God Has an Over-arching Purpose for all Believers
God has an over-arching purpose for all believers: to conform us to the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ (see Romans 8:29). He also has a specific purpose for each of us that is His unique, tailor-made plan for our individual life (see Ephesians 2:10). And God will fulfill that purpose. As Psalm 138:8 says, “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me.” Because we know God is directing our lives to an ultimate end and because we know He is sovereignly able to orchestrate the events of our lives toward that end, we can trust Him. We can commit to Him not only the ultimate outcome of our lives, but also all the intermediate events and circumstances that will bring us to that outcome.
No plan of God’s can be thwarted (Job 42:2; Isaiah 14:27)); when He acts, no one can reverse it (Isaiah 43:13); no one can hold back His hand or bring Him to account for His actions (Daniel 4:35). God does as He pleases, only as He pleases, and works out every event to bring about the accomplishment of His will (Isaiah 46:10). Such a bare unqualified statement of the sovereignty of God would terrify us if that were all we knew about God. But God is not only sovereign, He is perfect in love and infinite in wisdom.
One of our problems with the sovereignty of God is that it frequently does not appear that God is in control of the circumstances of our lives. We see unjust or uncaring or even clearly wicked people doing things that adversely affect us. We experience the consequences of other people’s mistakes and failures. We even do foolish and sinful things ourselves and suffer the often bitter fruit of our actions. It is difficult to see God working through secondary causes and frail, sinful human beings. But it is the ability of God to so arrange diverse human actions to fulfill His purpose that makes His sovereignty marvelous and yet mysterious. No Bible-believing Christian has any difficulty believing that God can and has worked miracles— instances of His sovereign but direct intervention into the affairs of people. Regardless of our theological position regarding miracles occurring today, we all accept without question the validity of the miracles recorded in Scripture. But to believe in the sovereignty of God when we do not see His direct intervention— when God is, so to speak, working entirely behind the scenes through ordinary circumstances and ordinary actions of people— is even more important because that is the way God usually works.
excerpt from "Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts" by Jerry Bridges
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