Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Irony of Ironies & The Sovereignty of God

Speaking of chronic pain, if I believed in chance, I'd say, "What are the odds that the very night I wrote my last post I'd get a neck spasm? But I don't, so I won't. In addition to the chronic neck pain, muscle spasms were a big part of the on-going pain I had for years. At its worst, I'd get them maybe 8-10 times a year. The majority of the time they happened at night and they ranged from moderately painful to I'm-pretty-sure-a-truck-ran-over-me-in my-sleep type of pain. The latter being so painful that I could not move without tears and could not hold my head up in a standing position for the better part of a day. Usually it took a few days until the knife-like stabbing pain went away and a good week till I felt semi-normal again. Thankfully, this last one wasn't like that.

But back to the fact that I don't believe in chance (luck, fate, karma, kismet, happenstance). I've written a lot on the sovereignty of God in my last blog. I can't help it, I LOVE THAT GOD IS SOVEREIGN! I love that He doesn't just "allow" things to happen but he "controls" what happens. Chapter lll of the Westminster Confession of Faith states:

"God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established."

I know this is a difficult teaching, but it is found throughout Scripture:

Who has spoken and it came to pass unless the LORD commanded it. Is it not from the Most High that good and bad happen?" - Lamentations 3:37-38

"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." - Proverbs 16:9

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

When I first began to study the sovereignty of God in Scripture, it was a hard teaching. After all, this means that if God ordains ALL things, this would include sinful acts! How can he do this without taking away man's accountability? How can He do this without being guilty of sin Himself?  This is very deep teaching and I want to explore this in my next post. Like I said, at first it was hard to fathom, but now it brings me great peace and comfort. After all,  if God ordains all things, and works all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purposes, what do I have to fear? And in case I would be tempted to think his sovereignty didn't apply to my chronic pain:

 "Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good." - 1 Peter 4:19

 "....we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." - Romans 5:3-5

I'm glad this last incident with my neck wasn't that bad. I'm very thankful that the pain was minimal and the duration short. I believe a big reason for that is the book that I read, which I mentioned in my last post. But the main reason is GOD, who ordained this book be put into my hands. So I first and foremost thank Him.

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." -1 Thes 5:18

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