In Light of Current Events

First, God in his sovereignty has established government for the good of all people — believer as well as unbeliever. Paul said, “There is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God… For [the ruler] is God’s servant to do you good” (Romans 13:1,4). … We should remember again that God in His infinite wisdom and sovereignty and for reasons known only to Himself, allows rulers to act contrary to His revealed will. But the evil actions of those rulers against God’s children are never beyond the bounds of his sovereign will.

— Jerry Bridges

Yet how little is this realized today even by the people of God! Many suppose that he is little more than a far-distant spectator, taking no immediate hand in the affairs of the earth. It is true that man has a will, but so also has God.

— A.W. Pink

So what exactly is being said here? Can Christians persecuted across the globe take comfort in this? Most Christians would shudder to think that God had any hand in the persecution of His own children, or in allowing any evil event.

But He does! And because of this, Christians can take comfort, even in the face of governmental collapse.

Perhaps I should explain God’s “revealed” will vs. His “sovereign” will.

What is God’s revealed will? Simply put, the will that is revealed to us in the Scriptures. The promises God has made, the Law He has provided, the pleading for holiness throughout.

Man’s free will can work arbitrarily to God’s revealed will. How? Well, I most definitely break the Law daily. I forget His promises and act against them. I stumble and fall in my striving for holiness. In short, I sin. Therefore, I act against from God’s revealed will (regretfully).

How then, is God still sovereign? If I can break His revealed will so easily, how could He possibly know what’s to come and have complete control of the universe? His sovereign will. It is untouched. I do not know His sovereign will. It is secret. It is hidden until He decides to grant me a glimpse. I may act in disobedience, but God uses my failings to act out His ultimate, sovereign will. I may obey Him, and God’s will abides.

[God] is never taken by surprise.

— A.W. Pink

God is never at a loss because He cannot find someone to cooperate with him in carrying out His plan. He so moves in the hearts of people — either Christian or non-Christians, it makes no difference — that they willingly, of their own free will carry out His plans.

— Jerry Bridges

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

Deuteronomy 29:29

Our duty, then, is to obey the “things revealed,” that is, the will of God as revealed in Scripture for every area of life.

— Jerry Bridges

Here is the fundamental difference between the man of faith and the man of unbelief. The unbeliever is ‘of the world,’ judges everything by worldly standards, views life from the standpoint of time and sense, and weighs everything in the balances of his own carnal understanding. But the man of faith brings in God, looks at everything from His standpoint, estimates values by spiritual standards, and views life in the light of eternity. Doing this, he receives whatever comes as from the hand of God. Doing this, his heart is calm in the midst of the storm. Doing this, he rejoices in the hope of the glory of God.

— A.W. Pink

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