Devotion #104

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

1 Peter 4:19 ESV

If we are going to suffer according to God’s will then we need to have a full understanding of the attributes of God. One of His greatest attributes is His sovereignty. No matter what we face in life, God is sovereign over it all. Sovereignty, by definition, is having supreme power and authority. He is reigning and He is in control over every single thing we encounter. Not only does He know what’s happening in each of our lives, He has chosen to allow every specific situation because it’s part of His plan to accomplish His will. In other words, God is sovereign over your marriage. He has chosen to accomplish His will for you through your spouse and through your marriage. In our imperfection, we can grow frustrated and question if we made a mistake, but God doesn’t make mistakes. The reality is your marriage and your spouse are part of His greater plan for you.

That truth may be challenging for some of us to hear. Our natural tendency pushes back against power and authority, so when we hear someone else is in charge, we resist. The fact is we are a stiff-necked, rebellious people at heart. We don’t like being told what to do—even if it makes sense, even if the advice given is absolutely correct, we will still resist taking the direction because it offends our autonomy and independence. It takes a humble heart to hand over the reins and submit.

The flipside to the prideful response of rebellion is despair. This person questions the sovereignty of God by demanding to know how a loving God would allow something or someone so difficult into our lives. We reason if He truly loved us, He would intervene. He would stop the heartache and the frustration by answering our prayers and change the person or the circumstances. And when He doesn’t end the suffering, our hearts give up hope and grow angry or bitter toward God. It takes a trusting heart to believe that our faithful Creator loves us so deeply that His plan will ultimately be for our good.

Scripture is filled with stories of God using people to bring about His will—He even uses people who have no belief in Him to accomplish His will. Understanding and believing in His sovereignty can shape who we are and how we respond to the struggle in our marriage. Knowing He is in control of every aspect of our lives can bring an incredible amount of comfort if we surrender our pride and trust Him. No matter what you’re facing—from the smallest annoyance to the greatest challenge—He knows and He has allowed it to happen in your life for a very specific purpose. Nothing takes Him by surprise—He’s never shocked to see what’s happening. He’s known all along how this trial is all part of His greater plan of redemption. Interestingly, once we learn to release control and trust in Him, once we learned to stop fearing and fighting His plan, we discover a perspective and a freedom like we’ve never experienced before.

Embracing God’s sovereignty should draw us to a place of complete humility and submission. It is in that humility that God can show up to grow an unshakable confidence in His faithfulness. You see, while we remain in control, He can’t show up. While we’re trying to change our spouse or our circumstances, God can’t work because we’re in the way. So long as we’re stuck in a place where we think we’ve got the right to demand certain things, we will continue to struggle. But when we surrender our plan and allow Him to use our marriage to grow the good in us, we catch a glimpse of His greater plan for us.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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