There is no attribute of God more comforting to His children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty…on the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by others…Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and to make stars. They will allow Him to sustain the earth, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends His throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth; and when we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own without consulting them in the matter, then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love. (C.H. Spurgeon, “Divine Sovereignty” preached May 4, 1886)
There is more to God than we understand. Romans 9 makes that evident- as I try to wrap my mind around verses like 9:18- “So then he has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses.”
Can we accept that we will not always understand God’s motives? That there might be times in our life so painful and tragic- and we may never on this side of heaven understand why?
Can we accept that-based on what we know of God? The first eight chapters of Romans have talked about God’s love and sacrifice on our behalf- how He died for us as sinners.
“The only thing we brought to our salvation was the sin that made it necessary.” Pastor Dan, Lakeland Church
Let us remember- and come before God in humility and thankfulness- remember what He has done for us. When we can’t see or understand- we can trust in God’s Sovereignty.
Sometimes when we read a passage and we don’t understand it- or we don’t like what it says- it can be tempting to want to disregard it. To think to ourselves, “I will just ignore that verse and pretend it is not in the Bible.”
Can I challenge you, as I have challenged myself- wrestle with it? Don’t put it aside and try to forget about it, pray about it, talk to someone you respect and ask them to help explain to you what it means. Talk to God about it.
Regardless of the outcome, trust in the goodness of God. In His righteousness and justice- in His mercy.
God’s promises are not dependent on us- sometimes He uses people (like the pharoh in Egypt in Exodus) who are unwilling participants yet used by God nonetheless to accomplish His purposes.
Read Romans 9:1-18. Wrestle with the unknown aspects of God- ponder His mercy and justice. Ask God to give you a deeper knowledge of Him. Seek Him.
And when the question pops into your mind- “Is this fair?”
Remember- none of us are innocent- not one- we have all sinned- and our just punishment is death- but thanks be to God for His mercy and grace given to us through Jesus Christ His Son. His Son that He sacrificed for our sins so that we could be adopted as His sons and daughters into eternal life. The God who gave us the Holy Spirit- dwelling inside of us.
Even as we question let us not forget who He is nor what He has done for us. Let us temper all of our questions with the reality of what we do know- what He has done in our heart and life.
Please follow this link and read a short devotional called “Others May, You Cannot” and I pray that God will use it to help bring peace to your heart about those things that we may not know or understand as we endeavor to walk faithfully with Christ.
God bless you.