The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Sovereignty
God Has the Last Word
To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue.
We might paraphrase this verse as follows: “A man can have his own ideas, but the Lord inspires the words he utters.” This is a powerful reminder that God is in control. In the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith, “He ordains whatsoever comes to pass.”
Romans 8:28 tells us that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” What does Romans 8:28 mean by “all things"? How inclusive is it? It is utterly inclusive. It includes all that can happen in the life of a child of God. It includes the good and the bad, health and sickness, wealth and poverty, the sunlight and the shadow, high noon and midnight, life and death. That means that Romans 8:28 is just as true in the hospital as it is in the sanctuary. It means that when you are in the waiting room and that clock will not move and you know your loved one is in the hands of a surgeon, that no matter the outcome, whether life or death, cancer or no cancer, whether you see her again or not, you know that moment is in God’s hands. It is part of the “all things” that work together for good. There is nothing that can happen to the child of God that is outside of the “all things” of Romans 8:28.
Do we really believe that? There is no greater question facing men and women who believe in God. For every person who doubts the deity of Christ there are a hundred who secretly wonder about the goodness of God.
Skeptics put the matter this way. If God were all-powerful, He would stop the suffering in the world. If God were good, He would not permit such things to happen. Whichever path you choose, God ends up either too weak to stop evil or too callous to care.
The Bible presents God Himself as the great Sufferer who fully met the problem of evil in the gift of His own Son. I am reminded of the distraught father who cried out, “Where was God when my son died?” The answer came back, “The same place He was when His Son died.”
How shall we deal with the unexplainable mysteries of life? When you look at a piece of fabric through a magnifying glass the edges are blurred while the middle is clear. Life is like a piece of fabric. Many times the edges are blurred; there are many circumstances we do not understand. But the center of life is clear, and in the center we find the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Most of the time we will never know the answer to the question “Why?” God never asks us to understand, but only to trust Him in spite of our doubts. Peace comes when we finally realize we don’t have to have all the answers.
The edges of life will often be blurry, but the center is clear and it points to the Cross.
Father, if You gave Your Son for me, how can I ever doubt Your love for me? I can’t, and I won’t. Amen.
What does it mean to you to say that God is sovereign? List some of the positive and negative events that have “worked together” for good in your own life.
If you could ask God just one question about something that has happened in your life, what would it be?
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