Deflated, frustrated, and angry—these are the emotions I’ve been struggling with this week. I feel deflated because I was looking forward to VBS and a little bit of normalcy this summer. I am frustrated because everything that is happening is beyond my control. I am angry because the events of 2020 have caused much difficulty and loss for so many people and so many churches. As I’ve tried to work through my emotions, I have been forced to find rest and comfort in the sovereignty of God. The sovereignty of God is, unfortunately, a controversial doctrine—but it should never be controversial to those who believe the Bible is true, sufficient, and authoritative. Read what God said to Isaiah, “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.” (Isaiah 46:8-11)
God’s instruction was given to people he described as transgressors or those who intentionally rebelled against God. What was their act of rebellion? God doesn’t name a specific sin, but it seems that he focused on their unwillingness to trust Him to carry them, save them, and fulfill all his promises to them (vs. 4, 10-11). Because they did not trust God, they were tempted to worship the false gods of Babylon. God wanted his people to have faith in him, so he gave them four commands to follow—God’s people were told to remember, stand firm, recall, and remember (vs. 8-9).
What does God’s Word teach us? The obvious lesson is that the people of God are to remember that God is unique in his personhood and power. We must never lose sight of the fact that there is no one like our God and God alone has both the power to control all things and the goodness to ensure that all things achieve his desired goal. We must intentionally bring our heart and mind back to the satisfying truth that whatever God has determined to do will be done, and God will use every circumstance and situation to accomplish his purpose. We must keep in mind that God has revealed his will and he will bring it to pass. What is God’s will? What has God purposed? God has purposed to glorify himself by saving His people. Remembering God’s personhood and power enables us to stand firm, facing danger and disappointment without fear. In other words, those who remember who God is, what God has done, and what God has promised will not flinch when faced with adversity and uncertainty.
Holding fast to the sovereignty of God gives rest and comfort to your heart and mind in these troubling times. God never promised to make life easy or enjoyable. God never promised we would be able to do everything we want to do. God never promised that life wouldn’t be costly. God did say, “I will accomplish all my purpose…I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.” The work we must do in these challenging days is to remember work of God, stand fast in the knowledge of God, listen to the Word of God, and trust the purpose of God. When we focus on God, we will be confident, encouraged, and joyful.