To say that this word has provoked a lot of discussion is an understatement. The book of Ephesians is big on God’s sovereignty (Just read Ephesians 1:3-4 for a sampler.) When we use this adjective to describe God, what we meant is that He has “supreme or ultimate power” and that He acts independently “and without outside interference” (as one dictionary puts it).
In his “Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Bible Doctrine,” evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem defined sovereignty this way: “God is able to do all his holy will.” The doctrine about God’s sovereignty is not merely theoretical. It is very much practical.
Looking at how seemingly the world is spinning out of control, many people have struggled with the impression that God is apparently putting up with evil in the world or not doing anything about it.
Even the prophet Habakkuk struggled with it. He asked,
Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. … why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? (Habakkuk 1:3, 13, ESV)
Note that, in the eyes of God, doubt is not the same as unbelief. Yes, doubt could lead to unbelief. But, it could lead to belief, also. The issue is asking the right person in the right forum. In this case, Habakkuk brought his complaint right before the feet of God. His answer surprised the prophet. Simply put, God affirmed His sovereignty. In the end, Habakkuk chose to belief than unbelief.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. (3:17-18. Emphasis added.)
Yet. Nevertheless. In spite of that.
Things don’t always go our way. Yet we ought to rejoice in the God of our salvation. We may not get the answers we want. We may not even be satisfied with what we get. Yet, like Habakkuk, we can choose to trust the Lord. This truth about God’s sovereignty is an anchor in rough seas. It gives us hope that He is in control. What doubts are you struggling with right now? What are you worried at the moment? Lift up to God those concerns. Ask God to bring you to a point that you would declare, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord of my salvation.”
Brothers and sisters, God is sovereign.