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Sunday, September 08, 2002 AD
I Love the Sovereignty of God
I heard it glossed over today -- implicitly, if not explicitly denied -- and was shaken. To reassure myself, I looked up this sermon by John Piper. It mentions a "sovereign bullet" that killed a missionary wife and her baby last year. That's the term the grieving husband and father used, BTW.

And I recall a sermon from one of my pastors a couple years ago. A friend of his, also a pastor, had already lost one child to a drowning accident several years ago, and now was dealing with another child's life-threatening cancer. "If I did not believe in the sovereignty of God," he told my pastor, "I would go mad."

Of course belief in God's sovereignty has the effect of keeping us from going mad only if it is coupled with a belief in His goodness. If He were sovereign but not good, then we would have no escape from madness, for that would be His very intention. But we believe in the inevitability of resurrection for those who are in God's crucified Son, and that keeps us sane amidst the madness of those who have no such hope.

Steve Saint, whose missionary father was martyred in 1956, speaking at the memorial service for that mother and baby, described the difference between those who believe and those who don't: "For them, the pain is fundamental and the joy is superficial because it won't last. For us, the pain is superficial and the joy is fundamental."

I believe that. If I didn't, I'd have killed myself a long time ago. I love the sovereignty of God in part because it keeps me alive. And I can pray, "We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life," in spite of the old scars and fresher wounds that have on occasion tempted me to despair of life. God has a good and loving purpose in the abandonment, neglect and abuse of my childhood; in the lonely barrenness of my adulthood; and even in the sometimes seemingly imperceptible progress of my sanctification. Of course He bears no culpability for any of it, but He is the first cause none the less, and I am glad of it. If He weren't sovereign over all things, including these things, He would be sovereign over nothing. And if He were sovereign over nothing, there'd be no reason to overcome past hurts, endure present pains, and strive to live a life pleasing unto Him.

Those who attempt to give comfort by denying God's sovereign involvement in the cause of grief offer no comfort at all, only meaninglessness.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/08/2002 08:45:00 PM • Permalink

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