What You Need to Know About God’s Sovereignty

When a fictional protagonist acts out of character, I know I lack the full picture. Yet, when the actions—or lack thereof—of someone I love injure me, I’m offended. They should know better.

Why do I give made-up characters slack and assume the worst about those I know well? I’m not alone in this. Many of us do it with God.

The actions of a TV character don’t affect us. But we feel the effect of a careless word or action. And since these people know us, shouldn’t they know how their choices will affect us? Our hurt feelings squelch reason, and we forget what we know to be true.

God’s sovereignty is a topic that stirs such emotions. It brings great comfort to some to know God has supreme power. We know if God allows something, no matter how wrong it appears, He is working behind the scenes for a greater good. But for those suffering a terrible loss or injustice, the topic causes confusion.

If God has the power to stop wrong, why does He allow it? If God foreknew the drunk driver would be on the road, why didn’t he delay your child’s bus trip? Why would He waste your time and money on a mystery illness if He could heal it?

A Giant Mystery

The Bible reveals divine sovereignty, human responsibility, and an earth under the curse of sin and rule of Satan. As humans we try to tease these apart and wonder how they fit together.

This is one of the unfathomable mysteries of Scripture. Our finite minds cannot grasp an infinite God or His ways any more than a child can understand the ocean by dipping a pail into it.

Paul wrote,

Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!” (Rom. 11:33 NLT).

The Example of Joseph

Many aspects of a story and a life don’t make sense in the middle of it. Take Old Testament Joseph for example. Genesis tells his story from a human perspective.

  • Joseph’s jealous brothers sell him into slavery.
  • His master’s wife falsely accuses him of attempted rape.
  • Potiphar throws Joseph into prison.
  • Pharaoh’s dreams disturb him.
  • The wine taster remembers Joseph; Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream.
  • Pharaoh makes Joseph second in command.

We’re glad God stepped in at the last minute to stop Joseph’s bad luck. Or was it bad luck?

The Divine Perspective

Psalm 105:16-23 provides the divine perspective.

  • God told Abraham his descendants would spend time in a foreign land.
  • God sent the famine that drove Jacob and his sons into Egypt.
  • God had sent Joseph ahead of them to be there to rescue them when the famine came.

Joseph told his brothers that what they meant for evil, God meant for good. But—the story doesn’t end there.

When Joseph saved his brothers, he saved the life of Judah and his son Perez. Through their line came Jesus, their Messiah. Joseph didn’t just save his ornery brothers, he saved his own savior!

God Is Bigger Than a Lifespan

No one can fully comprehend the purpose of suffering while on earth. But the Bible makes it clear that we can’t lose a hair on our head without God knowing it. If our sovereign God allows pain into our lives, we can trust He is using it for our eternal good.

When we arrive in heaven and see this life from God’s perspective, we won’t ball up our fists and say, “I knew you messed up with my life.”

No, we’ll worship and say, “Wow! How did You do that? This is so much better than I could have imagined.”

So, by faith let’s worship now. And when life gets confusing, let’s remember our stories are a small part of His great story. And God’s story is bigger than a lifespan.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory” (Romans 8:28-30 NLT).

God’s sovereignty means no matter what you endure here, a “happily ever after” awaits you.

God's sovereignty means no matter what you endure here, a happily ever after awaits you. #hope Share on X

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Enjoy the dance between God’s sovereignty and human responsibility in the story of Ruth and Naomi in Little Women, Big God —on sale now on Amazon. This is a prefect read for Easter. It includes the story of Mary, who stuck by her Son through the cross to the forming of the church.

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

Tea &Word Tuesday, #Kelly Balarie & Friends#Recharge Wednesday, #Coffee for Your Heart, #TuneinThursaday, #HeartEncouragment #Dance with Jesus, #FreshMarketFriday, #Grace&Truth, #Faith ‘n Friends

Photo by Ali Yahya on Unsplash

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  1. Susie Browne

    Thank you for reminding us that God is sovereign. Because He loves us, we can trust Him to work all things in our lives together for our eternal good – in my case “all things” include cancer. My security is in God and His sovereignty. I’m free to live a life that God designed just for me because He is in total control.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Susie, thank you for sharing how God’s sovereignty allows you to enjoy life in a place others would fret. Glory to God!

  2. Lauren Renee Sparks

    Such a beautiful reminder. We all get our happily ever after – in the victory. Visiting you from the tea and word link up today. laurensparks.net

    • Debbie Wilson

      Lauren, God’s word brings us so much hope!

  3. Ann Musico

    Beautifully explained Debbie. I think for me, remembering Who He is and that He is good and only and always good and that His plans for me are always for hope and a future that remind me He has something better I can’t yet see.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen and amen, Ann!

  4. Jacqueline Wallace

    Very well said, Debbie. I appreciate the way you dealt with a complex and deep issue. You are right, we must put things into the perspective of God’s infinitude and our finiteness. He’s God and we aren’t and truthfully, we should be glad about that! Thanks!

    • Debbie Wilson

      “He’s God and we aren’t and truthfully, we should be glad about that!” Amen, Jacqueline!

  5. Melissa Henderson

    Amen. No matter what happens here on this earth, we can be comforted knowing we are His and a joyous victory awaits us.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Melissa, how do people make it without an eternal perspective and this glorious hope?

  6. Lisa notes

    Ooh, this is so good, Debbie: “So, by faith let’s worship now. And when life gets confusing, let’s remember our stories are a small part of His great story. And God’s story is bigger than a lifespan.” Regardless of what is going on around us, now is always the time to worship. And trust him for later.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Lisa!

  7. Jana

    Visiting you from Purposeful Faith today. Thanks for the reminders about God’s sovereignty. I love looking back and seeing His brilliant orchestration of events in my life culminating in His glory. In the moment, it’s hard to imagine what He’s up to. But looking back, it’s easy to see He was fulfilling His masterful plan.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Jana, that is so true. One day we’ll see it all from God’s perspective!

  8. Jana

    Oops. I meant I’m visiting from Soaring With Him!

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