Sovereignty

August 26, 2019

“In the hours of difficulty and doubt, in times of sadness and tragedy, and when it seemed that what I had to offer as a young man and priest would never be enough, I would sit at my desk, look up, and be reminded once again that this time of trial would also pass away. How consoling it was in the hour of my affliction, and how much it quieted my restless heart, to be reassured that nothing earthly goes on forever. On a deeper level, this piece of wisdom serves as a wonderful reminder that we are never the ultimate arbiters of the events of history. God alone is the sovereign of history. We cannot control all that happens either for our benefit or to avoid all suffering.” (Rev. Andrew Demotses)

 

“In the godly teachings of the long-suffering Prophet Job, all men are urged to consider the Lord’s unconditional sovereignty. Having advised humility as the appropriate virtue before God (Job 12:7-9), the prophet progresses naturally to God’s unqualified dominion. The Lord’s rule governs all things according to wisdom, power, counsel, and understanding (vs. 13). Christ our God likewise elevates humility as a necessary condition for considering God’s sovereignty. He declares that the blessedness of the poor in spirit and of the meek enables them to see God and inherit the earth (Mt 5:3,5)…God’s sovereign plan is ultimately at work.”  (Dynamis 8/10/2019, Orthodox Study Bible, Joel 2:1-11)

 

 “By placing our problems into God’s hands, we can rest in His sovereign will for our lives…Regardless of difficult circumstances, a Christian always has grounds for rejoicing. The Lord is a sovereign Ruler and will accomplish His purpose. Christian joy is not based on circumstances, but on a growing awareness of God and the certain future of eternal life with Christ (Rev. 21:1–7).” (Foundation Study Bible, Psalms 64:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:16)

 

"We may have an unexamined feeling that God will not let really bad things happen to good people. But Jesus Christ himself disproves that. If God allowed a perfect man to suffer terribly (but for an ultimate good), why should we think that something like that could never happen to us?... Because God is both sovereign and suffering, we know our suffering always has meaning even though we cannot see it. We can trust Him without understanding it all.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

 

“...God is sovereign and in control, while at the same time He is close and personal…The God of the Bible . . . both suffers with humanity—supremely on the cross—and yet is in some sense also sovereign over suffering. Both beliefs were (and are) essential to the traditional Christian assertion that suffering ultimately has some meaning and that the triune God is able to provide deliverance from it.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 17:27, 28, Ronald K. Rittgers)

 

“It is difficult to simultaneously embrace God’s sovereignty in choosing us and our human responsibility in choosing to follow Him. Even though we may not be able to completely comprehend how these two truths can coexist, we can say the following: Being chosen comes from the heart of God (not our minds), should be an incentive to please God (not ignore him), and should give birth to gratitude (not complacency).” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Thessalonians 1:4)

 

"Seeing and embracing God as He truly is makes us wise, for it gets us in touch with reality. Just as turning the lights on in a dark room enables you to walk without bumping into things, seeing the justice, greatness, sovereignty, wisdom, and love of God prevents you from stumbling through life in bitterness, pride, anxiety, and discouragement.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)"…God has given us lordship over all the earth because of our capacity for sovereignty. With this sovereignty comes the responsibility to be good stewards of what God has given us.” (Abbot Tryphon)

 

“Love requires a special kind of violence if it is going to overcome the deep fragmentation and isolation that increasingly define our age. If the"sovereignty of the self” is a quality of modern culture – driving everything from the content of advertising to how we spend Sunday mornings – then connection and relationship are qualities of the Kingdom of God. In the Gospel according to St Matthew, Our Lord said that"the Kingdom of heaven is taken by force,” and He appears to speak here not of bullets and swords, but of the more powerful tools of humility, compassion, self-sacrifice, and love. These are the forces that create open wounds in the tough skin of our age, so that the Kingdom might bleed through…to us. Love is a painful, but necessary, process.” (Fr. John Oliver)

 

“The sole responsibility of man's will is to submit to the divine sovereignty.” (Fr. Patrick Reardon)

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