In response to all that is going on in the world today with the coronavirus mass hysteria, I think it is important for us to take a deep breathe, collect our thoughts and reflect on God and his position in all of this. Louie Giglio’s writes in his book I AM NOT BUT I KNOW I AM “God is big. Really, really big. And I am not”. This summarizes today’s message perfectly. This quote is VERY important to understand and believe because it can give perspective of who God is and our response to him in all that is happening in the world today.
The key word I want to focus on for a minute is the word “Sovereignty”; it is taken from the Greek word dunastes (doo·nas·tace/) which means powerful or Mighty one, a Royal Minister of Great Authority. When we speak of God’s sovereignty we are talking about God’s supremacy, His Kingship, or His God-hood. A.W. Pink writes in his book THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD, “To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of Heaven. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in Heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is ‘The Governor among the nations’, setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the ‘Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords’. Such is the God of the Bible.”
The doctrine of God’s Sovereignty may be offensive to some and I am not sure why. My best guess is that people get offended with the truth that God can and does do whatever He pleases and does not need to give reasons why or how He does what he does.
Personally I believe some are offended because they have a lack of trust and dislike for authority and God is the ultimate authority. As American’s we do not like to be told that we are under the authority of anyone. We cherish the idea of freedom (which we should) but true freedom comes when we submit to God, our higher authority.
When we understand and submit to the biblical reality that in all things God is in control, we will find strength and assurance during difficult times. If you take anything with you today please understand that God is in control! Do you think He is taken back with America’s financial upheaval and health pandemic? No! Nothing ever shakes God and nothing will ever dethrone him. He’s got this! This SHOULD bring comfort to us all.
Now this does bring up the question, “If God is sovereign, then why does He allow bad things to happen?” This is a good question and unfortunately I cannot answer it easily. I do not know why God allows bad things to happen. I do not know why God allows his creation to suffer the evils of cancer, AIDS, or Alzheimer’s. I do not know why God allows Tornadoes to rip through towns and destroy homes or why the threat of unknown viruses paralyzes the world. I cannot answer those questions nor will I try to attempt.
I do know this, "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." (Romans 11:36, ESV). I don’t know why, but I do know that all glory belongs to Him… regardless of what happens.
In our text Job asks some of these same questions that I noted above to God. He in essence asks, “Why God do bad things happen to good people like me?” God’s response or should I say rebuke can be found in Chapter 38. God doesn’t answer the question “why?” Instead God asks a question “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding?” Or to put another way, God was stating what Paul writes to the Romans, "But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?" (Romans 9:19-24, ESV). That my friend is sovereignty in the Bible.
Once Job understood what God was saying, his response was “Behold I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand over my mouth, I have spoken once, and I will not answer twice, but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:3-5) We cannot and never will know why certain things happen. Romans 11:34 & 35 states, “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” (Romans 11:34-35, ESV) We may not know his mind or why he allows what he does, but Corinthians tells us we have the mind of Christ. This does not mean we will understand all that God does. It simply means that when we have the mind of Christ we will learn to accept the fact that things happen and we may not have any control over the situation or know why something is happening, but we can trust that God is good, His mercy endures forever, He is in control, He’s got this! And let us take comfort in these truths.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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