YOUR DAILY DIVE: The Sovereignty of God
"Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power." (Acts 2:22-24, NASB)
In Acts 2, we learn about how the Church was formed on the day of Pentecost. Just before He returned to Heaven, Jesus commissioned the disciples to go out and spread the Gospel far and wide. But first they needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This happened on the day of Pentecost which was an annual feast for the Jews. It must have been an extraordinary experience for all involved—those receiving the Holy Spirt and those watching. All of the disciples were gathered in one place. Suddenly, they heard what sounded like a violent rushing wind. Then, as tongues of fire rested on each one of the disciples, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in different languages. Unbelieving Jews who had gathered in Jerusalem for the feast were amazed and could not explain it away. (Acts 2:1-13)
Peter stood up and addressed the unbelieving Jews, delivering a sermon that presented Jesus as the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. One of the biggest challenges to the diety of Christ was the fact that He suffered and died. The Jews argued that if He was truly God, Jesus would not have died. In verses 22-24, Peter made it clear that the Crucifixion was no accident. Jesus had to die so that He could defeat death by rising from the grave. These verses not only support the diety of Christ, but affirm the sovereignty of God which asserts that God either causes or allows all things to happen in this world. The murder of His Son was no surprise to the Father. What man meant for evil, God means for good, in this case, the salvation of man.
APPLICATION for today's Christ-follower:
Trust that nothing surprises the Lord. He is sovereign, which means that He never lets you out of His sight, and He either allows or causes ALL things that happen in your life. It is easy to praise God for His sovereignty when things are going well. But can you praise Him in the midst of pain? He is worthy of our confidence in Him, even when we suffer and struggle. As Romans 8:28 tells us, “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
LORD, I love You as the One True God. Forgive me for withholding my praise when the tears of heartbreak have blurred my ability to see Your sovereignty. Father, Your Word tells me that You either allow or cause all things to happen in this world, even the death of Your Son. It is mindboggling to think that His murder was part of YOUR plan. But when I see the empty tomb I am reminded how good You are. Help me live an empty tomb life for You—acknowledging Your Sovereignty, knowing You see me, and trusting You cause all things to work for good to those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. I do love you Lord. And I believe that You do have purpose in my pain. By Your Spirit, enable me to see that purpose or, at the very least, trust there is purpose in it. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen