Last week, I closed out my thoughts about God’s sovereignty with the truth expressed in Romans 8:28—that in “all things God works for the good of those who love Him.”
If you’re anything like me, you might find the idea that God’s sovereignty encompasses “all things” a bit hard to grasp. Here’s how Chuck Swindoll describes it in his book, The Mystery of God’s Will:
His plan includes all promotions and demotions. His plan can mean both adversity and prosperity, tragedy and calamity, ecstasy and joy. It envelopes illness as much as health, perilous times as much as comfort, safety, prosperity, and ease. His plan is at work when we cannot imagine why, because it is so unpleasant, as much as when the reason is clear and pleasant.
His sovereignty, though it is inscrutable, has dominion over all handicaps, all heartaches, all helpless moments. It is at work through all disappointments, broken dreams, and lingering difficulties. And even when we cannot fully fathom why, He knows.
Even when we cannot explain the reasons, He understands. And when we cannot see the end, He is there, nodding, “Yes, that is My plan.”
All the while, we’re sitting here scratching our heads, wondering what in the world is going on. Our human minds simply cannot comprehend God’s character, His behavior or His activity in our lives (or seeming lack thereof).
Try as we might, we just can’t do it.
This really shouldn’t come as a big surprise, however. The author of Ecclesiastes makes it very clear: “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things” (Ecclesiastes 11:5).
And God Himself spells it out in big block letters for us: “ ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’ ” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Psalm also 115:3 puts it bluntly: “Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him.”
God answers to nobody. Nothing takes Him by surprise or catches Him unaware. Nor is He not pacing the floor in the throne room, wracking His brain to figure out how in the world He’s going to solve our big problem.
Although He often chooses to use us to accomplish His work, He doesn’t need us for anything. He is the potter, and we are merely the clay (Isaiah 64:8). As such, He chooses the molds and uses whatever techniques He deems necessary to fashion us into the types of vessels He wants us to become.
Last week, we talked about how God gave Satan permission—up to a certain point—to wreak havoc in Job’s life. A righteous man, Job could not figure out why he was being made to suffer so greatly. For 35 chapters, he vacillates between listening to his friends offer their flawed explanations and begging God to show up and explain what’s going on.
God shows up eventually, but He offers no answers. He simply fires away a long series of questions that very effectively put Job in his place (Job 38-41).
God understands our need to know why we’re suffering—He made us, after all. He also understands our desire to know in advance how the story is going to end.
Sometimes He gives us a glimpse of the reasons and perhaps even a clue about the end result. But most of the time, He simply asks us to trust Him. He asks us to believe that He knows how the story ends—that no matter what happens, He will work it out for our ultimate good.
I like to describe this process as “relaxing in God’s sovereignty.”
I know those words don’t naturally go together—relaxation brings to mind peace, tranquility and solace, while sovereignty triggers thoughts of power, control, grandeur and majesty. Yet, what better place to be, than relaxing in the loving arms of the omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent Maker of the Universe.
When I’m relaxing in God’s sovereignty, I’m resting in the assurance that God knows what He’s doing.
Even if it doesn’t make one bit of sense to me.
♥ LoisWhat better place to be than relaxing in the loving arms of the omnipotent Maker of the Universe. Click To Tweet
Note: This post is adapted from my book Infertility: Finding God’s Peace in the Journey (Harvest House, 2003), available here.