Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rejoicing in God's Sovereignty

I was at breakfast this morning with my accountability partner, doing a quick Bible study and spending time in prayer as we usually do. This morning was not uncommon from many others. From the moment I woke, the pressures of being a business owner in this economy were weighing on my mind. I drove to meet Jeff, half thinking about the study we would be doing, but mostly thinking about how I would find the business to keep alive in the coming months.

I sat down with Jeff. We talked back and forth about how our weeks were going. We shared the trials that we were facing in business and the challenges that we have in finding new contracts. After the catch-up, we opened to our reading for the day. We've been reading through the history of Israel for about 2 years now, starting in 1 Samuel. Today, by what some might call coincidence, we happened to be on the last chapter of 1 Kings.

No self-respecting Calvinist can be unfamiliar with this text. It's an oft-cited text in the academic debate between God's permissive and His direct control over evil in the world. However, this morning it was not that facet of this account that stimulated me the most. As we read together through the story and discussed what God had to show us from the text, the lesson became obvious: God is in control no matter what. No matter what prophets (or business analysts) a person listens to, what evil motives shape their decision, or even how they disguise themselves in the world, God's purpose will stand.

Ahab did everything humanly possible to defy God's plan and decree that he should die. Dressed in commoner's clothes, Ahab was still killed by what the narrator calls a "random" flight of an arrow. But random as it may have been to the archer and to Ahab, God's plan was sovereign over all.

Where do I find joy in life when life seems stacked against me? Nowhere else but in the comfort that God is indeed working all things for the good of those whom He has called (Romans 8:28). Jeff and I laughed as we recalled the many times in our own respective businesses that we had struggled and strived to earn business by all conventional wisdom, only to have seemingly random chance bring us into contact with our next major client.

It was well after 8:00 when we parted ways for the morning and I headed off to the office. My mood was notably different than just an hour previous. Has God promised me wealth? No. Has He promised me a life without trials? Actually quite the opposite. But has He promised to meet my needs? Yes. I rejoice knowing that God is totally sovereign, and I cannot imagine having hope in His providence if He were anything less.

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