Recently, I heard the story of someone who grew up in a particular Church denomination, and as an adult, made the choice to change to another denomination. When asked what the biggest lesson learnt from that change, his response was 'God's Sovereignty.' I, too, have recently learnt that lesson. It's been in progress for many years, but has been totally cemented in my spirit throughout the last few months. So in answer to the question 'is God sovereign?' - I will say yes. Our God is sovereign. There are many, many Scriptures relating clearly to His Sovereignty, (Read the book of Ephesians, example) but really, the entire Bible is the story of Him being Sovereign.
What this means is: the good, the bad and the ugly, He has ordained it all. He has created all things in Him, to him, for Him, and by Him. He is in control of everything.
He knows His will.
He will heal whoever He chooses to.
He will take Home whoever He wants to.
He will send hard times whenever He chooses to.
Because He knows what's best. He knows what we need. He knows when we need to be single, and when we need to be married. He knows when we're supposed to work, and when we're supposed to rest. He knows when we need to be healthy, and when we can learn something from being sick.
He knows how to work all things for good.
'Because that is what God does, He works all things for good.'
And our response is to be determined by that. Our response is to trust that He works all for our good. Our response is to trust that His heart is for us.
Our response is to submit to His sovereignty, and let Him have His way in us. Even if it's painful. Even if it means losing the very thing, or the very person we didn't know we could live without.
I've learnt the hard way that our God is sovereign. I thought I could change His mind, change His will by demanding healing. By demanding life. But when death happens anyway, you realize - God knows the number of our days. He knows exactly how long we are called to live for. And He is well able to care for us every single one of those days.
I have a problem with doctrine that presumes to know God's will. I have a problem when somebody says that God's will is for us to healthy and whole and happy ALL. THE. TIME.
Because my Bible says that sometimes - God allows the hard times to come (see the Book of Job, for example). My Bible says that in this world we will have trouble. My Bible says that there are times when I will be hard pressed, persecuted, perplexed and struck down. But that is not the end of the story!
For though I will have trouble in this world, I can take heart, for Jesus has overcome! (John 16:33)
Though I may be hard pressed, I will not be crushed. Though I may be perplexed, I am not in despair.
Though I may be persecuted, I am not abandoned, and though I get struck down, I will never be destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
Friends, I want to encourage you. You can trust God. He knows the plans He has for you. Plans for your good. To give you a future and a Hope. They may not be the plans you have for yourself, but they are for your good. Always. I know we'd like God to be our magician, performing whatever tricks we like so we can have what we want - but that's not the way this works. We are on this earth to do God's work - not to make Him do what we want when we want it. His heart is for our good. His will is for our good - but His perception of good doesn't always look like ours. It's often only in hindsight that we see how something that was so tragic to us, was actually good for us. I'm not denying the very real pain we go through when someone dies, I'm not saying we shouldn't grieve and be angry - but we absolutely have to realize that God knows what He is doing. And even if trusting His will in those times feels like it's going to break us - it's what our response needs to be. Our God is sovereign. He knows what He's doing. Take heart, Beloved. He hasn't forgotten you or forsaken you.