He Controls Nations and Nature

Back to Trusting God by Jerry Bridges.

Chapter 5 is about God’s control over the nations. This is like taking the previous chapters and taking them to the highest and largest application. Just as He is sovereign over people, He is sovereign over the people in charge of a nation, and the collective actions and decisions and results of those people as the government of a nation, the ruler of the nation, and even the military forces of a nation.

He points out that in the West, we tend to not think that much about our government and God’s sovereignty because we don’t feel the government impacting our lives on a daily basis, unlike countries where persecution is common. However, there is plenty of concern and fear about even our government some days. It is good to remember who is in control.

Yet, here’s the catch. He is talking about the book of Daniel in the Bible, which is heavy on discussion of the nations and God’s sovereignty. He concludes that “Daniel realized that God’s sovereignty and God’s promise were intended to stimulate him to pray.” (p95) This should be our response, not hand wringing or bemoaning, but prayer. Daniel also wasn’t afraid of being involved in the government of his day.

Chapter 6 moves on to God’s sovereignty over nature. He starts by showing God’s control over the weather. He brings the good and the bad weather, the part that nourishes the land, and the disasters that strike.He attacks our habit of complaining about the weather as a sin, complaining against God.

Not only do we sin against God when we complain about the weather, we also deprive ourselves of the peace that comes from recognizing our heavenly Father is in control of it. (p101)

He admits the struggles we have with natural disasters that cause deaths and hardship for so many. While we do not understand all the reasons why God allows or brings disasters, we must not remove them from His control.

The next topic is physical infirmities – handicaps like blindness and physical pain, and diseases like cancer. All of these are also under God’s control. Again, we cannot always know why. They are not always a sign of God’s judgment, but always a way for God to be glorified. We can trust God is in control.

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