well. He wrote-
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
Second Corinthians 7:1 ¶
The prophet Isaiah was also struck by the wonder of God and His works. With hands lifted and knees bent, he said-
¶ O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.

Isaiah 25:1
The Psalmist of Psalm 139 pondered this and was filled with wonder. God wants us to consider, ponder, explore, think about, what He has done, and to particularly ponder what He has done for us. We are designed by God towonder. It seems that God glories in our wonderment - that is, our wondering about God and His works glorifies God.


Jesus is the Ultimate Wonder. The prophet Isaiah used four very precise and powerful titles of the coming Messiah and the first these titles was Wonderful.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6
A quick read through the gospels leaves the reader struck by how often wonder marked Christ's ministry. He performed "wonders". Those who saw and heard Him, wondered (eg. Mark 1:27). And today, we wonder still. Jesus is still the greatest source of wonder for artists, musicians, philosophers, social entrepreneurs, poets, pastors and Tasmanians. If you're mind could do with some positive CBT ("Christ Based Thinking"), then take the time to wonder about Jesus, His Father, and their Agent on earth - the Holy Spirit, and what this God has done for you, in you and through you. This kind of "CBT" is what helps a person's mind to overcome those sad things that often haunt them. This kind of CBT leads you to conclude that Jesus is indeed: wonderful. It really makes you wonder.

Ps. Andrew

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