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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Why Sovereignty?

I've spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks on the topic of God's Sovereignty. I've tried to show how far it goes (as in absolute Sovereignty). The question might be asked, however, why I've spent so much time on it. (In truth, I could spend a lot more. The Bible has.)

The subject is not only biblical; it is near and dear to my heart. You see, as Paul notes, we live in a world subjected to futility. The natural condition of Man is sinfulness. Even science tells us we live in a world of decay. And we don't need either the Bible or science to demonstrate it. Deaths in the family, cancer, the miscarriage of a much desired baby, wayward youth, cheating spouses, crime, poverty, war, oh, it goes on and on. It's a difficult world and a difficult life.

Or ... not. If, indeed, God has surrendered some of His Sovereignty to Man's Free Will, then it is a difficult existence with very little hope. If, worse, God has taken a more "hands off" approach as some suggest and "the laws of nature" are in play, it only means less hope. God Himself would be fumbling about trying to figure out how to deal with the aftermath of that earthquake and this hurricane and those senseless killings and that horrible rape and ... really, nearly hopeless.

God's Absolute Sovereignty, then, is of key importance to me. I believe it because the Bible is full of God's Sovereign hand in every aspect of life from nature to humans, but I also believe it because, once apprehended, it turns out I need it. In this particular aspect of God's character I find the light in the darkness, the hope in the decay, the answer to the problems. Beyond that, even, what was horrible becomes God's plan and, while some may still be very painful, none of it is meaningless, poorly timed, or out of control.

Jesus Himself asked, "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith?" (Luke 18:8). The suggestion in the very question implies the answer, "No!" Of course, Christ is talking about the Son coming to avenge the elect (Luke 18:7), so He knows as well the answer to the problem is the Sovereignty of God and His keeping of His elect. It is in this intentionality of God for His glory and our good that we can find rest and hope. We know that He causes all things to work together for good. We can rejoice in trials because He is working out perfection in us. We can find comfort in suffering because He is blessing us. The Sovereignty of God is the answer to all the most difficult questions of human suffering. And in this I rejoice.

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