Our God reigns! Or does He? Is it possible He has abdicated, left town? A look at current events can certainly make such a conclusion understandable. Worldwide pandemic with millions dead, economic hardship around the world, Christians persecuted and even killed for their faith, military threats from China. In the last year we have experienced pandemic-induced isolation and difficulty, fires in the West, the busiest tropical season on record so far, riots in the streets, shortages of random items, plus an election season as rancorous as any on record. If you watch the news, it can be difficult not to become depressed or even suicidal. On top of all this, we have our culture’s apparent wholesale rejection of anything resembling Biblical values, coupled with a growing unwillingness to even listen to opposing viewpoints.
We see all that, yet we declare, “Our God reigns!” How can we? How dare we? We dare, we can, because it is true. Please note three inescapable facts.
First, the Preacher in Ecclesiastes affirms, “There is nothing new under the sun.” All of the above has been going on in various places and at various times around the world. One only needs to go back 100 years to land in an eerily similar time. Having just witnessed the bloodiest war ever, the United States faced the Spanish Flu pandemic, riots and terrorist bombings, economic turmoil, and dramatic social changes. Yet even then God was at work.
Second, we have the affirmations of Scripture. God spoke all things into existence by the word of His power (Genesis 1). God turns the hearts of kings like a watercourse wherever He wills (Proverbs 21:1). God raises up, and God puts down. God acts and none can stay His hand (Daniel 2:21; 4:34b-35). God declares the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). He accomplishes all His holy will. He establishes the length of our days (Psalm 139:16). God controls the wind and the rain (Psalm 148:8). He sends snow and hail (Psalm 147:16). He gives breath to all (Numbers 27:16). He withholds His breath and they die. God has decreed “whatsoever comes to pass.” There is nothing in heaven or on earth that is outside of His sovereign control.
Third, we can see His working in our world even now. It is easy to become locked in on the bad news, and there is plenty of that to occupy our attention. Yet the God who reigns overall is good and is at work in everything for His glory and for the good of His people (Romans 11:36; 8:28-30). Where may we see His hand at work? On a personal level, He grants us life and breath, food and drink, shelter, and clothing. Many of us can speak of how we have experienced His healing touch, His comforting presence, His transforming grace. But the Lord is not just at work in our individual lives. He is at work all around the world. There are parts of the world where the Gospel is spreading rapidly. All over the world, there are those who are standing firm against the tide of Godlessness. Let us be diligent to find those places where we can see the hand of our sovereign God at work. Let us ask others to talk about the good things they see God doing. Be encouraged, dear Christian, God is sovereign and He is at work all around us and in each of us who trust in Him.