Confidence in God’s Sovereignty
Our God is in the heavens, he does all that he pleases(Psalm 115:3)
Confidence in God’s sovereignty in all that affects us is crucial to our trust Him. If there’s a single event in all the universe that can occur outside God’s control, then we cannot trust Him. His love may be infinite, but if His power is limited and His purpose can be thwarted, we cannot trust Him. You may entrust to me your most valuable possessions; I may love you and my aim to honor your trust may be sincere. But if I don’t have the power or ability to guard your valuables, you cannot entirely trust them to me.
Paul, however, said we can trust our most valuable possessions to the Lord: “ I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” ( 2 Timothy 1:12). “But,” someone says, “Paul is speaking there of eternal life. It’s our problems in this life that make me wonder about God’s sovereignty.”
It should be evident, however, that God’s sovereignty does not begin at death. His sovereign direction in our lives even precedes our births. God rules as surely on earth as He does in heaven. He permits, for reasons known only to Himself, people to act contrary to and in defiance of His revealed will.
Our plans can succeed only when they are consistent with God’s purpose, and no plan can succeed against Him.(Proverbs 16:9; 19:21; 21:30) No one can straighten what He makes crooked or make crooked what He has made straight(Ecclesiastes 7:13). No one can say, “I’ll do this or that”, and have it happen if it is not part of God’s sovereign will(James 4:15)
Jeremiah, the prophet is told that before he was born that God had called and planned his life. The Bible teaches that each of us have been fearfully and wonderfully made for the purposes of God. We read in Revelation that the final attempt of Satan to overthrow the kingdom of God is in the end unsuccessful. We have seen in history the attempts for humans to gain control of the earth and thought there have been dark days of despair, God’s sovereignty again and again has decided the outcome. Repeatedly the church has been under oppression and attack from without and within and yet she still is a viable influence in the world.
Every generation that has faced the powers of evil and the uncertainties of life have questioned the sovereignty of God. When we see evil abounding and at least on the surface appearing to be the future, we wonder where God is in all this. When humanity seems to have lost their way and even the church loses its vision let me assure us that the God of the universe hasn’t gone on vacation.
Two things I want to share today, one concerning the world as a whole and the other concerning us as individuals. Whenever suffering and calamity occur, we then question the sovereignty of God. When things are going well, when we are enjoying the blessings of God, when life’s good we live in the “taken for granted” sovereignty of God. We are sure that we are receiving blessings because the Sovereign God has so ordained.
Revelation was written to the church in John’s day that was going through intense persecution and wondering whether they would be totally consumed. In their time of despair, in the midst of their hopeless helplessness God call John aside. Tradition says that John went through quite a bit of personal persecution prior to being banished to the barren rock called Patmos. The idea was to eventually to silence him permanently but the Sovereign God took his circumstances and gave him the vision of the Sovereign God who was orchestrating all the events in heaven and on earth. Though the Antichrist and Satan believed they were in control and were projecting that, we see that all of God’s plans were being carried out,
In the story of Joseph, we see God’s sovereignty at work in the individual life. Joseph whose life was orchestrated by God went through a time of suffering. We may think that his brothers were the culprits that put him in the pit and sold him into slavery. We may feel the unfairness of his false accusation and imprisonment by Potiphar and his wife. We might feel the wrongness of his cell mates who forgot him and abandoned him but God was moving him toward His purpose and place. We can trust God to do the same for us.
In these days with all that’s happening around us and to us, let us live in trust that the Sovereign God is in control. We may not understand or comprehend just yet what He has purposed for this moment, but we know that first of all He is in control of all and second of all He loves us with a love that is beyond comprehension. And we can trust in both of these things. So let us rest in these promises and let us surrender our plans and our desires to our Heavenly Father who holds us in His hands. Let us not lose hope, let us not give up, but let us pray those powerful words that a Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.
Dr. John Thompson