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The Apple and the Alien: Resting in God’s Sovereign Rule, Part 3

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It is critical that we grasp the truth of God’s sovereign rule and rest in His higher plan. When we do, we’ll not only survive our seasons of suffering, we’ll thrive.

I want you to do more than barely survive your trial by the skin of your teeth. I want you to thrive! I want you to receive all the good things—the good fruit—that can come from your trials.

You see, God has reasons for allowing our afflictions. There is fruit He wants to give you and me, fruit borne only in our seasons of suffering. But much of the time, we miss that fruit, or postpone its harvest, because we don’t know Biblical truth. We don’t know the whole counsel of God’s word.

I want you to be able to harvest God’s good fruit from your trial. Step one to reaping that harvest is understanding what the Bible teaches about God’s sovereign rule. It’s absolutely vital that you grasp this truth. If you miss it, you’ll miss the fruit-bearing part of your situation.

An Illustration: The Apple and the Alien

Imagine that somewhere in this universe is a person who has never seen an apple in his life. I’m not sure who that could possibly be… An alien maybe? But for the sake of analogy, let’s pretend such a person exists…

What would happen if I put an apple in front of him and asked him to identify all of its parts?

Step #1.  Picking the apple up, he’d turn it in his hand, investigating the surface. “It’s firm and red,” he’d say.

“That’s right,” we’d respond. “That’s the peeling. … Dig deeper now, and tell us what else you see.”

Step #2. “There is a second part. It’s sort of white colored,” he might answer, digging further down into the apple.

“That’s right,” we’d answer. “That’s the flesh or meat of the apple.”

Now suppose he stopped there in identifying the apple. Would he have identified the whole apple? No. In fact, he missed the core—the central, fruit-bearing part. He would have failed to identify the part that contains the seed, the part that brings forth fruit.

So It Is With the Truth of God’s Sovereign Rule

This is analogous to the issue of God’s sovereign rule over the circumstances of our lives:

  1. When the red part, the peeling, was identified, that was a true part of the apple. This first step of identification is similar to someone saying concerning life’s tragedies, “The devil did it. He’s responsible.” Yes, that may be true, but only to the degree that it includes the whole truth. Satan did play a role… but there is more.
  2. Then the white part, the pulp or flesh, was identified. Identifying this part might be the equivalent of accusing the drunk driver—the murderer, the person—for the tragedy in your life. The person did play a role. But, if we stop here, these are grossly inaccurate depictions of the situation.

If we stop here, we stop short of the whole truth. We miss the core, the central, fruit-bearing part, which is that God is behind it. He has appointed the situation to accomplish His purpose.

“Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he
has made crooked? When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider;
God has made the one as well as the other.”
Ecclesiastes 7:13-14

Click to tweet TWEET THIS God's sovereign rule

To miss this point is to glorify and attribute power, purpose, and position to the wrong being—to Satan, or to another individual, rather than the One we know is in control.

  • Yes, Satan played a role. That’s true.
  • Yes, other people, often even we ourselves, played a role.
  • But to stop here is to miss the point—God is sovereign. He is the supreme ruler who reigns in ultimate control. He is the greatest in rank, authority and power. He governs independent of the control of another; He is completely free from outside control. God is not one day in complete control, and the next day absent of power over the significant events of your life. He never takes his hands off the wheel, not even for a moment. And no one has ever wrestled the wheel away from Him either, not for a second.

Don’t Walk Away Only Two Layers Deep

What if our hypothetical person only got two layers into his discovery of the apple? Scratching his head, he’d walk away muttering, “Where on earth do other apples come from?” He would have missed the central, fruit-bearing part.

Would you let that happen? Of course not. You would make sure he saw the core, the fruit-bearing part of the apple.

In the same way, we shouldn’t let ourselves walk away from life’s tragedies with only part of the truth. We shouldn’t leave our sufferings wondering, “Where on earth does the ‘good’ in this dreadful situation come from?” Obviously it would make life’s heartaches seem meaningless.

If we will patiently dig down through the outer layers of our circumstances, we’ll discover the central fruit-bearing part of our situation—the fact that God reigns supremely over every detail of our afflictions.

When we correctly identify God as the One who controls the trials we’re experiencing, it’s a key, life-changing discovery. If we humbly submit to God’s sovereign rule, to his higher, wiser plan, it releases Him to produce fruit from our suffering.

More TweetablesTweetables

  • It’s vital that you understand the truth that God is sovereign. If you miss it, you’ll miss the fruit-bearing part of your situation. Click to tweet Tweet
  • Blame Satan for your trial? God is in control and has appointed your situation to accomplish His purpose. To miss this is point is to glorify and attribute power, purpose and position to the wrong being—to Satan rather than the One we know is in control. Click to tweet Tweet
  • “Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider; God has made the one as well as the other.” ~ Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 Click to tweet Tweet
  • God is the supreme ruler of the universe, greatest in rank, authority & power, governing independent of the control of another. He’s not one day in complete control, the next day absent of power over the significant events of your life. Click to tweet Tweet
  • Don’t walk away from life’s tragedies with only part of the truth. Don’t leave your sufferings wondering, “Where on earth does the ‘good’ in this dreadful situation come from?” Instead, discover the fruit-bearing part of your trials. Click to tweet Tweet

 

Questions: 

  • Are you barely surviving your trial by the skin of your teeth? Or are you thriving, receiving all the good things—the good fruit—that can come from your affliction?
  • Do you realize that God makes both good times and bad, as Ecclesiastes 7: 3-14 says? 
  • Do you solidly believe that God is sovereign? That He is the supreme ruler, the greatest in rank, authority and power who governs independent of the control of another? That He is not one day in complete control, and the next day absent of power over the significant events of your life? 
  • Have you walked away from life’s tragedies with only part of the truth? Have you wondered, “Where on earth does the ‘good’ in this dreadful situation come from?”
  • Are you digging through the outer layers of your circumstances, getting down to the core, fruit-bearing part, which is that God is behind it and has appointed the situation to accomplish His purpose? 
  • Are you humbly submitting to God’s sovereign rule—to his higher, wiser plan—releasing Him to produce fruit from your suffering?

 

POSTED ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES:

UPCOMING ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES:

  • Part 5: Do God and Satan Alternate Shifts?
  • Part 6: What Circumstances Does God Control?
  • Part 7: Does God Control Sinful Acts?

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