From my collection of comforts

I find great comfort in the sovereignty of God, and early in my Christian life began "collecting" Scriptures pertaining to just that. Some people find the doctrine of God's sovereignty over all things unsettling, or even distasteful. One reason I find comfort instead is that knowing God is in control of whatever happens means that no pain or sorrow I experience is futile or meaningless. I can trust that there is a good purpose in it. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of pain and physical trauma some women are willing to undergo to be beautiful. They will allow themselves to be cut open, peeled apart, suctioned, stuffed, etc. and undergo long and painful recovery just so their dying body will look pretty for a few extra years. Or think about the dentist. If our pain becomes bad enough, we are willing to endure more pain for a promised relief in the end. The pain in life is made immeasurably more bearable when we know there will be a good outcome, that it is not futile. As a Christian I know the outcome of any suffering I endure will be my sanctification - my "being changed into his (Christ's) likeness from one degree of glory to another..." (2 Cor. 3: 18).

Another reason I find comfort in that glorious doctrine is that it is the only basis I have for trusting any of God's promises - Romans 8:28 for instance: "We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose." If God's will could be thwarted by the will of man, the devil, or the forces of nature, how could I trust Him.

Now, all that said, here's the part of my "collection" that pertains to God's general sovereignty over all things that come to pass. (I have another set that pertains particularly to God's sovereignty as it relates to the salvation of man.)

"Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?" Exodus 4:11

"There is no god beside Me;
I kill and I make alive;
I wound and I heal;
And there is none that can deliver out of My hand." Deuteronomy. 32: 39

"The LORD kills and brings to life;
He brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich;
He brings low and exalts." 1Samuel 2: 6-7

"But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me, and my such decrees are with Him." Job 23: 13-14

"I know that Thou canst do all things,
and that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted." Job 42:2

"The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
He thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
The purposes of His heart
Through all generations." Psalm 33:10-11

"Our God is in the heavens;
He does all that He pleases." Psalm 115:3

"In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9

"The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD." Proverbs 16:33

"Many are the plans in a man’s heart,
but the counsel of the LORD, it will stand." Proverbs 19:21

"Man’s steps are ordained by the LORD,
How then can man understand his way?" Proverbs 20: 24

"The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
He turns it wherever He will." Proverbs 21:1

"Have you not heard that I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass…" Isaiah 37: 26a

"I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity,
I am the LORD, who does all these." Isaiah 45:7

"I say: My purpose will stand and I will do all that I please." Isaiah 46:10

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55: 10-11

" I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself;
Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps." Jeremiah 10:23

"Who has commanded and it came to pass, unless the Lord has ordained it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?" Lamentations 3: 37-38

"His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing;
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’" Daniel 4:34-35
"Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?" Amos 3: 6

"[He] works all things according to the counsel of His will." Eph. 1: 11


David Porter said…
Wonderful comfort Laurie. Thanks for sharing this.
Anonymous said…
I love these passages, Laurie. My own collection is almost identical. I've known Christians who actually find some of these verses hard to accept. Little do they know what comfort they forfeit.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Paul.
Andy C said…
Thanks Laurie, for reminding me that the comfort in the pain we face in life is the assurance that it will all end in something glorious beyond our ability to comprehend fully today. Otherwise it would just be a life with pain and a future without hope.
Anonymous said…
Isaiah 55:11 (ESV)
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

This says so much, as we are saved by hearing His word. When His word is spoken it will find the target and bring salvation if that is His will. I find so much preaching is just a bunch of talk but when God's word is preached souls are saved and what is more comforting than that.
Anonymous said…
Thanks Laurie, I needed that blessing this morning. God is on the throne, always has been; always will be!
The Scotts said…
Laurie, God's sovereignty is also my most favorite of His attributes!! Great blog!
Jess said…
Laurie, thank you for this post. I recently learned of some medical problem that I have and found great comfort in the words of Scripture that you posted. Praise God all our times are in His hand!

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