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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

What We Need to Know about God’s Sovereignty

The topic of God’s sovereignty can stir many emotions. It comforts me to know God has supreme power over my enemies. It confuses me why He lets bad things happen to good people.

If God has the power to stop wrong, why doesn’t He? Why did He let your child get cancer or your spouse be unfaithful? Why does He let you waste time and money on a mystery illness when He can heal you?

A Giant Mystery

The Bible reveals divine sovereignty, human responsibility, and an earth under the curse of sin and rule of Satan. As humans, we get headaches trying to tease these apart—or fit them together.

Our finite minds cannot grasp an infinite God or His ways any more than a child can understand the ocean by dipping a pail into it. Paul wrote,

“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!” (Romans 11:33 NLT).

The Example of Joseph

Many aspects of a story and a life don’t make sense in the middle of it. Take Old Testament Joseph for example. Genesis tells his story from a human perspective.

  • Joseph’s jealous brothers sell him into slavery.
  • His master’s wife falsely accuses him of attempted rape.
  • Potiphar throws Joseph into prison.
  • Pharaoh’s dreams disturb him.
  • The wine taster remembers Joseph; Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream.
  • Pharaoh makes Joseph second in command.

Whew! I’m glad God stepped in at the last minute to stop Joseph’s bad luck. Or was it bad luck?

The Divine Perspective

Psalm 105:16-23 provides another perspective.

  • God told Abraham his descendants would spend time in a foreign land.
  • God sent the famine that drove Jacob and his sons into Egypt.
  • God sent Joseph ahead of them to be there to rescue them when the famine came.

Joseph told his brothers that what they meant for evil, God meant for good. But—the story doesn’t end there.

When Joseph saved his brothers, he saved Judah and his son Perez. Through their line came Jesus, their Messiah. Joseph didn’t just save his ornery brothers, he saved his own savior!

God Is Bigger Than a Lifespan

No one can fully comprehend the purpose of suffering while on earth. But the Bible makes it clear that we can’t lose a hair on our head without God knowing it. If our sovereign Lord allows pain into our lives, we can trust He is using it for our eternal good.

When we arrive in heaven and see this life from God’s perspective, we won’t ball up our fists and say, “I knew you messed up with my life.” We’ll worship, “How did You do that? This is so much better than I could have imagined.”

By faith let’s worship now. And when life gets confusing, let’s remember our stories are a small part of His-story. God’s story is bigger than your lifespan.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory” (Romans 8:28-30 NLT).

God’s sovereignty assures us, that no matter what we endure here, a “happily ever after” awaits us.

Copyright © 2019 Debbie W. Wilson, used with permission.

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