Understanding the Sovereignty of God
Recently, I was tasked with giving a short talk on the Sovereignty of God. I smiled to myself and shook my head when my name appeared on the schedule for that particular attribute of God since I was going through a difficult season and was wrestling with God over all of it. How could He could be sovereign over the yucky stuff and be good at the same time? I couldn’t reconcile His faithfulness and sovereignty over this storm of life.
Looking back- I wasn’t really digging deeper on this topic. Rather, I was grumbling and complaining. Being given the task of teaching on understanding the Sovereignty of God was a gift from my gracious Heavenly Father.
When all is said and done I was blessed with some clarity on my situation; yet the Sovereignty of God is still a mystery in many ways. We serve a God who’s fullness is beyond complete understanding this side of heaven. I look forward to the day we will know the fullness of His character (1 Corinthians 13:12).
In this article, we will cover powerful Bible verses that help with understanding the Sovereignty of God. We will also discuss how belief and unbelief in the Sovereignty of God impacts life in a powerful way.
What is the Sovereignty of God?
The Sovereignty of God means He is supreme in power and authority over all things. More simply put… God is in control. God is all knowing, all powerful and ever present. If this were a math equation- it all adds up to Sovereignty. God’s Sovereignty is His absolute right to do all things according to His own good pleasure. In other words, if God is in control of everything, then He is in control of our successes and failures. He’s even Sovereign over our sufferings.
5 Bible Verses About the Sovereignty of God
“In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his well,” Ephesians 1:11
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17
I know you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2
Many are the plans in a person‘s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
If God is Sovereign Then Why Do Anything?
If God has everything mapped out, then why do anything? We are made by God for a life with purpose. Our purpose is to bring Him glory. He gives us the privilege of being an active part of His plan. We get to be instruments in His hands.
When we moved into our current house there was much work to be done. The least enjoyable task was removing tons of wallpaper. It was no fun for anyone. My older kid wanted nothing to do with this task. But my youngest joyfully went to work peeling away wallpaper. When it was all done, my youngest stood back excited to see the end result. He was an active part of the transformation of our home.
Gods Word declares He has prepared good works in advance (Ephesians 2:10) for us. We get to be part of God’s plans. Seeing God face-to-face one day, we will hear him say well done good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:21). God’s Sovereignty doesn’t mean we don’t take action. Obedience and prayer is part of the good works He has prepared in advance for us.
Reasons to Believe in the Sovereignty of God
Believing in the Sovereignty of God powerfully changes how life is done.
1. No more dwelling on the past.
Growing in grace inevitably causes us to look back and want some “do overs”. Regret and guilt creep in. However, the Sovereignty of God means we don’t need to worry about the past. Whatever happened wasn’t powerful enough to thwart the purposes of God. Breathe a sigh of relief with me. He is working all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28) – Even our mistakes.
2. No more worrying about the future.
Fear of what the future is going to look like is common to all people. When life feels out of control and uncertain we can trust there is One in control. While we might not know what’s next- God does. His Sovereignty means it’s not only all figured out, but it’s figured out in a way that’s for our good.
3. Let go of control.
Attempts to control people and situations drain us of the energy that is intended for other tasks God has given us. Yet, control is an attempt to pen our own story in a way we think best. Imagine putting the pen down or better yet – handing it over to God. Wouldn’t peace flood the heart as we release it all to God? Believing in God‘s Sovereignty relinquishes the job of controlling the world around us to the One who is actually in control and has a plan and it’s better than we can imagine.
4. More anchored and less unstable.
Believing in and understanding God’s sovereignty will anchor us in the hard places of life. When we believe in the Sovereignty of God we are more anchored and stable as a result. No more instability when our circumstances change or shift. Rather than reacting in fear of the future we can be still – knowing nothing surprises God. Being still, trusting God’s got it all figured out.
5. More hope!
As we consider the Sovereignty of God, adding in His Faithfulness and Goodness leads to waiting expectantly. We can look forward to what God has in store for us (Jeremiah 29:11). Eagerly awaiting what will come from hardships gives us hope for the future.
6. More humility.
Humility is a product of believing in and understanding God’s Sovereignty. Acknowledging that God is in control is practicing humility. When we don’t acknowledge God’s Sovereign rule, we are practicing pride. Humility leads to God lifting us up (Proverbs 29:23), while pride leads to a fall (Proverbs 16: 18).
Get the Free Printable Bible Study!
When we don’t acknowledge the Sovereignty of God…
When we refuse to acknowledge the Sovereignty of God it does not change the truth that He is in control. It only robs us of life abundantly. Unbelief will lead to dwelling on the past, desperately wanting to rewrite the story. Refusing to except our story the way it is, means we don’t believe God is working in and through the past, present and future.
Worrying about the future implies we don’t believe God’s got it all figured out. Anything driven by fear tends to lead to control. Control gives a false sense of security. But remember – we get good at things we practice. Are you getting good at controlling people and circumstances in your life? What would happen if you practiced trusting that God has it all in His hands and will keep His promise to work everything out for our good?
When the Sovereignty of God isn’t acknowledged, we have a tendency to drift, react and panic. Let’s trade instability for anchoring. Imagine being anchored in the hard places of life. I want that!
Wrapping up the Sovereignty of God
Acknowledging and believing in the Sovereignty of God is a life changing practice. God is all knowing, all powerful and ever present which means He is ultimately in control of all things. Believing in the Sovereignty of God means we won’t be dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. When we acknowledge His Sovereignty, we let go of control knowing that He has everything securely in His hands. When we recognize that God is Sovereign we are more anchored in the hard places of life. We will experience more hope as we eagerly await what will come from the hardships we face. And we will experience the freedom and peace that comes from complete acceptance.
Leave your thoughts on the Sovereignty of God in the comments.
Thank you for these truths! Your articles are always encouraging, enlightening, and convicting.
Hi Susan- I’m so glad it was encouraging! God has been laying this attribute on my heart for some time now- writing about it was overdue!
I was wonderfully helped by your article on Gods Soverereigenty Thank you so much and thankGod
I am grateful and thankful for the Sovereignty of GOD! I eagerly await the peace and freedom that comes from anchoring my faith, belief, and acceptance in GOD’s Sovereignty!! Today is that day!
It is indeed a new practice! A place where the good LORD brings us! And yes, I need it and am thankful for it!
Praise the LORD for the LORD’s Sovereignty!
His Sovereignty is such a comfort!
My son died because of an accidental overdose. As I write can I say it was accidental in the eyes of God? How does the sovereignty of God relate to his death? Did God rule over his choices? I am not even sure how to ask the question.