Psalm 139:17, 18.
It is a very blessed day in the history of our souls when one's thoughts are displaced by God's thoughts, when we can say, "How precious are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand."
It is the beginning of a new day to us in relation to God.
Naturally we have our own thoughts about God, about men, about the world, about Christ, and also about all that would be best for ourselves; but we have to learn that all our thoughts are wrong, that there are better thoughts concerning us in the heart of God than ever were found in our own hearts about ourselves.
This is brought before us by Him Who "knew what was in man," In the parable of the wilful son of Luke 15; he thought he could do better for himself than his father was doing, so he took his journey into the far country, but he had to learn, in the deepest depths of degradation, how much better it would have been for him to have submitted himself to the thoughts of his father and to have left himself in his hands. He made the same mistake on his return when he formulated the terms upon which he was to be received — those of a hired servant!
But it was not merely to meet the need of a homeless wanderer the father ran from his door the day the sin-sick soul departed from the swine's trough and began to retrace his erring footsteps. If it was the son's need which drew him in the direction of the father, the father also had a need which expressed itself in falling upon the neck of the wretched penitent, and covering him with kisses; but the need of the father was very much greater than the need of the son, and of an altogether different nature. It was all selfishness with the prodigal — and it could not be anything else, for his need was so great that he was unable to have any regard for anyone but himself — but with the father it was the necessity of unselfish love gratifying itself in blessing an unworthy object.
And this is the picture we have drawn by the One who dwelt in the bosom of the Father, and Who knew all the thoughts and desires of that bosom; a picture of the very way in which a poor sinner is received by God, and of the joy God has in receiving such; a picture we contemplate with unwearied gaze; and in which we ever find some new beauty; a picture in which we read how much better the thoughts of God are about us than our thoughts are about ourselves, and how much worse off we should have been had He dealt with us according to our desires.
God has pre-destined us to be conformed to the image of His Son. Less than this would have expressed our thoughts, fulfilled the desires of our minds, even of our renewed minds; how much worse off we should have been! But God will fulfil His own thoughts, His own eternal thoughts of "peace," of "good," of glory.
His thoughts about us are set before us in Christ glorified as Man; so the better we know Him, the better we shall know the thoughts of God about us. From these thoughts of His He is not to be diverted, He will have His own way in spite of everything.
And these thoughts of God are eternal; thoughts He had regarding us before the world was, when He purposed to have us in the relationship in which His Son is to Himself and in all the love of which He is the worthy object. Blessed be His Name! How well we may say, "How precious are Thy thoughts unto me, O God!" May these thoughts of His be our daily meditation.