The Good Life In Bad Times

Photo Jun 22, 10 42 41 AM

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:” Jeremiah 29:4

Life is filled with great days and really bad days. It is human nature to presume that during the really bad days God has abandoned us. This could not be further from the truth. In every season of your life, God is with you and is able to turn those difficult times into something good, even when we are reaping the consequences of our actions.

Don’t waste a season by running from God but run to Him even when life doesn’t make sense. God will “…give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;” Isaiah 61:3

In Jeremiah 29, God’s people have been taken captive by the Babylonians and are exiled from their homeland. King Nebuchadnezzar was used by God to carry this out, but it was all God.

The sovereignty of God is an important concept to understand, or else our entire view of God will be broken. The biblical viewpoint on the sovereignty of God means that God is the boss. He is seated on a throne above the universe and has full discretion.

The sovereignty of God means that God is the boss

He does not need a committee or permission to act. He embodies complete wisdom and is the author and finisher of faith. God can do what He wants when He wants to whom He wants.

The sovereignty of God has parameters, not in a limiting sense but defined by God’s divinity.

#1 His nature and character. His actions or decisions will never go against who He is. There are things that His character and nature will not allow Him too. Based on His nature and character, there are things God can’t do.

God CANNOT: 

  1. Sin. Hebrews 4:15
  2. Tempt people. James 1:13
  3. Be Unfaithful. 2 Timothy 2:13

 #2 His Promises. God’s promises are unwavering. They are a guarantee. You can take them to the bank. When it comes to God’s sovereignty, His decisions will never break His promises.

“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

#3 His Will. God’s sovereignty is outlined by His will. Nothing happens outside the will of God.

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,” Ephesians 1:11

God exerts His sovereignty as He chooses but it is always within the parameters of who He is. God will never act outside of Himself. He never wakes up in a bad mood looking for someone to torment. God is good, just and fair.

Israel’s displacement from the promised land was a result of their rebellion and disobedience. This was not the result of a single act of rebellion but a continual and habitual rejection of God’s laws and His prophets.

God will give us every chance possible to repent before we reap the consequence of our actions.

God sent the prophets to warn the people that if they did not repent, these events would happen. God takes no pleasure in executing judgment over His people. He will give us every chance possible to repent before we reap the consequence of our actions.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Even during your darkest hour, God will turn the consequences of your actions into something that will bless us. This is an exclusive promise for people who are following God.

“I know the plans I have for you…” Jeremiah 29:11

The words “I know” mean;

  • God has not abandoned us.
  • He is in control.
  • He is navigating us through the season for good, not for evil.
  • These events did not catch Him by surprise.
  • His promises are still intact.

12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12, 13

The only way we find Him is with wholehearted pursuit.

In every season of life, our focus must remain on seeking God with all our heart. The only way we find Him is with wholehearted pursuit. Without a wholehearted approach, we will miss seeing God in our circumstances, blinded by our questions of why and pain. God is not hiding from us in the difficult times but is working out our circumstances to produce something good in our lives.

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