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Sovereignty and My Understanding

January 5, 2017

A new year… Is that really necessary? What was wrong with the old one?

Very few people ask that question, especially as we don’t really have a choice in the matter. This time, though, I imagine quite a few people will be looking back and wondering what on earth last year was all about. 2016 contained more plot twists than an Agatha Christie mystery… and we will probably all disagree on which of them was the worst or most unexpected.

One thing we don’t need to disagree on, though, is that none of us knows what will happen in 2017. And I hope that we can also agree on another, more comforting fact: God does know what will happen in 2017.

The events of the past year have had me reflect a bit more on God’s sovereignty and his involvement in the world. I had to conclude that I had a somewhat skewered view of what God might and might not do. Basically, seems I didn’t expect him to do anything I couldn’t understand or explain…

Which of course is rather ridiculous. God is sovereign, and his ways are not my ways. I don’t have to understand everything – I wouldn’t be able to, anyway – and he doesn’t have to justify himself to me.

I also discovered that the Bible is adamant that God is not only watching from his throne, but actively involved in human politics:

There is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (Romans 13:1)

[God] changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. (Daniel 2:21)

The Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. (Daniel 4:17)

The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. (Psalm 33:10)

What does this mean? I think it means two things:

1) Somehow God is more involved in elections, referendums, coups and revolutions than I might be willing to believe;

2) As a follower of Jesus I either have to trust that God the Father knows what he’s doing, even if I don’t – or start looking for another god who will run the world my way. And when you think about it, that probably wouldn’t be a very good idea…

So let’s just wish each other a Happy New Year, and remember: whatever plot twists 2017 may have in store, they will not catch the Lord Almighty by surprise – that’s for certain!



From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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