I’ll bet I’m not the only one who has made some pretty poor decisions in my past. Before I came to know Christ, I was on a trajectory of self-destruction borne of my own wretched sin. I wallowed deeply in pits of sin. There was no way in the world that God would want to save me from myself, let alone use me in His kingdom. Right?
This is where the unexplainable sovereignty of God comes in. Sovereignty is a really fancy theological term to describe an attribute of God that simply means God is in control. Always. Over everything. Good things and bad things. Nothing happens to you, or anyone else, that wasn’t filtered through the good hand of the Lord. Nothing. Good or bad.
The bad things — that’s where we usually take issue with God. We are perfectly fine with God’s control over our lives when life is going good. We can even concede that God knows about everything that’s going on in the world. It’s when something bad happens that we can’t possibly allow ourselves to believe God controls everything. To really believe that God is in control, we must admit the bad stuff that happens in our lives comes from Him as well as the good.
But God’s character is to send both the good and the bad things. He sends whatever is necessary in our lives to mold and shape us into the person He created us to be. And some of that “stuff” He brings into our lives is negative.
The Example of Job
Job understood this concept. In Job chapters 1 and 2, we see Satan given permission by God to test Job. Most people, Christian and non-Christian, are familiar with the basic story of Job. We all know and recognize that he was quite a prosperous man and everything was taken from him. He then spends the next 40 chapters of the book of Job asking God, “Why?” God never gave Him an answer. But God did restore everything to him and then some after Job realizes God’s utter sovereignty.
An often overlooked detail in the story of Job is the matter of Who brought up Job in the conversation. It’s often assumed that Satan was the attacker, so he was the one with the idea. But a careful examination of Job 1:8 shows that God brought Job to Satan’s attention. All that testing was ultimately God’s idea. And the Lord put limitations on Satan’s power over Job. We MUST remember that when the Lord says in Isaiah 45:7 that He is the One “causing well-being and creating calamity” that He really means it.
My Story Becomes HIS Story
My trajectory of self-destruction before salvation is no different. God knew me then, even though I didn’t yet know Him. And, despite the consequences I still bear for much of that sin, He has redeemed me from them. However, He’s done even more than simply redeem me, even though that is enough of a gift. He has also taken all those horrible decisions and made good of them.
I can’t count the times God has used my past experience to allow me to minister to someone today, post-salvation. If not for those bad experiences, I wouldn’t have the testimony I do now. I wouldn’t be able to relate to others in the same way. Am I proud of the sin I’ve been rescued from? Absolutely not. But do I have regrets? No. Because in God’s timing, He made Himself known to me. And His timing made my story HIS story.
Take a couple minutes of your time and let this beautiful song about God’s sovereignty minister to you before you start your day.