As the summer I wasn’t expecting hurdles to a close, I thought it might be fitting to spend this week and next sharing some thoughts about God’s sovereignty that are as relevant today as they were 15 years ago when I first wrote them.
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He introduced his students to some pretty lofty principles about God—namely, that He is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.
To this day, I remember what those words mean: that God is everywhere at once (omnipresent), all-knowing (omniscient), and all-powerful (omnipotent). Said differently, God is present everywhere, He knows everything, and He is in control of everything.
That—in a very lofty sounding nutshell—is what God’s sovereignty is all about. The fact that God is sovereign means that nothing happens to me, to you or in the world that does not pass through His hands first.
He is in charge, even when a fatal disease strikes a young mother of four, when a car accident puts a vibrant teenage athlete in a wheelchair, when a loving grandma is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, when disease destroys a woman’s fertility or when an unfaithful spouse refuses to repent.
Many of these horrible things are a direct result of the evil that pervades our fallen world. But somehow—and I make no claim to understanding how or why—not one of them occurs without His permission.
Remember Job, the Old Testament hero who suffered such great loss and yet refused to forsake his faith? Before Satan took away Job’s business, his family and his health, he had to ask God for permission. God gave it, but He also set certain boundaries that Satan was forbidden to cross (Job 1:12; 2:6).
Satan was allowed to wreak havoc on Job’s life for a time, but God was in complete control throughout the process. Job himself acknowledged this near the end of his book: “I know that you can do all things,” he told God, “no plan of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
God sees what we can’t see. He knows what we don’t know. He sees the big picture, while we only know what’s going on in our little world.
While we’re dealing with our day-to-day and possibly life-altering struggles (whatever they might be), He already knows the outcome. He knows when they will end, how they will end, and what will happen next.
And, in some inexplicable way, He’s in charge of the whole process—from start to finish.
This brings to mind Joseph, another Old Testament hero who was able to recognize that God’s purposes had been fulfilled through his suffering. Joseph’s brothers, you may recall, sold him into slavery when he was a teenager.
Years later, Joseph became the second most powerful man in Egypt. As such, he was responsible for preparing the country for an upcoming famine and for managing the distribution of the stored food during the famine.
He was reunited with his brothers when they came to Egypt in search of grain. Naturally, they were afraid he would seek revenge on them for what they had done to him so long ago. But their fears were unfounded.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives,” Joseph told them (Genesis 50:20).
This story is a great example of God’s amazing ability to “make silk purses out of sows’ ears,” as the saying goes. The Apostle Paul restates this thought in the form of a promise: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
All things means just that. Everything. No exceptions. No exclusions.
But what exactly does that look like in real life? Please join me again next week as we dig into this topic a little bit more.
♥ LoisGod already knows when our trials will end, how they will end, and what will happen next. Click To Tweet
Note: This post is adapted from my book Infertility: Finding God’s Peace in the Journey (Harvest House, 2003), available here.