Word of the Month

Now I know in part

July 2003

As long as we are on this earth our understanding of the works of God will never be complete. That is why Apostle Paul also wrote to the Corinthians: "Now I know in part." But then he added, in view of the day of Christ's return: "But then I shall know just as I also am known." (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:12).

The Holy Spirit has already revealed a great deal to us: the love and omnipotence of God, the significance of Jesus' sacrifice for the salvation and redemption of sinners, our election and calling to eternal glory. Let us be thankful with all our hearts for all that we are permitted to know!

Even if we today only know certain things, we may nonetheless be assured that the Lord knows us fully. He sees everything: we are like an open book before Him. We can hide nothing from Him: it would be outright foolishness to try to keep something from His divine majesty. This is, on the one hand, a warning for us, but on the other it is also grounds for great joy, and serves as a great comfort.

He sees our faith and our battle of faith, our love for His work and our willingness to sacrifice. He also sees our hope, our confidence and loyalty, our attitude. He sees when we fail, and when we make the same mistake for the hundredth time and are then frustrated by our weakness. He sees that we repent, and forgives us our debts and sins for the hundredth time. The Lord also knows all our cares and needs - this ought to be a great comfort for us, because He wants to help us go on, after all. The objective of God's work upon us is to complete us all.

We will be able to understand this in its entirety when Jesus Christ returns. On the day of the Son of God we will see the plan and ways of God in a sublime light, and we will note that the trials that were permitted - everything we had to live through - finally served for our best. When we see God's works in their entirety we will be amazed and realize that everything had a deeper meaning!

It might make us sad that our knowledge is only partial today. But we just cannot yet grasp heavenly things in their entirety because our human reasoning is restricted. We can nevertheless ask our Heavenly Father: "Grant me more insight and vision," but let us be satisfied with what He reveals to us in His love; it suffices for our happiness. While we wait for perfect knowledge let us compensate our partial knowledge with faith and trust in God. In this manner, we will be able to persevere in faith until the day of the Lord, a day we are joyfully anticipating and preparing for and on which we will no longer have any more questions.

(From a service by the Chief Apostle)