Emmaus Baptist Church
God is Sovereign…And Good!
The comfort that so many Christians turn to in times of trouble is the reminder that God is Sovereign. “God is in control,” and “God is Lord,” are the refrains often expressed by Christians going through a tough time. This comfort is even expressed by people of other religious convictions. They also believe in the sovereignty of their god. You might find the phrase: “God is in control,” affirmed by Christians and non-Christians alike.
While all Christians heartily affirm that the God of the Bible is Sovereign. Additionally, Christians need to affirm the truth of God’s Character. Particularly His goodness. God is both sovereign and good! These truths are like the two sides of the same coin.
It is especially necessary to turn to God for comfort, during times of great difficulty. The recent Covid-pandemic, hard economic circumstances and the worries about Eskom and a collapse of the power grid are all real and pressing examples.
There is little comfort in God’s sovereignty if we do not simultaneously affirm His goodness. The truth of God’s sovereignty understood, apart from His goodness, could possibly be seen as terrifying instead of comforting.
We do affirm that nothing happens apart from God’s sovereign will, but what would the world look like if God were not good?
That is why it is necessary to turn our thoughts to God’s goodness, while we affirm God’s sovereignty. This is where comfort is found; the sovereign God is good! The truth of God’s sovereignty understood in light of His goodness is the ultimate comfort!
Meditate on the goodness of God expressed in Scripture.
Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
1 Peter 2:1-3 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Both of these passages help us to understand that the goodness of God is not just an abstract truth statement, but an experience of the truth. While it is objectively true that God is sovereign and God is good, we are called in Scripture to a subjective experience of God’s goodness. You are called to taste and see that the Lord is good!
We need to understand both: (1) God’s objective goodness and (2) the subjective experience of God’s goodness. We need to understand these two in light of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.
Christ has revealed himself in Scripture as the good shepherd.
John 10:11-15 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
The objective goodness of Christ is (1) that He is the Good Shepherd and (2) lays down His life for the sheep. It is true that we should objectively know Christ, but not merely objectively. There is an experiential knowledge, a trust and taking hold of Christ involved in the knowing of Christ.
May the Lord grant us this comforting knowledge. May we experience the comfort of trusting and relying on the goodness of God amidst the turmoil and uncertainty of the circumstances we may face.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Jesus Christ is the only sure and steadfast foundation. Those who rely upon him with wholehearted trust will not be disappointed because he holds us fast.
2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.