Have you ever wondered if God was truly in control of the world? I mean seriously, was God in control when He allowed the shootings to happen at Sandy Hook Elementary school? Was He control when He allowed your family member to pass away at an unexpected time? Was He in control when your parents decided to get a divorce? Was He in control when 9/11 happened? We hear the Christian cliche, God is in control, all of the time, but really, is He? How could a God of love permit these terrible things to happen? Why do bad things happen to good people? Is he in control when those bad things happen? I want to answer this question with an emphatic, YES, and it is all based on God’s sovereignty. What does the word, sovereign mean?
Sovereign– One who exercises supreme authority or rule
Sovereignty– Supreme authority and rule of God. The word, sovereignty carries the idea of being independent. It is the idea that God is in control of all things. He is the ruler of all things. God answers to absolutely no one. So, He does not have to answer to me for what His plan is for my life. He does not have to answer to you for His plan in your life. God can accomplish whatever He wants in all things however He wants. Isaiah 46:9 says, “For I am God, and there is no one else. I am God and there is none like me.” Isaiah 45:5 says, “There is no God besides me.” He is completely over the things that we can see, and the things that we cannot see.
Now, here is the part that is difficult for us to understand. God is in complete control, but at the same time, we are free to make our own choices. Stay with me for a moment, but I understand that this is very difficult. God allows for freedom. I do not believe that God necessarily created sin, but He did create you and me with a free will to choose. Let me say that much of the world’s disasters are a direct result of a fallen society. I cannot stand here and explain why a shooting takes place, but I can explain how a person WITHOUT Jesus can commit such terrible sins against such innocent people. It is a direct result of a sinful fallen world. Man’s free will and God’s sovereignty are two thoughts that I believe both exist. Now, that does not make sense to us, but I believe that both of those thoughts are only thoughts that intersect with each other in the creator of the Universe’s mind. We look at life through humanistic minds, and cannot fathom seeing life totally through God’s eyes, because He is God, and we are not. It is impossible for you and I to totally comprehend both thoughts about God’s sovereignty and man’s free will, because we have a fallen flesh, and God is so much greater than you could ever imagine Him to be so figuring Him and His plans out are a waste of your time, because it is impossible for our finite minds to figure out God and His ways.
Do you remember the story where the disciples are in the Bible, and a great storm came up. The disciples were freaking out, crying out for help, because the weather and storm was so bad. Jesus was chillin asleep in the bottom of the boat. Why did a storm appear so dangerous to men who were so close to Jesus? These disciples were trying to serve Jesus, and were walking with Him. Why would God send such a storm to such good people? Now, this storm was bad. I believe that this was a storm that could have killed the disciples it was so bad. Why would God do it? This is the sovereignty of God. He comes up, and speaks to the wind and the waves, and everything is calm. Look there was a still a storm in the disciples lives, and there was danger, but in the midst of your danger and your storms, God is still at complete control. You can make your decisions in life, but God’s ultimate purpose is not affected by the moves that you make. His ability to fix your life is incredibly greater than your ability to mess it up!
God is the Eternal Ruler. The Word, Eternal means, Having no beginning and no end. It means that God is everlasting. Psalm 90:2 says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” God is not bound by time, and for Him, time is held in a completely different measure. For Him, a single day is like a thousand years. He is, He was, and He will always be! For us, it is difficult to understand God’s eternal life. We measure everything in time, because for us, everything has a beginning and an ending, right? We do not know people or things that are eternal, because ultimately, God is the only being who is eternal. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God…” That is saying that God was in existence at the first recording of time, EVER.
He is the eternal ruler because He is the Creator– Psalm 148:5 says, “Let them praise the name of the LORD: for He commanded, and they were created. God is the creator of all things, and because of this, He is the ruler of all things. Colossians 1:16 says, “All things were created by Him, and for Him.” Regardless of what the scientists believe, this world and the things around us did not just evolve over time, or happened after a bang. No, we have a God who spoke, and it happened. It is recorded in His Word. He rules, because He has authority over all!
He rules because He is the Controller of the world– Daniel 4:35 says, “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, what doest thou?” No one can stop the purpose of God from fulfilling. He has given you free will, but even in your free will, He is sitting as the complete ruler. Your decisions will not alter His divine purpose! It will be fulfilled regardless of the decisions you make based on your free will. He is the ruler because
He is the All Knowing (Omniscient) one– God knows all things, past, present, and future! Nothing comes as a surprise to God. Do you ever have a “light bulb” moment where you say, “Oh I get it.” God doesn’t. He knows everything, and nothing has ever dawned to God. He knows your decisions, and He knows what will happen in your life from the start to the end. Isn’t that reason to trust His sovereign plan? In 2001, I went on a youth activity the night that Duke played in the final four vs. Maryland. I went home after the youth activity to find that my parents’ recorded the game. I immediately watched the game, and sat there with total peace throughout the game. Duke went down by 22 points, but I never worried, I sat their calm until the end to notice that Duke came back and won the game. Why was I able to sit their so calmly when my team was getting destroyed? Duke is my team, how could I sit there peacefully when they were getting destroyed. Because I knew the end result of the game. Someone had told me at the youth activity. You see, God has the big picture in total view, and knows the end results of every trial or test you will endure. It is your job to sit peacefully in His arms and trust Him with the result and purpose.
God is the Involved Ruler– Ephesians 1:11 says, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” He uses your decisions to craft His perfect plan that has already been decided.
God is the Compassionate Ruler– Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” God loves you. Romans is speaking specifically about saved people. We have the ability in Jesus to handle the tough questions of life differently than those without Jesus. Think of Joseph in the Old Testament. Joseph said after so much bad had happened to him, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” How about Job? He lost his family, everything that he owned, his friends, and his body had boils all over it. He was still able to say, “The Lord giveth, and He taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” How could they do that when it seemed God had lost control? They understood that they serve a compassionate God who will work together all things for good eventually. We must trust that we serve a compassionate God who will ultimately work these tragedies out into something good after all. It may not be today, but I guarantee you, He will work it out one day, because we know the end of the story!
God is the Constant Ruler– He does not change. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.
Have you heard that song, “Not for a Moment (After All)” by Meredith Andrews? The Lyrics read like this,
“You were reaching through the storm, walking on the water,
Even when I could not see.
In the middle of it all, when I thought you were a thousand miles away.
Not for a moment, did you forsake me.
Not for a moment, did you forsake me.
After all, you are constant.
After all, you are only good.
After all, you are sovereign.
Not for a moment, will you forsake me.
You were singing in the dark, whispering your promise.
Even when I could not hear.
I was held in your arms, carried for a thousand miles to show,
not for a moment did you forsake me.
God is sovereign and will work all things for good! Stop worrying and asking “why is this happening?” Instead, enjoy resting today in the sweet powerful arms of Jesus!