The God Who’s In Control
Father God, without You I am lost. I seek Your presence and guidance to help me focus my life.
Read Acts 4:23-31
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
The apostles were in trouble; however, when they prayed it was not for comfort and deliverance, but to praise their Sovereign God. That’s a good example for us to follow.
Some of us live our Christian lives by this maxim: “Why pray when you can worry?” Today’s passage is a reminder of how to respond in a time of crisis. The first reaction of the disciples after the confrontation with the Sanhedrin was to pray. It is not, first, a prayer requesting help or asking God to punish their enemies; their prayer starts with the words “Sovereign Lord,” acknowledging God’s sovereign control of the world. It is a model we would do well to emulate.
First, then, they acknowledge that God is the Sovereign Lord of creation (24). Even those who persecuted them owed their life and breath to the God whom they opposed. Second, he is the Sovereign Lord of history (25,26). They quote the psalmist (Psa. 2) who knew that God was present and active in world history, that kings and rulers held power only because of his permission. Third, he is the Sovereign Lord of redemption. The quotation from the Old Testament breaks off as they focus on Christ’s crucifixion. They acknowledge that his death was no tragic accident, no political convenience, no opposition victory, but the result of God’s power and will (28).
On the basis of these convictions–his control of the universe, of the affairs of humankind through history, and even of the actions of evil men in the redemptive work of Christ–they could entrust their lives to him. He is the Sovereign Lord of their immediate circumstances (29,30). “Nothing is too hard for you,” said Jeremiah, who prayed a similar prayer (Jer. 32:17). Whatever we face, here is a conviction founded on the certainty of God’s control. As Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) reminded us, “It is not great faith we need, so much as faith in a great God.”
As you listen to today’s global news, or think of your own challenges, remember evidences of God’s sovereignty. How can they help you remain strong in the face of adversity?
Mighty God, I need a fresh vision of who You are and what You can do. Encourage me as I seek to follow You through all the minefields of life.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2024 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.