Our Choices and God's Sovereignty

For the first time in a very long career, I have applied for unemployment.  I'm the owner of the company my father started. I don’t know how to feel; this is new ground for me.  Should I feel sadness, failure, regret, a longing for normal?  Or hope, trust, and security in God to work all things together for good?  Is it possible to feel both? Being made up of flesh and spirit, I know firsthand it is possible to feel all these emotions and many more, some destructive and some comforting.
 
A lesson God has been teaching me over the years is the importance of my choices inside the central theme of His sovereignty.
 
One of the most important choices I can make right now is whose voice will I listen to.  One voice will encourage me in my hope and faith in God, and one will tear me down and lead to doubt and fear.  One will point to trusting God and His sufficiency and one will point towards self-sufficiency, angst and striving.  I don’t always choose to listen to the right voice; it’s a moment by moment thing.  I have learned that the closer I get to Him, the louder His voice becomes and the more distant the other voices become.  I could insert a ton of Bible verses here; it seems appropriate, but they won’t help me or you if we don’t choose to make them louder than the noise of the other voices.  Facebook, Instagram, TV news, self-condemnation, and our enemy, all contend for a place in our head and eventually our heart. We must guard our hearts. The best way I know how is to follow the guidance in Phil 4:8-9 to fix our thoughts on whatever things are true, pure, lovely and admirable, think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Practically for me I know I must also be sleeping well, maintaining a routine, being consistent in exercise, not overeating, reading much, maintaining contact with like minded believers and family members who can be an encouragement and always praying without ceasing.
 
God in His wisdom, knowing human weakness, had the Israelites set up an altar or institute a feast to mark when and where He saved them from a calamity or did something significant for them. It was to honor Him but also to sear the events into their memories and history so that they would always be able to look back and remember His love and care for them.  

In the same way we can look back on our life at significant mile markers and remember God’s hand in our story: I can remember when I realized was far from God and he called me into relationship with Himself; I can remember when a prayer was answered at just the right time; when I opened the Bible and the verse I needed to hear was right there; when that check came in at exactly the right moment; when a word of encouragement and hope met my dejection and I was reminded God was still on the throne.

Being able to open my Bible and look back on God’s faithfulness to His people coupled with my own experiences convinces me that He will work this together for my good, that He has a plan for my life that is for good, and ultimately that He is good and worthy of trust.

by Fred Meserall

Fred and his wife Susan began attending Kingsway in June of 2014. They found Kingsway to be a place of refreshment and healing after their previous church experience. Fred is passionate about pursuing God, family, and lifegroups (including his current group which has been meeting continuously for 16 years). Fred and Susan absolutely love the fact that they, their two daughters and their husbands, and grandchildren all attend church together. Fred is a non-recovering “aquaholic” who enjoys spending as much time as possible at the beach, communing with God, working on his videoblog (aptly titled “Still at the Beach”), and all things surf and family.