God’s sovereignty might just be my favorite attribute of Him and the one that has sustained me the most through the course of my life, especially the trials that came through being Big Bro’s mama.
There were times that the only thing that got me through the days and weeks was knowing none of what I was going through surprised God. I was comforted by the understanding that as He looks down from heaven, He sees all of time at once and knows how it all works together. And I found purpose in the fact that all of the events, big and small, in all of time brings him glory. Not only that, but because He is the creator of everything and sees all of humankind simultaneously, He already knows the outcome.
We don’t have to worry or fret over what is going to happen.
It is recorded almost word for word two times in the gospels, in Matthew and Luke, that a sparrow does not fall to the ground without the Father knowing. And Jesus brings out just how cheap and invaluable they are considered.
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:4-7
Jesus’ point was that we are worth so much more than a sparrow to God so we can trust that he knows and is working through what is happening in our lives.
A little later in both Matthew and Luke, Jesus talks about the lilies of the field and the grass in the field. He tells us how much God cares for them, as insignificant as they are compared to us.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6: 25-33
Again, if God the creator can take care of and meet the needs of the lilies and the grasses, how much more will he take care of us! What a beautiful truth to rest in!
I read somewhere a story told by a woman who had, as a little girl, sat at her grandmother’s feet playing while she worked on a cross stitch. As she watched her grandmother work, she would look up and see the mess of string that was underneath the project and the jumble of colors. And she remembered how when her grandmother was done, she was in awe of the beautiful scene on the front of the project that the jumbled colors and mess underneath produced.
That was by far the best illustration of God’s sovereignty I have ever heard. What looks like a mess and beyond hope to us is actually a beautiful tapestry from God’s view, for He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. (Romans 8:28)
We can surely rest and find comfort in God’s sovereignty in the midst of our trials. Despite what we are feeling, the circumstances in our lives are not out of control. They are not the mess that we perceive them to be. Quite the contrary! God has ordained and is working through everything. Sometimes it is pruning work to bring about growth in our lives, sometimes it is the removal of things that do not bring God glory, sometimes it is to test our faith and sometimes it is discipline for sin in our lives. We may or may not know what the purpose of our trials are but we can be certain that God, in His sovereignty, is in control and will bring good from them.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
God’s providence is also very real and evident in our trials because in His sovereignty He is working in our lives. Sign up below to join me next week as we take a deeper look at God’s providence and our trials.
You can read the rest of this Thanksgiving series of God and Our Trials here:
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