“There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty.” (Charles Spurgeon, http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0077.php, August 28, 2017)
It does not take long for life to remind us that we are not in control. The reminder may come through a child or a spouse diagnosed with a serious illness, or someone at the office determining you are not needed anymore.
Life can oftentimes be a fearful thing. It is interesting that God gives us the instruction “Do not fear” in His Word 365 times. Everyday it is something of which we must remind ourselves. If we are really left up to the “forces” of the universe, then we should fear. Even if we believe we have a God that is learning in real time with us and is not truly omniscient, we are in trouble and still have much to fear. That is why it is so important to know God. We must know Him as He has revealed Himself to us through His Word. Every Christian should study God’s attributes and find comfort and conviction.
An important truth we must adhere to is that God will not be or do anything contrary to what He has revealed about Himself in Scripture. For instance, He reveals that He is truth. He reveals that He is unchanging. He reveals He is sovereign. He reveals so many other things about Himself that if we would truly believe it all we would have no need to fear at all.
We can take heart that even in the most difficult circumstances of life, God is not only with us through them, but that He Himself has permitted them. This is why God’s sovereignty is the most comforting of all His attributes.
Sovereignty is an attribute of God to which many Christians pay lip service, but do not sincerely believe. God’s sovereignty means that God exercises rights over His creation to do anything He pleases according to His own perfect will. Anything. Scripture reveals, “What ever the Lord pleases He does in heaven and on earth the seas and all deeps” (Psalm 135:6).
It also states, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.“(Psalm 115:3)
Though God will do nothing that contradicts His nature, like sin, He will interact with men however He pleases. He is no respecter of persons. Listen to a pagan king’s remarks after God did something amazing to humble him. “At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:34-35).
I am afraid that Nebachadnezzar has better theology according to that passage than many men who have claimed to be Christians for most of their lives.
God is in control of all things! He does whatever He wishes with whomever He wishes. He can even use Satan however He determines. (Job, 2:1-6, Chronicles 18:21-22) The theologian Erwin Lutzer went as far as saying, “Even the devil is God’s devil.” He can also show mercy on whom He wishes. (Exodus 33:19) He can keep people from sinning (Genesis 20:6). Though man has freedom to exercise his own will, God has the freedom to do whatever He pleases with that man.
How is this comforting? It is comforting because we can conclude from Scripture the God of the Bible is trustworthy. He is good. He is merciful and compassionate. He is just and right. Even in the face of God’s judgment on Sodom, Abraham had comfort in knowing that the Judge of all the earth would do what was right (Genesis 18:25).
Everything that has taken place in your life has been under the sovereign care of God. He has and will care for you. Has He ever let us down? No. Has he allowed us to be in suspense at times? Certainly.
This truth has been an overwhelming comfort to me throughout my life, but especially during the last few years. SOme of you remember five years ago Sarah and I loaded a 20 foot Uhaul with all of our earthly belongings and traveled from Memphis, TN here to Grande Prairie, AB, Canada. The church was only twelve members strong. This impacted our lives in many ways. Not only were we entering Canada as foreigners, but we were entering a city with a less than one percent vacancy rate in the height of an oil boom. There was a significant risk in many areas specifically, but not limited to, finances. Yet we trusted that God was sovereign and moved us for His purpose. He most certainly did!
Two years, and two children later, Sarah was diagnosed with thyroid and lymphatic cancer. I am convinced that no matter what the case, when the word cancer is involved, it causes great concern. Despite a long history of anxiety and worry the Lord gave me a perfect peace throughout the situation. This was only due to truth of his sovereignty being a constant comfort to my heart. The words of Paul continually flooded my mind, “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:7-8)
His desire is that He shows Himself sovereign and faithful time and again for His glory and for our good. What a comfort in the day of distress. Not only does the Lord see the end, but He has determined the outcome (Prov. 16:33). Because of this we can truly proclaim, “to God alone be the glory!”