Living Under God’s Sovereignty

For me, there is a great sense of comfort in knowing that my life, and all things are under the sovereignty of God. Something about it makes me feel that I am safe even in the middle of a whole lot of chaos, personal trials, and heartaches.

What is sovereignty? In case you have not read my first post on this Is God Sovereign?, here is the shortened Theopedia definition:

The Sovereignty of God is the biblical teaching that all things are under God’s rule and control, and that nothing happens without His direction or permission.

I totally believe that God is over all things, even though I cannot fathom how all of that really  works.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Psalm 139:6 KJV

I am aware that this teaching is difficult for some to accept. For some, it makes God a monster because he “lets” such horrific events happen. But I view it as God bringing about his purposes of which I may never understand nor comprehend. It’s bigger than me.

So how does knowing God is sovereign provide me comfort? It is almost unexplainable, but I will try. I have been through many trials in my life where I really just could not understand or figure out why some very hard things happened in my life if God loved me, beginning with the loss of my mother. I was just 22 years old. I was a new bride living on the opposite side of the country in Pensacola Florida when I learned that my mom had passed away.

I was devastated. This was my mom. She had just been at work the week before. She was only 44 years old. She had gone into the hospital just that week to which one of my aunts, when they called me to tell me, they said “girl, she’s alright”.  No need for me to panic, however, just a few days later she was gone.

I had prayed for my mom. Just a month before I had written her a letter thanking her for how much she meant to me and how much I appreciated her. But God took her. Why? I don’t know. I didn’t get mad at God but was extremely hurt, and at a loss.

I just had to move on, and trust God. Later, my husband for whom I saved myself for had cheated on me.  How could this be? However, I forgave him, but saw continued evidence of his cheating. We divorced after six years.

I knew now that I would never trust my choices again. I am too subject to mistaking what appears to be good as good, only to learn later that it was not good. I begged God to help me in my decisions. I had met someone who professed Christ, who had a seemingly powerful testimony. We married after only one month of dating. Was I listening to the God I trust?

Now, I am in a relationship with him my little children, who I believe loved them and loved me, but he had a secret. I believe that he believed that he was delivered, perhaps wanted to be delivered. He also had a violent temper. That was no secret. On the one hand, he would be the most vivacious person in the room, but when alone he could let out so much venom, I was frightened.

Again, what did I do wrong? Did I miss the cues? I wanted, begged God to deliver me from this pit that I found myself in. I remember wishing God would stop him from speaking, it hurts; give him cancer of the tongue, but nothing happened.

I had to learn how to fight; not physically, but fight. I came upon a scripture during this very dark period in my life, though, I must state that no one at church other than those close to me would ever know the pain I was going through. The scripture that carried me:

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. I Peter 4:19 KJV

That scripture was the beginning of my deliverance. It made me aware that nothing that I was going through was not seen by God. I am his child. I knew that God loved me and saved me through his Son; therefore, nothing that happens to me would be out of his reach to rescue me.

I also knew that God uses trials to make us strong, and to make us more like him.

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1:7 KJV

Yes that is a hard saying. Some of you may be thinking I had lost my mind. I suppose in one way, I had. For I was willing to go through knowing God was with me. He was my strength, my help. I did learn of his secret; but I never, ever confronted him about it. God brought me through that fire; unscathed physically, and I praise him for that.

I find that the more I read the Word of God, and hear the Word of God, I am more saturated with the word of God. The Word of God is what caused me to believe in the Sovereignty of God. I have seen the sovereignty of God displayed throughout my entire life.

I became convinced and trusted that everything that happens to me will work out for my good; the good and the bad. (Romans 8:28)  I trusted that when I applied for jobs, I would get the job if God wanted me to have it. God would move upon the decider’s heart and cause them to select me. Now that did not remove any responsibility on my part to do adequate preparation. Sometimes I adequately prepared and did not receive the positions. Then there were times, I adequately prepared and I did receive the position.

I trusted God’s word.

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. Proverbs 21:1 KJV

I may sound naïve to some. I assure you that I am not. I just know in whom I believe. I know that he is in control of all things, and while I cannot fathom how he can be concerned with me and the affairs of my life, while there are nations, and billions of people, some of which are also his, he attends.

This umbrella of his Sovereignty, yes, gives me great comfort. It’s much like a parent watching their child in a park, and the child looks back to make sure they are still watching. Their watching gives the child assurance that they are safe. I have that assurance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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39 thoughts on “Living Under God’s Sovereignty

  1. Our vigilance to be faithful will be rewarded! We all have bad seasons from time to time. The Word provides comfort! Check out my page for current and upcoming theological posts! Follow for follow. God bless!

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  2. Romans 8 28 is truly one of my favorite scriptures. Everytime I go through a difficult situation I remind myself of those words. Knowing God is in control no matter the degree of difficulty of any situation is a blessing. Lovely read as always.

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  3. We live under a sovereign God but in a broken creation. We live under a sovereign God, but have our own free will. God is sovereign, but never forces us to do anything. Never forces us to love Him back. Never forces others to love us back. But He will work it all into His plan for good if we love Him. Maybe it’s just beyond human comprehension, remember that faith is believing in what we can not see, what we can not know. I do believe that this life is a test, we will be rocked, shaken, stirred and tested for as long as we we are in this life. We have faith that He is somehow working it all into His good plan. Thank you for such an honest post.

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    1. Thanks John. I agree we are living in a broken creation because of our sin. So I personally don’t believe that I would have been able to love God had he not first drew me to himself because I was dead in my sins and trespasses Ephesians 2:1-8. I needed his breathing on me, in me, to make me alive. John 6:44 John 3:5-8. I also agree with you that it is beyond our comprehension to try to make this all work out in our heads because we are finite. Thank you for contributing to the discussion. I really do appreciate it.

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      1. John, are you suggesting that you could have said no? I see it much like God awaking me from the dead, taking out my heart of stone and giving me a heart of flesh which opened my eyes to the world of the spiritual so that I hate sin and repent. I see the drawing, the calling of God much like when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus said: “Lazarus, come forth!” It was a command. And no, I don’t believe that Lazarus felt he was forced, nor did I. I didn’t see what I saw before. My eyes were closed to spiritual things until he called me out of the darkness. If I could have said no, then I could easily boast that because I said yes, I am a Christian, and these other folk just didn’t make the right decision. My faith, my repentance was all a gift, leaving me no room to feel proud, but humbled, really, and ever so grateful. Ephesians 2:1-9 Sorry if I tend to go on an on and on. I really do appreciate the exchange.

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      2. I am saying that I DID say no for years. Yes, you could have said no. Now, you couldn’t imagine it, but you had a choice. You always have a choice. If we had no choice, we would have no temptation. We always have a choice.

        Jesus never went where he wasn’t wanted. He told his disciples, if their message was rejected, to wipe their feet and leave the people in that town to their choices.

        The Pharisees had a choice.

        Mary could have said, “I’m sorry Mr Gabriel, but I don’t think I wanna be an unwed teenage mother in THIS culture. So thanks, but no thanks.”

        Joseph had a choice.

        Jesus Himself had a choice.

        If there is no choice, how can there be repentance?

        Yes, God works on us, softens our hearts, and leads us.

        But He chose to give us free will.

        It’s part of his radical love for us, the free will He gave man whom He made in His own image.

        How about this. Just thought of it. If we have no choices to make, why would Jesus have to die for the forgiveness of our sins? Why would we need to be forgiven? If we have no choice in the matter, then we have nothing to be forgiven for.

        I don’t know how God’s sovereignty and our choices work together, but they do. But I do know that no one who has ever sought Him has been rejected.

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      3. I’m not so sure we see it as differently as we think. But this is certainly not the best way to communicate whatever differences we might have. Just too much to say to really make the point in the proper way. I will say that despite my belief that we always have a choice to make, the choice could not be made without the grace of God. Whatever choice I make, whatever changes He makes in me, whatever good is in me, is all due to the power and grace of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Without His saving grace, I’d still be a lying, cheating, stealing, conniving, isolated drunk. That’s my sin nature.

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      4. Hi John – As I was doing my walk this morning, I was listening to this sermon and thought about you regarding our discussion. When you get the opportunity, take a listen. http://www.tinysa.com/sermon/11116134080 It is by Steve Lawson. Also, a book that has been recommended, and it’s on my book page: Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards. Have a great day! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the sermon. The book will take a while.

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      5. Just finished this Barbara. I’m going to tell you, I don’t think we have much of a disagreement. As much as that pastor talked, there is nothing there disagreeing with the fact that we have a choice. I agree with most of his points. We agree on most points.

        I will say…it is very convenient for him to say that anyone who falls way from the faith was never born again. Clearly there is no way for him or I to debate any of that. I can’t go and prove that he was born again.

        Also convenient that he teaches from John chapter 3, and ignores ““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭NLT‬‬. If there is no choice, how can we be differentiated between believers and non believers?

        On his points made (because this is how it was presented). 1). Our first birth was defective. We came into the world as sinners. Correct.

        2. Born outside of the kingdom of God. Not about works, family, connections, etc. I agree. I actually think if you asked this pastor, he would tell you we have to make a choice. Otherwise, what would be the meaning of repentance?

        3). Entrance into kingdom of God unmerited and undeserved. Amen and amen. Only through Grace and mercy if Jesus Christ, none of which neither you, me, or anybody else deserves. Before or after being born again.

        4). Heavenly. He says we can’t get God unless God comes to us first. God must initiate our salvation.

        I say – He did come to us. He did initiate. He came to us, was born of a virgin, lived as a child of Mary and Joseph, learned a trade, lived life as one of us. Then He preached, lasted with His message about the kingdom of God for about 3 years (in itself a miracle that he lasted that long). Then He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, rose from the dead, walked among us again, and ascended to the right hand of the father. He will return to us physically, but even now he’s not absent. Jesus is Lord. That’s the gospel, right here and now. We all have the choice and free will to live that way right now. We are all called to live that way right now.

        5). It’s illuminating. We all need eyes to see and ears to hear. Amen and amen

        6). Cleansing birth. Yup, I do agree, but I also disagree. Isaiah chapter 1 tells we will be wiped clean as snow. The only problem with our new creations after being born again is this – I’m still a sinner. You’re still a sinner. I still don’t deserve the grave, mercy and love Jesus shows me. Anyone who says they do, as the writer of the chapter discussed would say, is a liar and Christ is not within them.

        7). Instantaneous. He refers to the day of Pentecost, when 3000 believers were made. Yes, they were, through the grace of God. “Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.” Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭2:40-41‬ ‭NLT‬‬. If we have no choice, what in the world is Peter urging them for? Why are we called to make disciples of all the nations? Why am I writing this? Why do I invite someone to church with me, so they may have the opportunity to hear the Gospel from someone more gifted and more anointed than myself? Why do we try to win souks for Christ? He talked about George Whitfield, the great evangelist. Why?? Why do evangelists exist? Why do I evangelize? Why do you evangelize?

        Not because we do the work. Not because anyone deserves it. Not because I’m better than anyone because of my choice. Not because I’m better than anyone because He chose me.

        We evangelize because we see our neighbors and know – they were created by God, with His imprint and likeness upon them. And God is Love. To say that it is all predestination, that we all give no choice to make, is to say God predetermines that BILLIONS of His creatures, made in his own image, are going to rot in Hell. Rot in the lake of fire. Not by their choice, but by His. That is not love. That is not the likeness of Jesus Christ.

        8 & 9, comprehensive birth and radical birth. Yes, comprehensive and radical. But don’t forget what Paul says in Phillipians, we need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. And…He will finish the work He’s doing in us. It is a process. I really need to wrap this up, so I am trying to be quick.

        I say it is all by God’s choice. It is all by His grace and mercy. But – it is His choice that all His children be saved. It is our choice to reject or accept. We don’t deserve. We don’t dance. We just say “yes”. It is all His work. He softens our heart, gives us ears to hear. I really think it’s a mystery, but he does give us clues. I guess my blogging is really my spiritual journal as God continues the work He is doing in me. I write to share my journey, so that, maybe, others might change their choices (aka repent) and call on the name of the Lord.

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      6. Normally he would go through the books as an expositional preacher, but I believe he was a guest. However, he has done a sermon on John 3:16. https://media05.sermonaudio.com/sermons009/103009847210.mp3

        I believe we have to read the Bible in context. In John 3, Jesus is speaking to someone a teacher of teachers. The Jews only saw the Messiah for them and not every nation, tribe and tongue. Jesus explains in order for anyone to experience this eternal life, he must be born again. He says that he didn’t come to condemn the world, but that the world (people of every nation, tribe and tongue) through him might be saved. Have you read Romans 9, John 6, 10, 17? If you order the Freedom of the Will that may help you understand why I believe what I believe as strongly as you believe what you believe.Blessings!

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      7. I have read all those passages, I will read again with an eye toward what you are talking about. I still don’t think we are that far in disagreement. I do know that God does all the work in preparing us to come to Him, in giving us his grace and mercy. But I also know part of His radical love is the free will he gave us. They are both mysteries, they are both real, they are both a part of my faith. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, and hopefully helping me grow in mine.

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      8. John – Thank you for being willing, but when you read these passages again, try to read it with an open mind versus with preconditioned position. I spoke with a sister and she shared that she was in your exact position and when someone shared these truths with her, she did not accept them. But one day, she asked God to help her to see the truth, then she saw it all through the scriptures. I appreciate that you have allowed me to press this. I am not at all saying that we do not have free will. Yes, God gave that to us, but our free will is limited to our sin condition. We are dead, and until God breathes on us, take out our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh, we won’t choose him. But his regenerating work on us makes us willing because we now see our sin and repent. It is not forced. It is just like he just turned the light on so we see what we could not see before. Enjoy the Lord’s day, my friend!

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      9. We all need to keep an open mind when we read the scriptures. I have not taken the time to read the specific passages you highlighted, but I will. This conversation has been going for centuries. I don’t think we are breaking any new ground here. I know there are debates on the subject I’m going to check out on you tube. Once I find them and watch them, I will recommend for you. (Or not if they are not informative!). You also enjoy the say the Lord has given us!

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      10. Amen. The Apostle Paul was already correcting and warning even in the first century of the church. So no, it’s not new at all. By the way,there is a shorter book theater is an easier read by Nathan L. Rice, God Sovereign and Man Free. I’ve read it more than once and am reading it again. I too have a whole lot of books to read, so I understand your plight.

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      11. Barbara, I really am not interested in changing your mind. I just figured it would be something you would find interesting. I had heard of it before, but never bothered to listen to it. You piqued my interest I suppose.

        But at this point, I have no interest in the Calvinist vs Armenian debate. It is nowhere near what I am called to do. I am called to share the gospel snd be a light to the world. If every single person I share with is pre selected from the beginning of time to salvation or damnation, I don’t know. But I’m not in any corner, certainly not an opposite corner from you.

        I believe in pre destination. God certainly chose me long before I chose Him. But I also believe I still have my own choice go make. I think the great mystery in the discussion is how those two truths operate together…

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      12. I’ve listened to more than enough on the debates. Thanks for being so gracious. As I believe I stated before, I had just been reading the Bible and doing research and actually did not know what I believe was an actual theological system of belief. I was told that I had a Calvinistic leaning and had to look it up. I really had not heard of Calvinism before then. Have a good night, blogger friend.

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  4. Very nice. Thanks for sharing! It is very hard to trust God. It’s hard to understand why He allows somethings to happen. Yes, I believe sometimes we miss the mark. We don’t hear from Him. We think we’ve heard Him, but did we? There are others times we simply do not know why He allows trials. But as you stated – His plan is greater. And our only choice is to trust Him. Wonderful post.

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