Divine Sovereignty

and The Faithfulness of God

By: Dolores Kimball

Knowing that God is completely sovereign over all of life can only give us comfort and peace if we also understand the totality of His nature'all His attributes and how they work together to make Him who He is and what that means in practical terms. What kind of marriage or friendship would you have if you only knew one thing about the other person? If all you knew about your husband is that he is athletic, that wouldn't make much of a marriage, would it? No, you have to also know the rest of his character traits.

If all we know about God is that He loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives, how can we be sure His love will last unless we also know He is infinite and that His promises are irrevocable (Romans 11:29)? How can we be sure that His plan really a is wonderful unless we know of His goodness and kindness? How do we know that the plan will come to pass unless we know that He is faithful and powerful enough to bring it to pass? How do we even know our salvation is secure unless we understand His grace, His mercy and His divine will?

So the impact of divine sovereignty on our lives is determined, in part, by our understanding of God's other attributes. One of God's attributes, His faithfulness, has an enormous impact on how we perceive His sovereignty as it affects us. The Bible is replete with assurances of God's faithfulness (Psalm 100:5, 119:90, 138:8; Isaiah 25:1; 2 Timothy 2:13; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 10:23). It's one thing to know what the Bible says about God's faithfulness to fulfill His promises, but it's another to act upon and live according to that knowledge.

When my husband says he'll be home at six o'lock, I make dinner for six because I know he does what he says he will do. If he doesn't show up at six, I don't throw up my hands and say, "That's it! It's over! I can't trust him! He doesn't love me anymore!" And I certainly don't come to the conclusion that he is unfaithful. I know I can trust him and I know he loves me and I know he's faithful. There's just something about the situation I don't know'he had a flat, he stopped at the store, he lost his watch, whatever. But I don't come to wrong conclusions about him, his motives, his love and care for me or his faithfulness and trustworthiness. Why? Because after 35 years of marriage, I've been with him long enough to really know him. I've seen him in action.

But when God says He works all things together for good (Romans 8:28), even cancer, unemployment, rejection and heartache, do we believe Him? When He says no trial will be beyond our ability to bear it and He will provide a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13), do we believe that? Or do we try to dig out from under it in our own strength and power? It all comes down to this'do we know Him well enough to trust Him?

Jesus told Peter in John 13:7 "What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand." Can we have enough confidence in God to wait on Him? We can if we know Him well enough to believe He is faithful. But we can't know Him that well in one hour a week in church or if we spend only a few minutes a day with Him, despite the claims of a recent book 7 Minutes with God: Daily Devotions for a Deeper Relationship. Imagine telling your husband, "Honey, we have to work on deepening our relationship, so I'm going to carve out 7 minutes for you every day." Would that lead to depth of understanding of your spouse? Of course not. How, then, can we possibly expect an intimate knowledge of God if we don't spend time with Him'time speaking to Him in prayer and time hearing from Him through His Word?

If all you have for God is seven minutes a day, you're going to hate it in heaven. Heaven is an eternity with God. So let's seek to know God intimately and fully by drinking deeply of His Word and letting it fill our minds and hearts. Then the sure and certain knowledge of His sovereignty, His faithfulness and all His other attributes will bring us the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

Image Credit: Jose Tellez; "Un cop de ma"; Creative Commons

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Published 11-9-11