Personally Responding to the Sovereignty of God

As you grow in your understanding of doctrine, particularly sovereignty, are you also growing in your maturity?  Husbands, would your wife say that you are a better husband because you better understands God’s sovereignty in salvation?  If not there is a serious, and I mean serious, problem.  If something as profound as God’s absolute sovereignty over the universe does change the way you love your life then there is a disconnect.  Something is missing.  In an attempt to help diagnose what may be the problem here is a breif picture of how we should respond to the sovereignty of God that I have adapted from Jerry Bridges, Trusting God, chapter 14.
I.  Thanksgiving

  1. 1 Thess 5:18
  2. Thanksgiving is NOT welcoming advantageous circumstances.
  3. “Thanksgiving is an admission of dependence.” Trusting God, 222
  4. Being thankful in all things is another way of saying that we acknowledge our dependence in all things.
  5. We are thankful in tribulations not because we are masochists.  We are thankful because of the results of the tribulation (James 1:2-3; Rom 8:28).

II.   Worship

  1. Job 1:20-21
  2. If a greater knowledge of God’s sovereignty doesn’t lead to worship its probably because you don’t understand your weakness, His control, His wisdom, or His love.
  3. There is a missing element in your understanding if worship is not your response.

III.  Humility

  1. 1 Pt 5:6-7
  2. “we are to accept the adversity not the anxieties. Our tendency is just the opposite.” Trusting God, 227
  3. We accept the adversity and acknowledge God’s control because it produces humility.
  4. James 4:6

IV.  Forgiveness

  1. The majority of our tribulations and adversity is relational.
  2. When we see God’s sovereign hand we can forgive those who are causing us trouble because we see beyond their actions to the God who uses their actions for good.
  3. Gen 50:20

V. Prayer

  1. We are praying to a God who can change our circumstances
  2. Jesus’ example: Mt 26:39
  3. “As long as the ultimate outcome of an adversity is in doubt… we should continue to pray, asking God to change the situation.” Trusting God, 229

VI.  Love for God’s Glory

  1. God loves his own glory and uses his sovereignty to promote that glory.  As he does so he also works for the good of those who love him.
  2. Our recognition of God sovereignly working for His glory and our good should cause us to desire His glory in every situation because we know that when He is glorified it is also for our greatest good!
  3. We want to be a part of what we see God sovereignly accomplishing!
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