As I write this article I am recovering from my second round of serious colon surgery in the last six months. At three score and ten years of age, this is really the first time I have had significant surgery that requires an extensive recovery period. I must admit that I am surprised that the physical recovery has been much more difficult than I anticipated.
But that is not the real surprise. No, not at all. Instead, I am surprised at how I have let circumstances consume so much of my spiritual journey over the past fourteen days. I went into this round of surgery with a strong faith and a peace that all was going to be well. I still have that faith and peace, but I was not prepared for how the pain, the severe lack of sleep and the constant disruption of my “normal” body functions would so affect my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
During the height of the difficulty my dear wife pointed out that she was surprised to see me with such a negative attitude. She reminded me of the series of Sunday School lessons that I had taught to the young married class on the proper “attitude” for a Christian in various situations. My wife nailed me with that reminder and I began to deal with the pain from a different perspective.
As I prayed about the situation I was prompted to revisit some of the devotional material I sometimes read.
I was drawn to a devotional published in the fall 2013 edition of Open Windows, a publication of LifeWay. Thanks to well-known Pastor Ronnie Floyd for the devotion included for Sunday, September 1, 2013 … “Contemplate God’s Sovereignty.” Floyd is senior pastor, Cross Church, Springdale, Arkansas. He is also lead pastor and strategist, for SEND North America and serves as general editor of LifeWay’s Bible Studies for Life. Pastor Floyd is the author of numerous books including in part: Our Last Great Hope; The Power of Prayer and Fasting; Ten Things Every Minister Needs to Know; Finding the Favor of God; Life on Fire; How to Pray; The Meaning of a Man
Scripture: (all KJV unless otherwise noted)
Romans 11:33-36 – 33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
God is sovereign … what does that mean? Floyd defines sovereignty as “God’s rule and work according to His eternal purpose — even when we may think events contradict or oppose His rule.” Paul writes that God’s “depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge” are beyond those of any other … especially that of man. Who has proven to be mightier than God? NONE! Who has been God’s superior counsellor! NONE! “Or who has given a gift to Him that he might be repaid? (ESV)” NONE! He created all things. He provides for all things. He is in control of all circumstances. Nothing exists apart from Him! “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (vs. 36)”
While Ronnie Floyd’s article deals more specifically with tragic situations such as school shootings, suicide, child abuse, etc., I believe the scriptures also are applicable to my personal situation. God is in control of ALL circumstances. And as a reminder, ALL means ALL and that is ALL that ALL can mean.
So as far as I am concerned, God is Sovereign and my situation is small indeed. With His constant presence I am praying along with Ronnie Floyd, “Lord since you are in complete control, I choose to trust You regardless of my circumstances.” Choosing is an option. Having a proper attitude has everything to do with making good choices. Thank you Lord for such a perceptive partner!
How about you? Are you going through seemingly uncontrollable circumstances? Perhaps identification with my experience will help you to trust God regardless of the circumstances.
Jim’s Current Series on The Fall of a Godly Nation:
- The Fall of a Godly Nation – An Introduction to a Series of Articles on Ancient Israel and Judah That Parallel Our Modern Day (published January 17, 2014)
- Revival Before the Fall – Hezekiah Brings Reforms and Revival to Judah
- Successful Execution of the Wrong Plan – Hezekiah’s Tunnel
- Intentional Deceit – The Lies and Intimidation of Sennacherib
- The Folly of Not Trusting God – Isaiah Pronounces Judgement
- God Listens and Restores – Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery
- The Offense: Man’s Boasting Ways – Sennacherib Boasts Against the Lord
- The Punishment: God Keeps His Word – Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death
- Passing the Mantle – Hezekiah Dies and His Son Manasseh Turns Away From God
I am excited about the message of these articles and look forward to completing them! It will take me some time as I have again begun working on my third book, Thank You Lord For Saving My Soul, which will include an extensive updated article on Evangelists Seth and Bessie Sykes.
Look for the next article in this series soon.
Books by Jim Davenport: Please consider the purchase of Jim’s books to help spread the message of Christ Jesus. Christian Devotions & Quick Studies is especially good to share with a lost friend, someone needing encouragement or someone who does not have access to the internet. My books are sold near the cost to produce as I am only interested in sharing the good news of the Gospel of Jesus to as many as I can before I go to Heaven.
For a limited time, Jim’s Books are available at a special discounted price. Click one of the links below to download or purchase.
- Christian Devotions & Quick Studies – Hardback, Paperback, eBook
- Thanksgiving Day – Religious to Secular – Paperback, eBook
- Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul – coming winter 2014 (sorry for the delay)
Other Christian Articles by Jim Davenport:
- but God …
- If You Want to Hear God Laugh, Tell Him You Have a Plan
- Calling Evil Good – The Abortion Tragedy
- God Came Down to Our Place – A Christmas Devotion
- OMG – “Oh, My God!
- When a : (colon) is not a colon – Medical Update
- Moving On – In Accordance With God’s Will
- If I Were The Devil
- From Persecutor to Persecuted
- The Spindly Grapevine
- Our Source of Courage
- Be Strong in The Lord
- God is Faithful
- Our Comforter
- God Will Provide
- In His Time
- God’s Solution for Anxiety
- Facing Tough Times
- Is Anything too Hard for God?
- Do Not Fear
- An Anchor in the Time of the Storm
- His Grace is Sufficient for Me
- Become A Christian
- Sin’s Earthly Consequences
- Fully God, Fully Man!!
- All of Jim’s Christian Articles
Southern Gospel Music by The Good News:
- Listen to The Good News – includes over 2 hours of southern gospel music recorded by The Good News quartet; once you are there scroll down and click on the tune you want to hear. Share “the good news” from The Good News with your friends.