Trusting God Even When Life Hurts – Chapter Three

“God is in control; He is sovereign. He does whatever pleases Him and determines whether we can do what we have planned. This is the essence of God’s sovereignty; His absolute independence to do as He pleases and His absolute control over the actions of all His creatures. No creature, person, or empire can either thwart His will or act outside the bounds of His will.”

Thank you for joining us for another week!

For those joining this week, you can peruse our previous chapter discussions here:

Chapter One.

Chapter Two.

LET’S PRAY

Father, thank you for this time together as we engage our book study through the lens of Your Word.

We echo the words of Dr. Benjamin Shaw when he prayed:

“O Lord our God we put our trust in men time after time, only to have them disappoint us. They are not there when we need them. They disappoint us or desert us. They fail us in time of need. And we know, if we will admit it, how often we have done the same to others who were counting on us. Whether men of low or high estate, they are lighter than air. Help us instead to put our trust in you, for power belongs to you. From you also comes steadfast love and true judgment. Stir us up today to put our trust where it truly belongs—in God alone. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Psalm 62:8-12)”

May we be edified and You be glorified.

In Jesus’ most holy name we ask these things.

Amen.

CHAPTER THREE: The Sovereignty of God

“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.” ~ Psalm 33:10-11

SUMMARY

“God works in the hearts of the people to move them to fulfill His purposes. Any treatment, good or bad, that we receive from another can be seen as part of God’s plan for us.”

DISCUSSION {Various but not exhaustive portions are provided from the accompanying study guide for reflection.}

DEVELOPING TRUST

1. Examine the following Scripture for evidence of God’s work in the heart of believers and unbelievers. State the key words used to describe His working.

Ezra 1:1 & 5 – Spoke, Moved the heart

Ezra 6:22 – Filled them with joy, changed the attitude of the king

Proverbs 21:1 – Heart in the hand of the Lord, turns it wherever He will

Daniel 1:9 – Gave favor

2 Corinthians 8:16-17 – Put into the heart

Deuteronomy 2:30 – Made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate

Joshua 11:20 – Hardened their hearts

2. Read Exodus 4:21 and 8:15.

Who is given the responsibility of Pharaoh’s hard heart in each of these verses?

God.

How do these verses display the relationship between Man’s responsibility and God’s work in our hearts?

We are to obey but the outcomes are up to God.

3. God’s restraining influence on people’s actions and decisions is seen in the following verses. Answer the questions for each passage of Scripture:

                                           What action did God prevent?               What emotion did God influence?

Genesis 20:1-7           Abimelech’s death                                       Fear, conscience

Genesis 35:5                Being pursed                                                  Fear, terror

Exodus 34:23-24       Land being coveted                                    Fear, jealousy

4. According to the following verse, how do the sinful actions of man affect God’s purposes?

Genesis 50:20 – Used the harm of one to save the lives of many

Acts 4:27-28 – The crucifixion of Christ for the salvation of the Church

Revelation 17:15-18 – God will be glorified in the destruction of false teachers.

5. How should confidence in God’s sovereignty in the lives of people keep us from becoming resentful and bitter when we are treated unjustly or maliciously by others?

By knowing that it came through the hands of the Lord for His glory and our good.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28

TRUST IN ACTION

Choose any or all of these ideas to work on. It may be beneficial to ask someone to help you achieve your task.

Memorize:

☙ Duetornomy 29:29
☙ Proverbs 21:1
☙ Psalm 51:10

☙ Think of three people you know who need to turn to the Lord. Pray for them and ask the Lord to work in their hearts and minds.

☙ Examine yourself and if bitterness or unforgiveness is found, seek God in prayer and ask Him to cleanse you of any offense.

WHAT’S NEXT

We will plan to meet here next Saturday, September 21st. In the meantime, please read Chapter 4: God’s Sovereignty Over People.

WHAT’S NEXT DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

We will discuss the following questions next week upon reflection of Chapter 4: God’s Sovereignty Over People.

1. There are many events that took place during the life of Jesus that show how government officials, acting freely, fulfilled the purposes of God. Fill in the following columns:

Name Of Ruler                                                  Official Action                        Prophecy Fulfilled

  • Matthew 2:13-16                                                                                      Hosea 11:1
  • Matthew 2:17-18                                                                                     Jeremiah 31:15
  • Matthew 2:21-23                                                                                      Isaiah 9:1
  • Luke 2:1- 4                                                                                                     Micah 5:2
  • Acts 4:27-28                                                                                                 Isaiah 53:3-6

2. What truths are taught about governments and rulers in the following verses:

  • Proverbs 16:9; 33
  • Proverbs 21:31
  • Isaiah 40:22-24
  • Daniel 4:31-32
  • Romans 13:1-4

3. According to Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Timothy 2:1-4:

  • What responsibilities do we have toward our government?
  • What responsibilities does the government have towards God?
  • What responsibilities does the Government have towards the people?

4. According to Daniel 9:1- 19, what was Daniel’s response when he realized that Israel’s exile in Babylon was almost over?

5. What is promised in the following verses?

  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • Revelation 7:9-10

YOUR THOUGHTS?

If there is anything you’d like to share about what we’ve read or discussed, please feel free to do so. You can leave a comment or send an email privately through the CONTACT tab at the top of the page.

Thank you for your participation.

“God has an over-arching purpose for all believers: to conform us to the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ. He also has a specific purpose for each of us that are His unique, tailor-made plan for our individual life. And God will fulfill that purpose. As Psalm 138:8 says, “The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me.””

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