God’s Thoughts to “Us-ward”

“Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.”
—Psalm 40:5

IN REVEALING HIS will to his children of this Gospel Age, the Heavenly Father has made it plain that he wants them to work for him and with him in the carrying out of his plan. What a high honor it is to work with the Lord. Jesus, in his prehuman existence as the Logos had this glorious opportunity in the original work of Creation, hence we find Jehovah saying to him, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”—Gen. 1:26

How wonderful it would be to have the Heavenly Father similarly include us in his work! And this is exactly what he has done, for as the apostle writes, we have been made co-laborers with the Lord in the great work of reconciling the lost world to him.—I Cor. 3:9; II Cor. 5:19; 6:1

Jehovah has been zealous in the carrying forward of his plan, and he is pleased when his co-laborers exhibit a similar zeal—the zeal of the house of God. The true followers of the Master are described by Paul as a “peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14) James indicates that we are to show our faith by our works (James 2:18) It is undoubtedly pleasing to the Heavenly Father that we should rejoice in this privilege of working with him, and that we should be happy at every evidence of his blessing upon our efforts.

We should ever keep in mind that what we do for the Lord is as nothing in comparison with what he does for us. It is only by his grace that our imperfect works are acceptable to him. Therefore, it is necessary for us to consider the many ‘wonderful works’ which he has done, and his solicitous thoughts ‘to us-ward.’ When we do this, we find how true it is, as our theme text says, that the many things which the Lord has done ‘cannot be reckoned up in order,’ and that when we try to tell about them ‘they are more than can be numbered.’


The psalmist said, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” (Ps. 40:1) Throughout the ages, millions have waited patiently for the Lord, yet it was not his due time to ‘incline’ unto them and hear their cry. True, many of these lacked understanding in their waiting. Paul speaks of them as the “whole creation,” which, groaning and travailing together in pain, are waiting for “the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:19,22) The Lord knows about all these millions, and when, in his plan, their ‘day of visitation’ comes, he will ‘incline’ unto them, hear their cries for help, and will save them. Then they will say, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, … we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”—Isa. 25:9

Meanwhile, during this Gospel Age, the Lord has honored one here and there by responding to their cry. Paul speaks of these as seeking the Lord, “if haply they might feel after him, and find him.” (Acts 17:27) It would be impossible for any to find the Lord unless he chooses to ‘incline’ to them, to respond to their cry for help; so if we have had this blessed experience of finding him, it means that his thoughts have turned to ‘us-ward,’ and that we can accept this as a manifestation of his special favor.

When the Lord ‘inclined’ toward us, what was the first of his ‘wonderful works’ on our behalf? David gives us the answer, saying that the Lord “brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” (Ps. 40:2) We were all in this ‘horrible pit,’ symbolic of being lost in sin and death. We remember the pit into which Joseph was cast by his brethren. It was a place from which he could not have escaped. Had his brethren not changed their minds and sold Joseph as a slave, he doubtless would have died in that pit.

We were indeed in a ‘pit’ from which escape was impossible, and made the more so by the miry clay into which we were sinking. It was in this condition that the Lord found us, and heard our cry for help. And he did more than listen. He took hold of us and lifted us up out of the miry clay and out of the pit, and set our feet upon a ‘Rock’—the “Lord is my rock.” (II Sam. 22:2) Then we had a firm footing, a sure foundation, and joyfully we could sing,

“On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.”


God’s thoughts to ‘us-ward’ were manifested in further blessings. David writes that the Lord ‘established’ his ‘goings’—that is, his course in life, and that applies to us with equal force. While we were in the ‘horrible pit,’ and our feet were sinking in the ‘miry clay,’ life had very little purpose. Many times the question probably arose in our minds as to the meaning of our existence. We had no objectives, but all this changed when the Lord set our feet upon the Rock, Christ Jesus.

Realizing that the Lord had made a wonderful provision for us through Christ Jesus, our hearts responded in loving devotion to him, for we knew that we no longer were our own, but by right belonged to him, and should spend the remainder of our lives serving him. Thus we consecrated ourselves to do his will, and in revealing his will to us, our Heavenly Father established our ‘goings,’ that is, he pointed out not only what he wanted us to do in his service, but also that at the end of the way there was to be a prize, “the prize of the high calling.” (Phil. 3:14) Therefore he bid us to set your affection on things which are above,” and to “run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”—Col. 3:2; Heb. 12:1,2

Our Heavenly Father established our ‘goings’ upon the narrow way. Now life had a meaning, and a definite objective. We had a job to do. We were to work out our own salvation, for we knew that the Lord was working in us “both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:12,13) With our ‘goings’ thus established, we were ready to “give diligence” to make our “calling and election sure.” (II Pet. 1:10) With Paul, we said, “This one thing I do.” (Phil. 3:13) We heard Jesus saying to us, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God,” and hearing this, we realized that we could not afford to be halfhearted in striving for the goal that was set before us in the Gospel. (Matt. 6:33) Moreover, we rejoiced when we remembered that it was God’s thoughts to us-ward that had resulted in our being in this position of high favor with him, a position in which we rejoiced “in hope of the glory of God.”—Rom. 5:2


David continues, “He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.” (Ps. 40:3) The song in the mouths of those in the world today is a very doleful one, if indeed they have a song at all. And it was so with us until we were lifted up out of that ‘horrible pit.’ How could we sing while our feet were sinking in the ‘miry clay?’ But now it is different. The Lord has given us a song to sing, even a song of praise to him. This ‘new song’ is in reality the melody of the truth.

“Many shall see it, and fear [reverence], and shall trust in the Lord,” continues the psalmist. (vs. 3) We know that ultimately the whole world shall be filled with a knowledge of the glory of God, but even now ‘many’ see and appreciate the truth to some extent, while one here and there—those to whom the Lord ‘inclines’ himself—embrace it in full consecration and run diligently for the prize of the high calling. To whatever extent an individual ‘sees’ the truth and appreciates it, his reverence for the Lord is increased, and in that proportion he puts his trust in the Lord. And what a blessing that is in this time of distress upon the nations!

The psalmist says, “Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust.” (vs. 4) Today, one after another of the things in which men have put their trust are failing. Their ‘idols’ are crumbling, and, symbolically speaking, they are calling for the “rocks” and the “mountains,” (their gods and governments), to fall on and protect them. (Rev. 6:16) What a joy, therefore, it should be to us if in singing the new song of praise to God, some hear and learn to put their trust in God, realizing that in the fulfillment of his promises alone will peace and joy come to the world.


Many are the wonderful works of God, and ‘many’ are his loving thoughts to ‘us-ward.’ It was his thoughts to ‘us-ward’ that led to the provision for lifting us out of the horrible pit and the miry clay of sin and death. He was thinking of us when he provided the ‘rock’ upon which our feet are now firmly established. It was to ‘us-ward’ he was thinking when he made it possible for us to present and yield our bodies a living sacrifice. We have the assurance that our offering will be holy and acceptable to him through Christ Jesus our Lord.—Rom. 12:1


“Being justified by faith,” Paul writes, “we have peace with God.” (Rom. 5:1) While we were in the ‘horrible pit’ we were alienated from God through wicked works. But “while we were yet sinners” God made provision for our return to harmony with him, and to enjoy peace with him as part of his thoughts to ‘us-ward.’ (Rom. 5:8) What a loving thought! It is beyond our ability to understand why Jehovah would make provision for our being at peace with him; but it is so, and by this loving thought of God alone we are overwhelmed.

Paul explains that by justification through Christ “we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Rom. 5:2) ‘Into this grace,’—what grace? That wonderful position of favor in which we ‘rejoice in hope of the glory of God.’ We cannot grasp this at all. All we know is that God’s thoughts were ‘us-ward’ in making the provision, for the Apostle Peter explains that by the “exceeding great and precious promises” of God we are made “partakers of the Divine nature.”—II Pet. 1:4


God has also given us his Holy Spirit—another evidence of his thoughts to ‘us-ward.’ And what does the Holy Spirit do for us? The Scriptures explain that by it we are begotten to a new hope of life; that we are anointed as members of the body of Christ, and thus authorized to be servants of God; that the Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirits that we are the children of God, and by the Holy Spirit we are “sealed unto the day of redemption,” or deliverance.—I Pet. 1:3; Rom. 8:16; Eph. 4:30

Yes, God does all these things for us, and more, through the operation of his Holy Spirit in our lives. By that Spirit we are guided in the narrow way; comforted in our sorrows; enlightened when the way seems dark; strengthened when weary; rebuked when wayward; and warned when in danger. And how wonderful is the Master’s assurance that the Heavenly Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children.—Luke 11:13

Receiving God’s Holy Spirit inspires us to pray often for grace and strength in every time of need. By so doing we are strengthened in the battle fought against our foes and all of our enemies. God has made provision for us (even though we are sinful and imperfect) to come to him through Jesus’ name to seek forgiveness for our sins, as well as to receive his guidance and strength.

Truly the psalmist was right when he said that God’s thoughts ‘to us-ward’ are so many and varied that they ‘cannot be reckoned up in order,’ and are ‘more than can be numbered.’ In his love he thought of all our needs from before the time he called us, even until we reach the end of the way, and beyond that, provided “glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.” (Rom. 2:7) He inclined toward us with mercy and love to forgive, to guide, to strengthen, to protect, to encourage, to comfort, to fill with joy, and to inspire with a heavenly hope. And daily, as he lifts up his countenance upon us to give peace, and the assurance that his thoughts continue to ‘us-ward,’ he wants us to commune with him that we may become more intimately acquainted with him, and thus rejoice the more that we are so richly blessed in being members of his family.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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