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The Real God - The Sovereignty Of God, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
August 27, 2021 6:00 am

The Real God - The Sovereignty Of God, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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August 27, 2021 6:00 am

If God's in control of everything, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world? Are we all just puppets with no real choices? If you want solid answers, join Chip as he discusses the sovereignty of God.

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If God is in control, why is there so much pain and injustice in the world?

I mean, if God knows everything, why doesn't He stop bad things from happening before people get hurt? If those questions trouble you the way they do me, and you need solid answers, stick around. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher on this international discipleship program, and I'm Dave Druey. We're studying several key attributes of God's character, learning how He longs for us to see Him through Chip's series, The Real God. In this program, Chip finishes his message on God's sovereignty. He established some important groundwork in our previous broadcast.

So if you missed it, a great way to catch up later is with the Chip Ingram app. Now let's join him for part two of his talk from Romans chapter eight. This whole life demonstrates the sovereignty of God Himself. And finally, unlike his very humble beginnings, that he's meek and he's gentle, he came in his first coming to be the savior of the world.

And I think a lot of us, maybe from our childhoods, have a picture of the little children coming to him, and those great pictures of a woman caught in adultery being forgiven, and the widow with her son died touching the coffin he's raised from the dead, and feeding the 5,000s, and speaking to the storm, and just his compassion and his love, and that's God. But when you read the book of Revelation, read it really fast. No, no, I mean just read it really fast and quit worrying about what seals are doing, what seals, and you know, what's blowing up, and what's a figure and what's not, and just ask yourself who's Jesus? Who's Jesus in the book of Revelation? He's the righteous judge who's coming to bring all things under his rule and power, and anything that was unjust and unfair and wrong, and every opportunity will be given, but the righteous judge is coming to judge his world because he's a king. Listen to the end of the book of Revelation in Revelation chapter 19. Then I saw the heavens open, and behold, a white horse, and the one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His clothing is a robe dipped in blood, and the name which he's called is the Word of God. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

That's who's coming back. That's the sovereign God. Now at the emotional level, at least where I live, the last reason I've given here of God revealing his sovereignty is through redeeming pain in our lives.

He redeems pain in our lives. If you are a student of scripture and you would read the book of Genesis, you would understand that every major doctrine, it's the book of beginnings, every major doctrine is in the book of beginnings. Where did life come from? Creation. Why is there evil? The fall. You have the first judgment in the flood.

You have the promise after that. You have the choosing of a family, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, of God's plan, God's lineage of his plan to fulfill this Messiah that was foretold that one day his heel will be bruised, but he will defeat the enemy. God's plan, it's all laid out in Genesis and you've got 50 chapters.

If you are a person who lived a few thousand years ago or born a couple days ago, you don't have to live very long before the probing question and some of you ask it is, if God is really good, how could the world be this messed up? Genesis chapter 37 through 50, that's 13 of 50 chapters, it's over 25% of the book, is on one man's life, Joseph. Joseph gets a dream from God.

It's a promise that he hangs onto, it's how God is speaking to people at the time. He has a father who does poor parenting, shows partiality, so his brothers hate him. His brothers hate him and they decide they're gonna kill him. They're jealous of him, they're gonna kill him, they're tired of him and he probably didn't handle the revelation from God very well, he's a bit arrogant and that's gonna get taken care of.

And so they decide they're gonna kill him, so they stick him in a pit while they're waiting to kill him and it just so happens, or God sovereignly, brings a caravan from Egypt and they say, why kill him? And the one brother's trying to get him out anyway, so they sell him and so it's unjust, it's unfair. Joseph is just a son, he's the youngest and first his brothers reject him. How many of you have been through a major rejection?

Okay, well what's it feel like if all your brothers, and you know, our rejections are like, you know, emotional. This is like they want to kill him. And then they sell him. And so they sell him, he's on the caravan, he doesn't speak the language, he doesn't know anyone, so he ends up on an auction block in Egypt as a slave and a guy named Potiphar, who basically is the equivalent of the secret service for Pharaoh, buys him. And so he buys him and he makes him his slave and he obviously learns the language and all chapters 37 through 50, there's this, and the Lord is with Joseph and Joseph, no matter what, this promise, this God who he actually believes fulfills his promises, who actually believes his good, somehow, someway, he hangs on and doesn't abandon his faith.

And he also seems to have a highly developed gift of administration that when he's in charge of something, it flourishes. And so it doesn't take long for Potiphar to realize this guy's got some wherewithal and some capacity, he puts him over his business and all of his household and everything he touches, the hand of God, a blessing. Well apparently he's a pretty good looking young man and Potiphar's wife says, you know, my husband's gone a lot during the day, we could have sex, we'd have a great time. And most men would say, well see, rejection, God promised me this, my brother's sell me out, I've been a slave, you know, but not Joseph. He says, how can I sin against your husband, he's put everything under my charge except for you and I could not sin against my God. And so he rebuffs her seduction, but one day he's kind of just doing a little bit of work and the house is empty and she finds him and she says, now come lay with me and he does what almost no man would ever do in this situation, is he flees and she grabs his jacket and so she's left with the jacket and she's humiliated. And so her husband comes home, what have you done to bring this crazy Hebrew, he tried to rape me. And so he ends up in jail.

So it's gone from bad, bad to worse. So now he's falsely accused, now he goes to jail, he goes to jail, his administrative gifts show up again, he seems to have a great attitude no matter what and pretty soon the head of the jail goes, you know, we're gonna have him run this place. And so he does and it flourishes and flourishes and flourishes, but I mean think of this, where's God? Where's God? You know, if God loves me, why would my brothers reject me?

If God loves me, I did all that I could, in fact I was righteous and I was falsely accused. Well then a couple guys in Pharaoh's household, cupbearer and the baker, they have a bad day and so they end up in prison. And they both have a dream and Joseph said, well you know, my God has given me an ability, tell me what your dreams are and he reveals to me kind of what dreams are sometimes. So the one guy says, this is my dream, the other guy says, this is my dream. He says to one guy, good news for you, you're gonna get your job back, you're gonna die. And it comes true, you know. And so he says to the cupbearer, now hey, you know, this happened, this happened, this happened, this happened, don't forget me. Oh no, I could never forget you, thanks so much. He forgets him. I mean start asking yourself, I mean let's get this out of a Bible story, rejection, injustice, falsely accused, forgotten. How's that feel?

He's a 17 year old kid. Well the story continues and the Pharaoh has a dream and his wise men and his sorcerers and he's very frustrated, they're not giving him good answers so he comes up with a plan, look, either you guys tell me what the dream is and what it means or I kill all of you. And that got the cupbearer's memory jogged. He's thinking to himself, you know what, Joseph did it once for me so the text literally says he took a shave, he came in before Pharaoh, he hears, he says Pharaoh, this is what's your dream, there's gonna be seven years of abundance followed by seven years of scarcity, here's the deal, you better plan in the future, you need to save a bunch of grain because it's gonna be awesome for seven years and then it's gonna be the pits and if you're not prepared, you and Egypt go down the toilet. This is a very loose Ingram translation but you get the idea, I mean that's the essence of it and so Pharaoh goes well hey, you're the man, you do it.

So at 30, he's now the second most powerful person in the world, none of which could happen if he'd not been rejected, sold as a slave, falsely accused and forgotten. God had a purpose. Now, are all those people responsible for their sin? Yes. Will God judge all those people for what they did, righteous judgment?

Yes. The story fast forwards, he uses his gifts, he has a couple boys, he names them names that let us know the heartache and the pain and the hurt that really happened and he names his boys names that remind him of both God's faithfulness and the pain and the hurt and after the seven years, this famine spreads not just to Egypt but to the known world and the family is at about 70 now and finally they come to Egypt to get grain and I'll let you read all the details of the story but he tests his brothers but his heart just breaks and he weeps and he reveals himself to his brothers and he asks Pharaoh, he brings all 70 people and they get this prime real estate in Goshen and God uses that as the incubator to fulfill for the next 400 years, it grows from 70 people to about 2 or 3 million people and then dad dies, Jacob and his brothers being the high integrity, faithful, God fearing men that they are, think to themselves, Joseph probably was just good to us, why dad was alive and it's gonna get bad and so they start making up some stuff to try and get on his good side and I believe with all my heart, Joseph looked at them and I think his head tilted and I think tears streamed down his face, guys you still don't get it, do you? You didn't send me here, you meant it for evil but God meant it for good to preserve these many people alive, you might jot in your notes the Genesis 50-20 principle, the sovereignty of God is the greatest and deepest comfort in a fallen world because of what we shared a little bit early about the freedom God's given us, he marks off for a season where evil is allowed and corruption and terrible things happen but not for everyone but for those who say I wanna follow Yahweh, the God of the Bible, follow Jesus, I'm gonna stay on your path regardless because crisis and pain and injustice and difficulty make some people and break others, for some it's the story of a life of faith that none of us can understand as God meets them and for others they abandon God and by the way one of my greatest concerns about all this prosperity stuff that's being taught is that when people believe that somehow there's some little formula and that God has committed himself to make you healthy, wealthy, everything's gonna go your way and when that doesn't happen they are completely disillusioned with God but it's not the God of the Bible because he never promised those things. This really rings home for me, I think of when I taught this, sometimes things come to me that aren't in my notes and I just got done talking and I said this and I looked down and I looked at my wife and it just popped in my mind and she was married before I met her and she wasn't a Christian and she was married to a guy that found he could make more money selling drugs than going to work and he had an affair for over a year, year and a half with someone that she was unaware of and then he found out that she was pregnant twins and so he leaves her and she's left and has two babies, no income, no anything and out of her desperation she just said I just, I wanted to quit on life, my whole life was wrapped up in that man and I've got two little boys and I don't know how I'm gonna support him, I'm gonna do and a neighbor watched the kids and her boss led her to Christ. I met her a couple years later when she was growing into this tender, amazing woman of God out of all that pain, you know what, that guy meant it for evil, God meant it for good, I got to marry her, I got to adopt those two little boys, I got to watch kids that when the door would open they were so fearful that they would run and stick their head behind her knee and I got to see them become men and I've seen them grow and I see them marry godly women and I'm watching them raise their kids and I'm thinking oh God, that guy meant it for evil, he meant it for good. Can I tell you though that there's a reason we went into counseling, there's a reason we had all kinds of struggles, I mean she had wounds and hurts and I had just as many but mine were more sophisticated, I covered mine up better but I think you know 38 years later what a gift from God that came out of betrayal and evil and sin and adultery. I thought as I looked down at her I thought we got some really bad news and found out she had cancer and after we'd been married over 30 years and after all that struggle I thought we had about as good a marriage as we could have, we'd get normal struggles like everybody, I mean rich and deep and then I remember thinking I don't know if I'm going to have another month or two months or a year or two years and I just canceled everything for a year other than the local church and you know tell that publisher here you want your money back, I'm not going to write a book, I'm not going to go anywhere and after surgery I drove her to every single one of the Stanford appointments and she would go through the treatments and then after each treatment we would stop at Starbucks and we would get one oatmeal cookie and they would heat it up and then we would break it in half and she was just so wiped out those treatments and then we would sit in the car and we'd eat our oatmeal cookie and I remember looking over and thought I did not know that I could love another human being as much as I love my wife, it was like I knew there was you know I thought we had a four-speed and somehow there was another couple gears but those gears came out of a painful difficult ugly cancer and by the way for others the pain is there isn't a recovery, some of you have lost children, mates, some of you have had your whole incomes out from under you and what all I want you to know is that what we hang onto there really is a sovereign God, he really is in control but the invisible faith is I'm if you ask Joseph how was life going from 17 to 29 and a half circumstantially bad but part of what God does is God will leverage and use your pain and take the comfort that he gives to you as the comfort that you can share with others right, 2 Corinthians 1 and there's some things that no amount of Bible study, no amount of spiritual disciplines, you only meet God in the midst of excruciating pain when the only one that can deliver is God and he meets you in ways that you can't describe and something happens in your heart and your life that makes you more like Jesus and gives you a capacity that you would never ever when you look back you would never want to go through it again but you realize it's precious and it's a part of the journey and by the way that's what God is actually seeking to develop that Romans 8 28 we quote it but for some reason we just skip 29, 29 is that he predestined and called us according to his purpose to conform us to the image of his son, how he conforms us I got news for you it's painful but he leverages the evil and the difficulty and the pain but you can get bitter, you can get self-focused, you can go into pity, you can somehow unconsciously think that the only thing really is in life is this little window called time but you're made for eternity, C.S. Lewis' little illustration for me has been just a life saver in the midst of my worst pain he goes if you can imagine like fishing line going through that wall across this room through that wall east to eternity west to eternity that's eternity and then there's a little dot about the size of a pencil on that line and inside that dot that's all of time that little dot and inside that dot if with a powerful super electronic microscope there would be as tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny little dot that would be your life and maybe you get 70 maybe you get 80 years I don't know and that little dot is just temporal and God is doing all kind of things and some of them are very very very painful but how I respond and what I learn forever and ever goes on and when I can have an eternal perspective for a sovereign God who loves me and know that those I've lost love him and I will be with them you know what most Christians don't really believe in heaven it's just a concept it's just an idea heaven's real it's a place and you're not going to float around on a cloud and sing in a worship service and sip iced tea and get wings and ring bells it's going to be a new earth and a new heaven and new relationships and the people that you love that are in the Lord and you're going to have life and culture and future and work and it's the line and I love Lewis's words are you living for the dot or are you living for the line and the sovereignty of God gives me hope in the midst of the worst tragedies in the world it also gives me the faith to not give up I just have to think that Joseph had more than a few days where it was like Lord where's the dream where's the promise and all the while this is what God was doing in Joseph his character his character his character see if God is going to put you over something like this he has to do a lot of this and the only way you get a lot of this depth of character is going through the crucible of life and God has that plan for all of us he wants to make you like Jesus there's two questions that this raises if God is sovereign why does he allow evil pain and suffering and I would say the problem of pain by C. S. Lewis is is the shortest best work on that there's lots of writing you might write down Ken Boa he's a friend he's a brilliant writer thinker that he has lots of good information on this the second question is if God is sovereign over all people and events in history doesn't this make a sham of human responsibility and Norman Geisler one of my former professors did 10 years as a philosophy teacher 10 years as Bible and then theology and chosen but true I think is the best book that's balanced on the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man it's really interesting I didn't I was reviewing this and praying earlier I thought to myself you know some of the responses to all of God's attributes they start looking a lot alike I mean this sovereign God that every knee will bow application number one how do you respond bow before the king of the universe you're going to everyone is the sooner the better and voluntarily is way better than by compulsion surrender all you are and all that you have there has to come a specific day and a point in time you don't slide into surrender it's a decision and when you make that decision and mean it I've watched Christians who they basically say my life is I think change more than when I was born again and all I can tell you is if God is really good and he's the king of the universe I mean the only other option is you you decide you be God and you use your knowledge and your wisdom and you shuck and jive and you try to figure out make your life work good luck good luck the wisest most intelligent most emotionally satisfying and rewarding life for a follower of Jesus is to offer it's a it's in it's in what's called the heiress tense it's a point in time offer your body is a living sacrifice holy and acceptable this is your spiritual service and and and what it means is it's what God really wants maybe you were thinking about it I'm just gonna say maybe you should think about it a little bit more the second application is to believe that all that comes into your life is either allowed or decreed by a good God who will use it for your benefit and what I mean by this is not intellectually believe it I mean I mean believe it to the point where you say despite how my emotions are screaming I'm going to choose to be faithful and by the way for some of you faithful just means you just get up and take a step because the pain and the difficulty and the hurt and the loss and the grief is so excruciating God understands he's kind remember he's tender hearted he's quick of sympathy how did Jesus treat people that were hurting his arms weren't crossed he didn't say you know come on pull up your bootstraps get with the program you should be serving more he just he would just love you he just wants to help you he just wants to nurture you through this but believe believe to the point of trusting and here's what I would say by way of application is absolutely refuse to worry it's one of those you know I think someone has written a book you know sins that Christians we all give each other a pass on or something like that acceptable sins you know if the Bible says don't be anxious for anything and it's a command I'm guessing that being anxious is sinful but you know there's some sins we're like I mean I mean you know like we all sin so let's just it's an insult to God if he's a sovereign God and he's good now is it hard not to worry you have to practice Philippians four six and seven don't be anxious for anything but in everything by prayer a general word get your focus up on God and supplication in other words you're going to ask very specific things with thanksgiving choosing to rejoice make your specific request so yes it's a practice and as you heard and as you're anxious you do that and and you know what you can learn Oswald Chambers big line was really his whole life is Galatians 2 20 I'm crucified with Christ nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ lives within me and this life that I now live I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me it was this abiding life that God is in control therefore I can't project tomorrow I refuse to worry of outcomes I can't control but I'm going to trust that to God if he's sovereign you can do that if you believe it third is beholden all the mystery and the majesty of his kind compassionate just and sovereign rule over all that is or will ever be and the application for some of you this is very easy for some of us high productivity driven type a people this is very difficult worship God for who he is not merely for what he's done singing to the Lord reading Psalms out loud slowly believing them I mean isn't it amazing that when you when you read the Psalms how David in the midst of responsibility and warfare and all the rest how he praises God he thanks God he laments but he is a worshipper and the more you begin to be in awe of rather than argue about sovereignty and responsibility as we would be in awe of who God is and worship him as you worship him what happens is you will begin to believe and experience a God who is bigger and when you experience a God who is bigger and holy and loving then what happens is the truth that you have begins to transform and get ingrained into what you actually believe in your values and how you actually live and I just think it's easy not to be a worshipper I think it's easy to be a Christian get stuff done person and there's some of you that you know my wife is the opposite she's a worshipper wow you know sometimes I think if I got time with Jesus and my wife I think it goes something like this Teresa and I have been working out a lot of issues over the last few decades with you Chip and we appreciate you running all the errands for us I'm serious you know I'm an activity-a-holic I mean I just I see what could be you know God wants to do this and I just feel this compulsion to say oh if this is true you got to act on it so I have to learn to be a worshipper and maybe that some of you Chip's gonna be back in just a minute but just a quick reminder this message the sovereignty of God is from his series the real God in this eight-parter Chip explains that we naturally tend to imagine God with human characteristics moody impatient unforgiving because it's what we know about ourselves and others but nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to God that's why it's essential to see him as he really is and that's what this series the real God is all about if you're ready for a clear understanding of who God is and how that changes everything you've ever thought about him the best way is to do this study with a small group of friends so for a limited time we've discounted these resources because we want to do everything we can to help you get to know the real God for more information or to order your small group materials today go to livingontheedge.org tap special offers on the chip Ingram app or give us a call at triple eight three three three six zero zero three that's triple eight three three three six zero zero three now here's chip with a quick thought one of the great joys of my life is the letters emails Facebook messages that I get from people literally all around the country and all around the world and they tell me these amazing stories of how Living on the Edge has been a tool used by God to change their life maybe you're one of those people that have really been impacted by the ministry I mean I hear from people from every age profession background every person imaginable and what I hear is this same constant drum beat of God spoke to me I took a step of faith now God's using me and what I want you to know is that that's the heart of our ministry we want to put teaching and tools and small group materials and downloadable things that we actually give away to help people not just live like Christians but be ambassadors and agents of change and grace in their homes their schools and their workplaces and if you're one of those people that God has impacted you and actually you're impacting others because of Living on the Edge I have a very specific request would you consider becoming a monthly financial partner and of course it helps us practically no doubt about it it would really help us to know that X amount of dollars are coming in from a monthly partner but literally even more than that it's about a group of people saying we want to be a part of this mission to make a difference in the crazy world that we're living in we want to make an impact and we want to make an impact with you all God's spoken to us God's changed us we want to help you help others and so here's my request today would you pray and just simply say Lord if this is part of your desire for me to partner with Living on the Edge on a monthly basis will you show me and then show me what that looks like and how much and what I will say is whatever amount that is it's perfect whatever God shows you but what I long to see is people who partner that are on the team a part of the family and we make a difference together each and every day thank you in advance for doing whatever God shows you to do if that mission resonates with you we'd love to have you join us helping Christians get a high accurate biblical view of God will change the world we live in to give a gift today call us at triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 that's triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 if you prefer to give online go to Living on the Edge org app listeners just tap donate your generosity is greatly appreciated now here's chip with a final thought about today's message think on this one thought as you go throughout the day nothing today or nothing in your past in fact nothing in your future will ever enter your life that God has not willfully decreed or allowed to occur there isn't haphazard issues floating all around that are messing up your life God is in control what a comfort of all the things in scripture that bring great comfort to my heart I think that's one of the most important things with regard to the character of God that I've learned in my life God is sovereign and what I know is that regardless of what happens he is working and using every event every person every hardship every difficulty for my good he does work all things together for my good and I don't know about you but that produces a deep rest in my soul and then it produces worship imagine the power the majesty the all-knowing that it requires to orchestrate every life on the planet to fulfill his purposes and our good why don't you worship him today just before we close our mission at Living on the Edge is to help Christians live like Christians and one of the ways we do that is by making it easy for you to share messages you find helpful so when you hear a message that really hits home we hope you'll pass it on a couple of taps on the chip Ingram app and a great message is on its way to someone you love well that's all for this program until next time this is Dave Drewey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-12 21:16:08 / 2023-09-12 21:28:23 / 12

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