Embedded in the heart of God’s covenantal promises is this powerful truth: before God created a single star in the heavens or set the universe in motion, he planned to send his Son into the world to redeem rebellious and disobedient humanity and to reconcile us to himself through Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection. From before the foundation of the world, God desired to know us and to call us into a relationship with him. And this was not because of anything we’ve done or will do, but it is utterly a gift of his grace, out of his will and good pleasure.
This is the theological concept of the sovereignty of God, and it has far-reaching implications for our lives. If this idea is new to you, don’t be overwhelmed: the sovereignty of God is simply the idea that “God is king, supreme ruler, and lawgiver of the entire universe.”4 Abraham Kuyper, a theologian from the early twentieth century, said it this way: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”5
God’s sovereignty is expressed and displayed in a variety of ways throughout Scripture, from the divine names of God to his work in creation and his providential involvement in events in world history. The covenants also display his sovereignty, revealing his gracious work of redemption to choose a people for himself through whom he would send the Messiah to save his people and restore them into a right relationship with him.
This imparts incredible meaning and purpose to our lives. We were not created by happenstance or because of some random collision of atoms and molecules that resulted in human life. Rather, our very existence is born out of the heart of God to accomplish his will on this earth. When we embrace this truth, we discover that the mundane parts of our lives take on incredible significance. Our daily commutes become opportunities for communion with God. Bumping into our neighbors becomes a divine appointment to share the good news about Jesus. And our homes become barracks for training in righteousness and godliness as we embrace a kingdom-minded mission to advance the gospel.
God’s sovereignty also speaks comfort into our suffering. Because we know God is in control, we can trust he has a purpose for every circumstance in our lives, including the difficult and painful ones. By faith, we can believe that his purpose for our pain is for our good and his glory. And we can rest in the knowledge that there is nothing outside of his reach.
4 Daniel J. Treier and Walter A. Elwell, eds., Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2017), 829.
5 James D. Bratt, ed., Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998), 461.