The Rock that Can't Be Moved
It is no secret we live in a fallen and broken world. As unsteady and unrestful as things are now, these feelings of fear and instability are nothing new to the human race. Throughout human history, there has been war, death, unrest, and conflict (both at the national and personal level). There has been loss, heartache, evil men in positions of power, riots, plagues, and pandemics. Suffering is nothing new to the inhabitants of the earth since Genesis 3. Despite all this, things still look bleak in our present context.
The question at the forefront of each of our minds is most likely, “Where is God in all of this?” Our God has not changed. He has not surrendered his authority. He is still the sovereign King and ruler of his universe. We see God’s sovereignty playing out in several ways: his sovereignty over the natural world, kings and rulers, and in your present circumstances.
God’s Sovereignty over Nature
The God who spoke in Genesis 1 saying, “Let there be light,” is still with us. God never lifted a finger in the creation of the universe. He simply spoke, and “nothing” responded to his words. We see a beautiful portrait of God’s sovereignty in Job 37, “God thunders wondrously with His voice; He does great things that we cannot comprehend. For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ likewise to the downpour… By the breath of God, ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast. He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter His lightning. They turn around and around by His guidance to accomplish all that He commands them on the face of the habitable world. Whether for correction or for His land or for love, He caused it to happen” (Job 37:5-6, 10-13). God controls every single natural event in the created world–from snow, to water hardening into ice, to lightning, tornados–everything in creation is under his command and does his bidding.
Jesus says in Matthew, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father” (Matthew 10:29). Even a sparrow valued at a mere cent does not take off and fly or hit the earth apart from God’s sovereign control. God is indeed sovereign over His creation.
God’s Sovereignty over Rulers and Nations
God is sovereign over nations and rulers. In Isaiah, we see God using King Cyrus to bring the nation of Israel back from exile, saying, “I call you by your name, though you do not know me. I am the LORD and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:4-6). This passage parallels Proverbs 22:1, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.” God’s purpose in his sovereignty over kings and nations is for the glory of his name.
Another example of God’s sovereignty is found in Psalm 46. “Come behold the works of the LORD, how He has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the chariots with fire” (Psalm 46:8-9). This proclamation of God’s sovereignty over the nations is followed by a beautiful admonition to our hearts, saying, “In light of God being in control of nations and wars and all that is going on in the world…do this.” The last two verses say, “‘Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!’ The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:10-11). In the midst of all the chaos in our world on a national level with our leaders and even internationally, God says, “Be still. Trust that I am God.” This same God who created the universe and upholds all things by the word of His power is the same God who controls kings and governs the nations with a sovereign hand.
God’s Sovereignty over Your Circumstances
Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they [Christians] believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation—the kingship of God over all the works of his own hands—the throne of God, and his right to sit upon that throne.”
God is sovereign over our past, present, and future circumstances. It is easier for us to acknowledge God’s sovereignty over nature and rulers than it is over our personal lives. Yet God graciously reminds us in Psalm 111, “The work of His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness” (Psalm 111:7-8). All that God does in your life is done with faithfulness and justice. Because God is trustworthy, he performs all he does with faithfulness and uprightness. God is trustworthy, and he is safe. You can trust him with your circumstances. Even Job praises God when calamity strikes. “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). This is a key verse on acknowledging God’s sovereignty in both the good and the bad things that come into our lives.
This can be a hard doctrine to accept, but it's essential to remember in difficult times. When it seems like the world is out of control, we can trust that God has a plan, that he is sovereign, and that he is with us.
We are encouraged in Romans 8, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). What does “for good” mean? When this verse is read in context, we learn that “for good” points forward to verse 29, which says, “For (or ‘because’) those whom he foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” The entire design and ordaining work of God in your life is for the eternal good of your soul, so that it can reflect the image of Jesus Christ. Also see 1 Peter 1:6-9 and Psalm 139.
In conclusion: Trust God. He has you and me right where he wants us. He has not lost control, nor will he ever lose control over his creation. He has the whole world in his hands. This includes nature, rulers, and your present circumstances.
“If thou but suffer God to guide thee,
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He’ll give thee strength, whate’er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days: Who trusts in God’s unchanging love
Builds on the rock that naught can move.
Only be still, and wait his leisure
In cheerful hope, with heart content
To take whate’er thy Father’s pleasure
And all-deserving love hath sent;
Nor doubt our inmost wants are known
To Him who chose us for His own.
-“If Thou but Suffer God to Guide Thee,” Georg Neumark, 1641.
Brittany Proffitt lives in southern Ohio and holds a BA in Religion. She is passionate about Scripture and how God’s Word impacts individuals’ hearts and lives.