Sovereignty of God

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Susan Filipp writes:
My husband, Alex, and I were overjoyed when the doctor confirmed I was pregnant. "Thank you, God," I prayed. "Please let everything go right." And things did—until I went into labor two weeks early.
Alex and I rushed to the hospital at 5:30 A.M. In the delivery room, I could tell something was wrong. The doctors’ and nurses’ eyes were serious. I heard their urgent whispers. "Breech birth . . . she’s too cold . . . quick!" Why won’t they let me hold her? I wondered as I drifted off, exhausted.
When I woke up, my husband told me gently, "Our daughter’s in the ICU, honey. She had some trouble. Her temperature was only 96 degrees. Her left lung collapsed. Plus her hip is dislocated."
I gasped. Could a tiny baby survive so many problems?
Alex took my hand. "But there’s good news." He explained that our neighbor, a pediatrician, had been out for his predawn jog when he noticed our porch light on and guessed that I’d gone into labor. He had come straight to the hospital, so he was on hand to help with the delivery.
"And just yesterday they had a state-of-the-art incubator come in," Alex went on. "Our daughter’s the first one to use it. Now she’s a healthy 98.6 degrees, and her breathing’s back to normal too."
"What about her hip?" I asked.
"That’s going to be okay too," he assured me. Apparently, a while back an orthopedic specialist at the hospital had read about an apparatus that could be used to correct dislocated hips in infants.
"He ordered one on a whim," Alex said, "and it’s been sitting in his office. Isn’t that incredible?"
I should have known that God was capable of doing incredible things, including making sure that the world was ready for our daughter before she was even brought into it.
By Susan Filipp, Glenmont, New York. Guideposts Magazine, March, 2001.

Whatever, Whenever, However

The absolute right to do all things according to one’s will
Sovereignty is about God’s right and ability to do as he pleases
Just because God does not do what we expect does not mean he can’t do it
There are times when God acts by not intervening
Just because God CAN does not mean God WILL
I am a better person/Christian/father because of what Olivia went through
God may know that the situation will ultimately bring the person to him
God may want us to go through a situation to strengthen our faith (James 1:2-4)
James 1:2–4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
God may us the situation to prepare us to witness to others (2 Cor 1:3-4)
2 Corinthians 1:3–4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
If God lacks the ability to act in any situation then he was never really in complete control
Why do bad things happen to good people? Jesus said who is good except our Father in Heaven.
Nothing can hinder him or compel him or stop him. He is able to do all he pleases always, anywhere, forever.” A.W. Tozer.

Why Can God Be Sovereign?

He is the creator of all things
Psalm 24:1–2 “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.”
“He holds authority over us, because he is our author” Jen Wilkin
He is perfect
Psalm 18:30 “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”
He is omniscient
1 John 3:20 “for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”

Our problem

Because no human is perfect human sovereignty always goes wrong
We are not omniscient so we lack understanding
Our perception of goodness and justice is obscured by sin

Walking in Peace

Knowing all things work for good...
Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
This promise is for a called people- not all people
This does not mean that all things are good.
For our good- not always our desires
Maybe God knows it is not good for me to be rich; maybe God knows how I will abuse the power; God knows how I might compromise my faith
Perplexed but not despaired
2 Corinthians 4:8–9 “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”
It is not a sin to not understand
The definition of faith is belief in things we do not understand
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Sometimes the best way to see God’s power is to admit that you do not know or understand
Hope over despair
Hope not in what you know, but in who you know.
Embrace the Risk
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental
To reach out for another is to risk involvement
To expose feelings is to risk exposing, your true self
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To live is to risk dying
To hope is to risk despair
To try is to risk failure
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing and is nothing
They may avoid suffering and sorrow but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or live
Charmed by their attitudes they are a slave, they have forfeited their freedom
Only a person who risks is free
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