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Confidence: Finding Rest in the Sovereignty of God

August 24, 2010
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I frequently talk with other believers who seem to be struggling with a deep fear of the future. Their confidence in the government has been rocked, the security of their 401K has been shaken, they watch the news fretfully for updates about the latest Supreme Court decision or word from Iran.

Are these things serious? Of course- but they need not shake our confidence. If we truly believe that our God is sovereign, that absolutely nothing has escaped His notice or is out of His control, then there is a deep sense of calm in our hearts even as we write letters to our senators, seek financial counsel, cast our ballots, and urge those around us to know and obey the Truth.

In 1 Samuel chapter 2, we find Hannah praying a prayer we would do well to emulate.

Recount and Rejoice!

Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” (v.1-2)

There is no Rock like our God! Oh, the hope and promise of those words. One of the best ways to battle fear and worry is to praise Him – to recount truths about His character, His ways, His promises. Have you noticed how many times throughout the Bible God’s faithfulness to His people is recounted in prayer and public praise? If you find yourself fretting over the news or the “what ifs” in your head, you must make a choice to replace those thoughts with truth. Rehearse truths of God’s character and ways to yourself, fill your mind and mouth with Scripture and praise – choose to rejoice in who our God truly is.

Remind Yourself of His Omniscience

“Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.” (v. 3)

As I shared last week in our discussion about praying for our churches, I find great comfort in two simple words: “He knows!” He knows your heart, He knows your thoughts, He knows what is around the corner of your life. While we might find ourselves shocked and taken aback by current events, nothing ever comes as a surprise to Him – for the LORD is a God who knows.

Not only does He know, but He is the only one able and worthy to weigh our deeds and the deeds of others. He knows the motivation behind each act, each word; He knows every thought. I find myself often praying, “O Lord, you know!” What a comfort it is that His ways are higher than mine, His understanding is deeper, His thoughts are purer- it gives me great confidence as I offer my trust and the words, “Thy will be done.”

Remember He is the One Who Raises Up and Puts Down

“The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.

Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away.

The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.

The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.
For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; upon them he has set the world.” (v. 4-8)

No one is alive who has not been created by the hand of our God. Both wealth and poverty are in His hands. No world ruler sits in his office by his own power and doing – we serve a God who raises up and who puts down.

Do I understand everything He does and allows? Absolutely not! But I trust that His plans are much grander than I can comprehend. I can pray for God’s direction for those in authority over me – be that my husband, my church leadership, my government, my employer – and I can pray with confidence, knowing that there is no one who is out of the sphere of God’s control.

Rest in His Ultimate Victory

“He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.

It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.
He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.” (v. 9-10)

When everything seems to be spinning out of control, we rest in this: we know the end of the story, and our God wins! One day there will be full and final justice. One day every knee will bow to Him. One day Satan and all those who rebel against God’s name will be completely defeated.

Feeling fearful today? Perhaps it is time to prayerfully recount and rejoice, remind yourself, remember, and rest. Our God is firmly on His throne – and He has invited you to approach that throne with confidence.

Supplemental Reading:

The God Who Raises Up and Puts Down – a look at how Hannah’s prayer ties the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel together

Fear God, Honor the King – a gentle challenge to my fellow believers who disagree with Obama’s administration: when belief in God’s sovereignty gets real

Worthy is the Lamb – an ongoing series on the book of Revelation to fix our eyes on the end of the story!

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2010 9:16 am

    Kristi, thanks for reminding us this morning about the Truth we know but sometimes fail to allow to really permeate our thinking. God knows and is in control!

    • Kristi Stephens permalink*
      August 24, 2010 12:29 pm

      It really is easier to know that in our heads than to really believe on it and act accordingly, isn’t it??

  2. August 24, 2010 9:24 am

    So comforting, and I love the phrase that “he has set the world.” Such a great reminder that my focus has to stay on God, not on my surroundings or circumstances, if I am to have peace and confidence.

    • Kristi Stephens permalink*
      August 24, 2010 12:30 pm

      Thanks, Julie – that is a great phrase to meditate on!

  3. August 24, 2010 9:51 am

    My family and friends often shake their head at me when I say that we don’t watch the news and don’t get our local paper. I prefer to surround myself with the Good News of God rather than the bad news of this world, ruled by Satan himself.

    God is Sovereign, and he alone is in control.

    • Kristi Stephens permalink*
      August 24, 2010 12:31 pm

      Cherie – I’m not an avid news watcher, either. 🙂 There have been times when I have intentionally avoided the news because I would start to worry instead of trust. While I think we should be informed about what is happening around us, the most important thing is that we are focusing our minds on Christ and His Truth!

  4. August 24, 2010 3:55 pm

    Great post, Kristi. I’m learning more and more that I need to be spending the majority of my day investing in the eternal … that looks different every day but I’d love to get to the point of the majority of my waking hours investing in things and people that will last forever. Even things like laundry & housework are eternal investments when I use them as opportunities for prayer and blessing my family and friends … I keep thinking of Brother Lawrence and how he learned to dwell in the presence of God while peeling potatoes. That’s my heart.

  5. stephanieshott permalink
    August 24, 2010 4:15 pm

    Hi Kristi ~ Love how you broke down the prayer into a constant act of sweet surrender to our Sovereign Lord.

    And I love how you said, “Do I understand everything He does and allows? Absolutely not! But I trust that His plans are much grander than I can comprehend.”

    We don’t always understand…in fact, we seldom understand. But He is God and we are not…and we can trust Him.

  6. August 30, 2010 8:59 pm

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, is a surprise to our dear Lord. Thank you for the reminder.

  7. Gayle permalink
    April 13, 2011 3:01 pm

    Thank you so much. I recently heard part of a sermon about the power of the Blood of Christ and how Christians do not take this power seriously. And if we did, we would worry less and depend on God more.

    I recently did a lot of soul searching because I often pass on emails sent to me and I sent one to a friend who asked me to stop sending political emails. I did not know if she was a Christian, but upon reflection, I don’t think she is. And I realized that my witness to her had been very negative regarding politics. Not full of the love of Christ, confidence in God, and was not effective witnessing and not effective citizenship, either. And then I realized that I had not really been following scripture. God doesn’t tell us to criticize leaders, but to pray for them.

    I am changing my behavior in this area, but habits are hard to break and it seems that I fall into worry and criticism, if I don’t watch it. Fortunately, God has the habit of forgiving and I can repent and with His help start over.

    Thanks for this encouraging word that helps me to trust God and to follow the scripture instead of the “fashion of this age.”

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