In the darkness of my suffering, God shined the light of His sovereignty accompanied by His love, faithfulness, and redemption. He allowed me to see that He’s not just calling the shots; He’s crafting beautiful purposes for His children.
God tells us in His Word that His power knows no rival and His goodness to His children never fails. Nothing can prevent God’s good purposes for us from coming to pass (Job 42:2). Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:38–39). Our Sovereign is also our loving Father.
We also see in God’s Word that He will provide everything we need as we walk through suffering (Phil. 4:19). When I battled cancer, I witnessed His daily provision for our needs. He not only provided a place for me to stay, but He also provided friends to walk alongside me through suffering. He provided His protection for my children’s hearts and minds and His strength for my husband as he juggled work and home responsibilities. Every time fear and grief threatened to consume me, my faithful Shepherd met me in the valley of the shadow of death with His comfort and peace (Ps. 23:4).
As I face the future, it’s dangerous for me to look too far ahead and wonder how we will cope if the cancer recurs. But I can fix my eyes on the Lord’s promises, remember His past faithfulness, and believe He will give us what we need for each future day, no matter how difficult those days might be. Our Sovereign is also our faithful Shepherd.
God’s Word also reminds us that although our future in this world is uncertain, our eternal future is sure. The One who reigns over all gave His Son to redeem us and pay the price for our rebellion against Him (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24).
Because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, someday we’ll exchange these weak bodies for ones that will never get sick. Our eyes will behold our King and never again fill with sorrowful tears. These temporary troubles will all pass away (2 Cor. 4:16–5:1). Our Sovereign is also our Savior.
In our darkest days of fear and doubt, we can cling tightly to God’s sovereignty, love, faithfulness, and salvation. These truths don’t bring certainty in our circumstances, but they give comfort as we rest in His character.
Standing on the Truth of God’s Sovereignty
In my final weeks of treatment, I often found myself at the piano playing one song over and over again. The simple arrangement became familiar to my fingers as I belted out the words through determined tears, desperate to believe.
Whate’er my God ordains is right, Here shall my stand be taken,
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine, Yet I am not forsaken,
My Father’s care is round me there,
He holds me that I shall not fall, And so to Him I leave it all.
As I began to see the storm clouds of suffering part, I looked ahead to a future that was still unknown and shadowed by a possibility of recurrence. It would be years before I planned more than a few months ahead. My physical healing felt as though it was perched on the edge of a cliff, and I never knew when it would topple. As I faced the unknown, God gave me the strength and the faith to say, “Whate’er my God ordains is right.”
Although my medical risk of recurrence has decreased with time, I’m still acutely aware that I don’t know what the future holds. God wisely veils our eyes to the future, but He gives us a solid foundation on which to stand. We can prepare for whatever lies ahead by meditating on the truth of God’s sovereignty. We should stock our spiritual pantries now, because we will need this truth to feast on when trials inevitably come.
In Daniel 11:32, the prophet writes, “The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” As we study God’s Word and meditate on the truth of His character, the knowledge of God’s sovereignty will take root so deeply in our hearts that no hardship can shake it.
As we gaze on the sovereignty of God, we don’t see a promise that God will work all things according to our plans. But we receive even more precious promises: the guarantee of His reign over the universe and over our days, the comfort of His loving, faithful, saving purposes for us, and a solid foundation of truth for our times of suffering.
Your future may feel uncertain today, but if you are in Christ, one thing is sure: someday the King of Kings will reach from His throne to wipe away your tears (Rev. 21:4). Until then, I pray that we will cling tightly to the certainty of His sovereignty through any circumstances we face.
Editor’s Note: This post was first published on February 1, 2019.