The Background of the Believer’s Life

What does it mean to you to say that God is in control? Is that something that gives you confidence, or is it something that makes you confused? In God’s Word the sovereignty of God is the underlying assumption of every act of faith. With the exception of extreme suffering, the faithful saw God’s sovereignty as the reality in which they lived and stepped out in faith. When the extreme did happen they did not abandon their view of God’s control, they ran to Him to seek the reason and the relief from their pain. Is that how we live today?

I see this as the key difference in the Bible between those who truly believe in God as God and those who want to use God for His blessings. The second group are happy with God when life gives them good things like material blessings or temporary happiness. However, when life gives them hard things like unexpected change or suffering God becomes a villain who doesn’t care about suffering or an impotent grandfather figure who just can’t do anything about it. The first group sees life differently. Their trust of God doesn’t sway in the wind of circumstance. No, for them the only thing that changes is the conversation that they have with God. When times are good, they ask God how they can use their blessing to draw others to Him. When times are hard, they ask God to come closer to them so that they can discover His purpose or His comfort. Their trust doesn’t change. Their desire to know Him only deepens. Thus Paul says –

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:18

Paul didn’t disregard suffering or struggle. He wasn’t happy suffering. However, Paul did believe something about that suffering. He believed that the suffering couldn’t stop what God was doing. He believed so much that God was going to accomplish His work in Paul and the Christians of his day that Paul saw those sufferings as inconsequential in comparison. The background of Paul’s life is this – since God is in control nothing, not even present sufferings, can keep God from doing what He said He will do.

That is what belief in the sovereignty of God can do in the believer’s life. It can make them willing to face each day, no matter the circumstance, with a boldness of belief. What is the belief? It is the belief that God will accomplish in this day exactly what He has planned. It is also the belief that as we stack those days together we will one day see how that work of God is for a greater glory in our lives.

This is who I want to be. I want to be the person who doesn’t look at every crisis as an attack on my faith. I want my understanding of God’s sovereignty to be the background of how I see life. Otherwise, who does that make God in my eyes? The Bible is clear. God is the all-powerful loving God who works purposefully in our lives. Since He is this type of God, how I see life needs to come through this truth. It is the background of my life. Is it the background of yours?

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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