For the past couple of days we have been exploring the themes of God's power, grace and true faith in the face of adversity from the lives of Job and Stephen. In Job 12:13-25 there is a brilliant star of hope that shines in the darkened sky of the conversation between suffering Job and his so-called friends - namely God's Sovereignty. Why is God's Sovereignty the brilliant star of hope in Job's life? Simply put - peace is gained in knowing that God is in control. What does Job tells us about God's control in the middle of troubling circumstances? Two truths: that God is all-powerful (omnipotent) and all-wise (omni-sapient). (Job 12:13) God is powerful enough to control all things and wise enough to regulate all secondary matters (events, human decisions, seasons) to their proper and best ends. (Job 12:14-15) Job then describes God's power and wisdom in terms of rendering justice on the evil and suffering caused by people. (Job 12:16) As the all-powerful and all-wise God, we discover that all spiritual and human authority is delegated authority from Him. (Job 12:17-21; Romans 13) Furthermore, God's omni-potence (God's all-powerfulness) and omni-sapience (God being all-wise) enables Him to reveal previously hidden truths - a process we call revelation. (Job 12:22; 2 Peter 1:21) Job then concludes his speech with the reminder of mankind's frailty apart from God's word and grace. (Job 12:23-25) Unless God is at the center of your line of vision, life's difficulties and disappointments will overwhelm you.
Job was sustained by His relationship with the Lord. As we turn to Acts 8, we discover the true backbone of the early church following Stephen's martyrdom. Despite the increased persecution and heresies of men such as Simon Magus (the Magician), the people of God were sustained by the preaching and demonstration of God's word. (Acts 8:6) Sadly Simon Magus' lack of God's centered focus and attempts to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit demonstrated his counterfeit faith. However, as in Job's case, the darkened sky of the sufferings of God's people was pierced through by a God-based, Gospel centered, Spirit empowered message. I remember a statement made by radio-preacher, pastor and author Dr. Chuck Swindoll on the matter of God's Sovereignty: "Knowing that God's is Sovereign may not answer all of my questions, but knowing He is Sovereign certainly calms all of my fears." May you and I be as they were : God based, Gospel centered and Spirit-enabled.
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