A Controlling God

Do you believe that God is good? Here are twenty-four marks of God’s sovereign goodness. I hope that after reading this you will breathe a sigh of relief in the facts of God’s sovereignty.

Why does it matter?

If a being was sovereign (all-knowing and all-powerful), but not good, the universe would be a nightmare. But if a being was both sovereign and good, then we would have assurance that, “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28)

It is important that we see the connection between God’s Sovereignty and God’s goodness. God is controllingly good, and good in His controlling.

As controllingly good, He is good in His nature.

As good in His controlling, He is good in His actions.

There is great comfort for those who believe that God is good.

God’s nature is good:

“Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He teaches sinners in the way.” (Ps 25:8).

God’s works are good:

“The Lord is good to all,

And His tender mercies are over all His works.” (Ps 145:9).

Everything that God made was good:

“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Gen 1:31)

God’s actions are good

“As for God, His way is perfect.” (2 Sam 22:31)

God is good in all of His attributes. Goodness and severity not contradictory.

To explain the sovereignty of God is to do an exposition of the goodness of God. God is both sovereign and good.

Twenty-four Marks of God’s Sovereign Goodness:

First, God controls every season of your life

“A time for every purpose under heaven.” (Eccles 3:1)

“I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.” (Eccles 3:11-14)

Second, God gives riches and wealth

“Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.” (Eccles 5:18-20)

Third, God takes away wealth

“There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.” (Eccles 6:1-2)

Fourth, God chooses the delusions of the wicked

“So will I choose their delusions, And bring their fears on them;” (Isa 66:4)

For the Lord has poured out on you

The spirit of deep sleep,

And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets;

And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers.” (Isa 29:10)

Fifth, God controls our works

“For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them.

All things come alike to all:

One event happens to the righteous and the wicked;

To the good, the clean, and the unclean;

To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice.

As is the good, so is the sinner;

He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.” (Eccles 9:1-2)

“I returned and saw under the sun that—

The race is not to the swift,

Nor the battle to the strong,

Nor bread to the wise,

Nor riches to men of understanding,

Nor favor to men of skill;

But time and chance happen to them all.” (Eccles 9:11) 

Sixth, God does what He pleases

“But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.” (Ps 115:3)

Godis good in our troubles:

 “The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble;” (Nahum 1:7)

Seventh, God is omnipotent

Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying,‘Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?’” (Jer 32:26-27)

Jesus said:

With God, all things are possible.” (Matt 19:26)

“I Am Who I Am.” (Ex 3:14)

Eighth, God governs the natural world

His lightnings light the world;

The earth sees and trembles

The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord,

At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.” (Ps 97:4-6)

Nineth, God controls the Animals

“Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17)

Bears: (2 Kings 2:23-25)

Fish: (Matt 17:27)

Donkey: (Num 22:21-39)

Lions: (Dan 6)

A cock: (Matt 26:34)

Tenth, God controls all powers and principalities

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Col 1:16-17)

Eleventh, God directs the angelic armies of heaven

“For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,

And His kingdom is from generation to generation.

All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;

He does according to His will in the army of heaven

And among the inhabitants of the earth.

No one can restrain His hand

Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Dan 4:34)

Twelfth, God knows everything about me

O LORD, you have searched me and known me!

You know when I sit down and when I rise up…

You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” (Ps 139:1-3)

“For His eyes are on the ways of man,

And He sees all his steps.

There is no darkness nor shadow of death

Where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.” (Job 34:21-22)

“For He knows the secrets of the heart.” (Ps 44:21)

Thirteenth, God controls your future

“You know my sitting down and my rising up;

You understand my thought afar off.

You comprehend my path and my lying down,

And are acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word on my tongue,

But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” (Ps 139: 2-4)

“My times are in Your hand;” (Ps 31:15)

Fourteenth, God controls the number of hairs on your head

“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matt 10:29)

Fifteenth, God controls your abilities

“…apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

“Remember the former things of old,

For I am God, and there is no other;

I am God, and there is none like Me,

Declaring the end from the beginning,

And from ancient times things that are not yet done,

Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,

And I will do all My pleasure,’” (Isa 46:9-10)

Sixteenth, God creates both woe and well being

“Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that woe and well-being proceed?” (Lam 3:38)

Seventeenth, God creates calamity

“I form the light and create darkness,

I make peace and create calamity;

I, the Lord, do all these things.” (Isa 40:7)  

Eighteenth, God commands life and death

“Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.” (Deut 32:39)

Since his days are determined,

The number of his months is with You;

You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.” (Job 14:5)

For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’” (James 4:15)

“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written, days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them.” (Ps 139:16)

Nineteenth, God controls the wrath of man

“Surely the wrath of man shall praise You;” (Ps 76:10)

Twentieth, God controls the rolling of the dice

“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” (Prov 16:33)

Twenty-first, God manages all the nations

“His breath is like an overflowing stream,

Which reaches up to the neck,

To sift the nations with the sieve of futility;

And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people,

Causing them to err. (Isa 30:2)

“…there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” (Rom 13:1)

“Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.” (John 19:11)

“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;

He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.

The counsel of the Lord stands forever,

The plans of His heart to all generations.” (Ps 33:10)

“He makes nations great, and destroys them;

He enlarges nations, and guides them.” (Job 12:23)

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord.” (Prov 21:1)

“For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’” (Rom 9:17)

Twenty-second, God controls our afflictions

“Before I was afflicted I went astray,

But now I keep Your word.

You are good, and do good;

Teach me Your statutes.” (Ps 119:67)

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Rom 8:18)

Our afflictions are difficult on the outer man, but are a blessing to the inner man:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

(2 Cor 4:16-17)

“The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” (Pro 16:4)

Twenty-third, God is sovereign in salvation

“…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Eph 1:4-6)

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” (John 15:16)

“No one can come to me, unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (John 6:44)

“No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” (John 6:65)

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19)

In His goodness He chose us to bear fruit:

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” (John 15:16)

Twenty-fourth, God cannot be stopped

Job said it like this:

“I know that You can do everything,

And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” (Job 42:2)

Do you believe in His goodness? Do you believe that God is controllingly good, and good in His controlling.

A heartbreaking condition

Solomon exposes the tragedy of the man who does not see the goodness of the Lord. It would be better to be stillborn than go through life blind to the goodness of the Lord.

“If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he—for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness. Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man, even if he lives a thousand years twice—but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one place?” (Eccles 6:3-6)

What does this all mean?

All things are in God’s hands. You are in His Hands. Pre-judging disasters is something all of us should learn to avoid. When difficult circumstances strike, our tendency is to over-interpret them, and we often come to wrong conclusions and become subject to the wrong feelings they generate.

Don’t ever forget: God is controllingly good, and good in His controlling.

There is no better doctrine in the Bible, and no better conviction to help you navigate the trials and tribulations, the joys and the celebrations, and the victories ahead.

My dad understood the sovereignty of God; he believed that God is good. Nothing rattled him. When it came time for him to die, the last words he spoke to me were, “Son, the Lord knows what He is doing.” then he passed into eternity. My father believed that God was not only sovereign, but that He was also good.

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