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Series Introduction| Knowing God | The Revelatory God | Goodness of God | Holiness of God | Power of God | Omnipresent God | Exalted God | Faithfuness of God | Wisdom of God | Mercy of God | Wrath of God | Love of God | Sovereignty of God | Providence of God
– The Sovereignty of God –
Introduction: The sovereignty of God has a great deal with our personal lives as believers. The more difficult our circumstances, the more important these teachings on the sovereign God stand out. Paul shares how this works out in this section.
A Testimony: The Holes of Life
Experience the power of the sovereignty of God in your lives!
I caught myself this week wrestling with God regarding the sovereignty of God. I call it a week of holes. Several things have happened that I would never have wanted to happen, mostly in a professional way, but these things spill over into our personal lives. I felt ensnared, trapped and unable to change things.
Troubles spilling over
I run a web site so am very dependent upon my the one hosting my web site that all goes well. Last week, it didn't . First the hard drive started having problems. They replaced it fairly quickly. I was quite impressed, but my website again started facing significant problems bringing it down again.
After again contacting our host company, they said they were being hacked from someone in China. The person or group was bombarding the computer server where my website was stored. It was so busy trying to answer all the requests, that it could no longer properly function. They thought they would be able to handle it quite quickly, but it took over a day.￼
In any case, this is my ministry, and I had to personally deal with these things.
The evil one came by with his common suggestions. Change your host. Get all upset. Be mean. God, on the other hand, was challenging me how this fits into the sovereignty of God. Doesn't He have all things under control? Why get uptight?
I am also trying to satisfy some tax forms for our government. They are taking so much time. I literally had to spend a long tedious day at work this week playing with 2011's figures so that they confirm to their forms. Over the last months, I wrote or filled in 134 pages!
I had to wrestle with the same thing. How does this work with the sovereignty of God?
Battling it out
Let me share with you how, by His grace, I did handle it. In a serious time of prayer, I told the Lord that I did not want these things to happen. But I know sometimes they are to happen, just like Jesus had to suffer or the Apostle Paul be in jail or be beaten.
God didn’t make a mistake. It is fulfilling some greater purpose, probably one that I would never understand while on earth.
The sovereignty of God, however, calls me, His child, above these things. So I resolved in my heart, trust God’s sovereign hand is at work. As I talked with Him, I resisted nosediving into discouragement but persisted doing what was right in each case. The Lord began to change my whole approach and attitude.
That which seemed totally wrong became points of faith and trust. They led me into God’s presence, causing me to praise Him of how He is able and willing to redeem this lost time. That means God is able and willing, somehow, to work behind the scenes to bring some greater good out of it.
God could have...
God could easily have prevented or stopped it, but by His allowing it to go on meant I must trust Him on His judgment. So I had to change my attitude by thanking Him for these matters. And I needed to seek Him to redeem what I considered as lost time and opportunity. This is where I needed to trust in His sovereignty.
I could believe Him for this, though earlier I could not, and it thoroughly changed my attitude and prayers. Now the situation does not bother me because God has, I believe, heard my prayers and will bring about extra blessing through it, though I might never see it on earth.
Do you see how the sovereignty of God made such a key difference in how I dealt with these things? He is not only in control of what I deem as bad, but because of my prayer I can seek Him to bring about a better situation than I otherwise would have! I get to praise Him instead of being grumpy or critical. Meanwhile, I am in a better mood to work on these unpleasant things. Where before, I ended up being critical, now I could focus on His greater coming work!
Full of trenches
Yesterday, God greatly encouraged me through a passage about holes. That is why I am in fact using the words holes. “And he said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Make this valley full of trenches. For thus says the LORD, ‘You shall not see wind nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, both you and your cattle and your beasts’” (2 Kings 3:16-17).
Who would ever think that an army can win by digging holes? But they dug them, and God not only filled them with water to refresh the army going through the desert but also used these puddles to fool the enemy. The Moabites thought that it was blood from the Israelite army fighting each other.
What a mistake that was! They ran into the Israelite camp totally unprepared to meet them and faced a horrible defeat.
God’s people, including ourselves, will face at times many unchanging things in life. We should first pray about them, but if they persist, we should not be discouraged but turn toward God’s sovereignty and deal with it like Habakkuk. Habakkuk learned to admit and accept his weaknesses in light of God’s sovereignty.
=> next: Habakkuk’s secret