The Christian life is a life of faith. More accurately, the Christian life is a life of faith in God. It is the object of faith that gives faith its luster, and nothing more enriches and establishes faith than the God who made the heavens and the earth, who reigns in unrivaled splendor over all the works of his hands. As we look out on a world that seems by the day to be descending into unending spirals of violence, a world that increasingly hates the gospel of Christ and the people of Christ, we need to anchor our faith more surely in who our God is.

For some, perhaps even many Christians, the sovereignty of God is a truth that perplexes them. They wonder how, if God truly is sovereign, he allows the death and destruction that so scars the face of our world. They puzzle over the seeming incongruity of God’s sovereignty–his absolute control over all things–and the rampant wickedness that struts about every corner of the earth. The Bible, however, shows God’s sovereignty is the deepest of comforts. As the Psalmist looked out over the world of his day and saw its wickedness and mayhem, he wrote: “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice . . . . the Lord reigns, let the peoples tremble.” (Psalm 97:1; 99:1)

For the Psalmist, the sovereignty of God was not a puzzle he had to solve, but rather it was a comfort he took to heart. He did not try and puzzle out the whys and wherefores of the Lord’s sovereignty. He understood that God’s ways were higher than his ways and that God’s thoughts were higher than his thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).

More than anywhere else, we see the comfort of God’s sovereignty in the cross of Christ. When Peter proclaimed Jesus as God’s Messiah-Saviour at Pentecost, he was not blind to the wickedness that drove the Jewish leaders to kill the Author of life, but he was absolutely sure that behind all the events that led to Jesus’ crucifixion, God was fulfilling his pre-determined plan and purpose: “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” Encircling, overruling, and sinlessly directing all the affairs of men and women, God accomplishes his plan and purpose. As the world looked at the cross, it simply saw tragedy, weakness, and defeat. As Jesus’ own disciples looked at the cross, they saw the end of all their hopes and they fled in disarray. But as God looked at the cross, he saw the perfect fulfillment of his eternal plan to save a people to the praise of his glory.

– to be continued

Ian Hamilton

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