“You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought
to be like the clay!” Isaiah 29:16
God’s sovereignty is so complete that he exercises ultimate control even over painful and unjust events (Exod. 4:10-12; Job 1:6-12; 42:11; Ps. 71:20-22; Isa. 45:5-7; Lam. 3:37-38; Amos 3:6; I Peter 3:17). This is difficult for us to understand and accept, because we tend to judge God’s actions according to our notions of what is right. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we say to ourselves, “If I were God and could control everything in the world, I wouldn’t allow someone to suffer this way.” Such thoughts show how little we understand and respect God.Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 61
Food for Thought
In seeking to follow God’s will, are you open to His won’t?
There have been countless sermons preached and numerous books written concerning God’s will. But have you ever heard someone talk about God’s won’t? How many times have you asked, sought and knocked, only to hear God say, “No.”? We often find ourselves in painful and unjust events; we discover thorns in our flesh or hear peace proclaimed where there is no peace. And we cry out, “Save us! Take it away! Roll down your justice, O Lord!” We might ask three times or maybe even keep at it for three years. But the answer from heaven appears to be, “I won’t.”
As Ken points out, this is difficult for us to understand and accept. We’re convinced that God should do this or should intervene there. And when it appears that he won’t, we question his control. Or his love. Or both. And it’s not that the questioning is wrong, per se, but that the questioning frequently gets “ment-ed” — filled with judgment or resentment toward God. However, “such thoughts show how little we understand and respect God.” We turn things upside down and seek to understand them based on what little we really know or see. We have to remember that we are the clay, not the potter. There is a God and we’re not him. The life of faith is allowing our lives to be lived God-side-up, obediently trusting his infinitely, tender hand to mold and shape us according to his good will. And that includes his good won’t.