Sin persistently wreaks havoc on our world. Whether by the piercing whistle of sirens, blinding blue and red flashing lights, shouting, screaming, and crying, or by the daily struggles of sickness, depression, and pain, we are constantly reminded of the broken state of this fallen world. All around us, we see the effects of the curse and of our sinful nature.
At some point or another, we all have faced the question, “Where is God in all of this?”
When we are tempted to doubt or despair, we have two options. We can do just that- doubt and despair- and assume that God really is not in control, or else, he must not be the good and gracious God he claims to be. Or, we can step back and try to look at things from a heavenly perspective.
Sovereign God Sustains
Consider Matthew 8:23-27, in which Jesus and his disciples are on a boat when a storm comes along. The boat begins filling with water, threatening to drown them, but Jesus is apparently unaware of the situation as he is asleep. “Save us, Lord, we are perishing!” cry the disciples. Jesus rebukes them, “Why are you afraid, o you of little faith?”
Let us not be those “of little faith”. Let us trust God even when it doesn’t look like he is in control, because we know he is sovereign regardless of whether we understand his workings.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17)
We must not assume God is just sitting up in heaven twiddling his thumbs until we notify him of our problems.
God is constantly sustaining the universe. He doesn’t just leave it to run on its own. He holds the sun in the perfect position to illuminate and warm our world without scorching us to death. He directs the winds and waves as he wishes. He makes our bodies continue breathing.
If God stopped holding the universe together, boom, we would all be dead. God isn’t the world’s medicine; he is its life support.
Sustained for a purpose
Does this make us mere chess pieces, pointlessly watching as the game of life takes place before our eyes? Not at all. Knowing God is actively sustaining us, we can assume he must have a purpose for our lives and a role for us to play. This should radically change the way we live. We are not alive by mere chance. He has kept us on this earth for a reason.
In the most broad sense, we are here to praise God. We must live out this purpose through obedience to his commands, serving him, and putting his goodness on display for the world to see.
The way we live as Christians should send messages to the world.
By sharing our testimony, we say, God’s grace is strong enough to save a wretch like me.
By spreading the gospel, we say, The righteous judge of the universe chose to take our punishment upon himself that we criminals might be redeemed and restored back into a relationship with him.
By fellowshipping with other believers we say, The bond of Christ is not divided by race, personality, age, background, socioeconomic status, or anything else under creation.
By loving our enemies, we say, You may never love me in return, but that’s okay because God loved me while I did not yet love him.
This is the general way in which we all are called to magnify Christ. This is how we can witness to the world around us. This is the role God has assigned to us in his overarching, sovereign, eternal plans.
God’s sovereignty should be our comfort
As God is sustaining the human race, so he also has a purpose in sustaining the world and is actively working in it.
He has not left us to come to a miserable end as nations blow each other up until the world is no more. From everyday incidents to world-powers declaring war, he is sovereign over every action and event and is providentially working through them for our ultimate sanctification (Romans 8:28).
God is sustaining the world and he is sustaining you for a purpose. As you live for that purpose, take comfort in knowing no matter what is going on around you, he is still sustaining.
Today I encourage you to ponder this truth. Every breath you take comes from him. Every beam of sunshine or drop of rain has been ordained by him to fall. Every event of your life, whether good or bad, is being used by him according to his glorious eternal plan. Let’s trust that he is aware of our circumstances and will do what is best for our good and his glory.