One of my favorite attributes of God is His sovereignty, specifically displayed through His decrees over all future events. I find much comfort as His child, knowing that “he chose [me] in him before the foundation of the world” (Eph 1:4a). Although, He not only predetermined my salvation, but He also preplanned every aspect of my being and my life. It is so assuring to know that there are no such things as “random chances” or “coincidences”. Rather, my heavenly Father is intentionally bringing about every trial, every blessing, every situation, and every circumstance to fulfill His predetermined purposes for my life!
I was reminded of this recently when reading through Arthur W. Pink’s booklet, simply titled “The Attributes of God”. This is an excellent condensed booklet on the many facets of God’s wondrous character and I highly recommend it, but I will simply focus on my favorite attribute for the purpose of this post.
As Pink wrote:
“The decree of God is his purpose of determination with respect to future things… The decrees of God relate to all future things without exception: whatever is done in time was foreordained before time began. god’s purpose was concerned with everything, whether great or small, whether good or evil, although with reference to the latter we must be careful to state that while God is the Orderer and Controller of sin, he is not the Author of it in the same way that he is the Author of good. Sin could not proceed from a holy god by positive and direct creation, but only by decretive permission and negative action. God’s decree is as comprehensive as his government, extending to all creatures and all events. It was cincerned about our life and death; about our state in time, and our state in eternity. As God works all things after the counsel of his own will, we learn from his works what his counsel is (was), as we judge of an architect’s plan by inspecting the building which was erected under his directions.
God did not merely decree to make man, place him upon the earth, and then leave him to his own uncontrolled guidance; instead, he fixed all the circumstances in the lot of individuals, and all the particulars which will comprise the history of the human race from its commencement to its close. He did not merely decree that general laws should be established for the government of the world, but he settled the application of those laws to all particular cases. Our days are numbered, and so are the hairs of our heads. We may learn what is the extent of the Divine decrees from the dispensations of providence, in which they are executed. The care of Providence reaches to the most insignificant creatures, and the most minute events–the death of a sparrow, and the fall of a hair.” (p. 15-17)
When I think of this in the context of “LIFE”, I am deeply encouraged to know that my heavenly Father is intimately involved in every aspect of my life. I pray that you will find the same encouragement!
Pink continues to expound on this great and wondrous attribute of God in greater detail in the text that follows. However, because each point he raises is so rich and saturated with hope for the Christian life, I will spread them out and break-up the text into parts. As you read through each part, really meditate on each point and think through its implications before moving onto the next. (Feel free to leave a comment or two and share your thoughts with others as well :-)). In doing so, it should hopefully prevent you from being too overwhelmed or lost in the jargon.
Again, I pray that these excerpts would be a source of encouragement as you learn more (or in some cases, are reminded of truth you already knew) about an amazing aspect of our great God!