Is God Sovereign?

What does it mean to me when I say God is sovereign in my life?

Have you ever thought about this question for yourself?

 Genesis 35: 16-18, “Leaving Bethel, Jacob and his clan moved on toward Ephrath. But Rachel went into labor while they were still some distance away. Her labor pains were intense.  After a very hard delivery, the midwife finally exclaimed, “Don’t be afraid—you have another son!”  Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named the baby Ben-oni (which means “son of my sorrow”)The baby’s father, however, called him Benjamin (which means “son of my right hand”).”

Every time I read this story I think of my mom.  I, like Benjamin, was the child left behind. Like Rachel, my mother’s death was totally unexpected and I can’t help but wonder what her thoughts were as she took her last breath. Were they of her children she was leaving behind, were they of her husband?

Isn’t it when extreme tragedy steps into our lives, leaving heartache in its path that we ask ourselves if God is truly sovereign? This is when we question if God is truly our ruler in the good times and the bad? Is it not in these times that our faith is tested?

 It’s easy to say God is the sovereign ruler of my life when all is going well, when everything is just peachy. Its then I can sing or proclaim that “My God Reigns” because He’s got everything under control.

Yet it’s when tragedy, disappointments or heartaches strikes that I am faced with the tough questions. Will I question His sovereignty in the midst of calamity? Can I trust Him? Is He still the sovereign King in my life?

It’s often at these times I find myself thinking, “If I just tried harder, if I was just a better person, then maybe bad things wouldn’t happen.” Do you ever get stuck in the pit of-if I do better then bad things won’t happen?

Yet when I read the story of Job I begin to get a different picture. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13: 15). 

 That’s trust in God’s sovereign rulership even in the worst of times.

 

 If good works keep us out of trouble then when I read the countless stories of people today or people in the bible I should see people who lived lives of smooth sailing but instead when I read biographies, I find stories filled with traumatic experiences, appalling events and major disappointments.  Yet they testify as to the sovereignty of the God they love.

 

I don’t know what you are facing today…but I do know that our sovereign God has a plan for you. A sovereign God overruled the hardships life threw at me, because God had a plan – God ruled!

 The same God that was watching over Rachel when she whispered the name of her boy as she died is the same God who watched over my mother and her children when she took her last breath. That is simply amazing to me.

As we read the story of Joseph, Rachel’s first child we find that he ended up saving millions in Egypt from famine and her child Benjamin is where we find out about God’s sovereign rule in his life. Paul, in Philippians 3:5 writes that he was from the tribe of Benjamin. Here was the apostle to the gentiles, the apostle whose writings have continually upheld Christians to this very day was from the lineage of a baby boy left orphaned at birth…..but a sovereign God held this baby in the palm of His hand…just like He holds you and me…wow…our God rules!

 

I like this quote by Dave Brown- “We often don’t always know why things happen to us and others in a given situation or circumstance but we know why we trust God who does know why.”

 

“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to His love, and the future to His providence.”

St. Augustine

 

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3 thoughts on “Is God Sovereign?

  1. This reminds me of the Chronicles of Narnia, ‘He is not safe, but he is good.’ Deep down I don’t want God to walk along with me but I truly desire to walk along with Him. It’s so much easier to give over control and have the assurance that whether joy or pain is around the bend that He will never leave me alone and that it will all be worth it.

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  2. Truthfully I have always struggled with the line “He’s not safe”….I guess because of my wounds I need to know God is safe-with whom I can be safe, to know that my heart is safe with Him….so when the movie came out and the line if I remember right, says, “He is not tame, but He is good”….. made a huge difference for me….I can trust a God, who is not tame -but not safe just conjurs up too much fear and pain for me. I want to be able to run to Him when life throws curve balls at me and know that ultimately He is the only One who is safe to be with….to know I can trust Him because He is good and my heart is safe in His care.

    And yet…..maybe its all in my concept of the word “safe”. It could be that when they say God is not safe, it simply means that it takes one out of their comfort zone. That when God is not safe I am then forced to move out of my comfort zone…..whereas I interpret “not safe” as meaning that I am at the mercy of evil….this is good food for thought and I would love to hear others interpretation of “God is not safe”….

    I realized that I am thinking of the end of the movie where he says he is not tame but good….but you are right there is a scene in “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis where the young girl Lucy learns that the king they are waiting for whose name is Aslan, is in fact a full grown lion. She asks if he is safe to which Mr. Beaver replies, “Safe, no he’s not safe, but he’s good”.

    This is causing me to wrestle…….this is good….hmmm.
    I want God to keep me safe. Yet maybe Mr. Beaver is right. Is there an aspect to God that is anything but safe? My definition of safe perhaps means having my world neatly ordered, free of disruption, hardship, pain or struggle. Yet perhaps what Jesus promised is to rock my world. Yes He comforts me and cares for me. But at the same time He calls me into battle for him. He warns me that as His follower I can expect to be challenged, rejected, riduculed and persecuted. That doesn’t sound very safe. But in the long run perhaps it is very good. He promised me not safety, but security. And maybe that is the difference…. and that sounds good to me. No matter what happens in my life Jesus says that I am secure in him. He will never leave or forsake me.

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  3. I hope I didn’t misquote Mr. Beaver. I like what you said about safety v. security. Yes, that seems to make sense and also addresses some of the things I was wrestling with earlier on another post here. Not free from harm but free from danger — if that’s even possible…

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