“Trusting God, His Hand in Our World”, from Jerry Bridges, author of ‘Trusting God, even when life hurts’.

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From, “Trusting God, even when life hurts” by Jerry Bridges

First, God in His Sovereignty has established government for the good of all people-believer and unbeliever. Paul said, “There is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God….For (the ruler) is God’s servant to do you good.” (Romans 13:1-4) Admittedly the statement, “the ruler is God’s servant to do good,” seems difficult to accept when we see some of our brothers and sisters in Christ persecuted and perhaps killed because of their Christian commitment.

We should remember that God in His infinite wisdom and sovereignty and for reasons known only to Himself, allows rulers to act contrary to His revealed will. But the evil actions of those rulers against God’s children are never beyond the bounds of His sovereign will.

And we should remember that God works history from an eternal perspective, whereas we tend to view the outworking of history from a temporal perspective.

John Newton (1724-1807), converted slave trader, Anglican minister, and author of the familiar hymn “Amazing Grace,” wrote:

The kings of the earth are continually disturbing the world with their schemes of ambition. They expect to carry everything before them, and have seldom any higher end in view, than the gratification of their own passions. But in all, they do they are but servants of this great King and Lord, and fulfill his purposes, as the instruments he employs to inflict prescribes punishment and transgressors against him, or to open a way for the spread of the Gospel….They had one thing in view, he had another.

From “Trusting God, even when life hurts” by Jerry Bridges (page 79-80):

Although we may not perceive the hand of God in the affairs of nations as we view them today, His rule is no less sovereign today than it was in the days of the prophets or the apostles. Professor Berkouwer (The Providence of God, pages 91-91) is again helpful:

This does not mean that the work of God is always evident in the interlacing of Divine and human activity….Yet it is striking to observe how often the purpose of God is reached without radical intervention. On the surface, there may be nothing to see except human activity creating and defining history on a horizontal level.

It is only in the biblical revelation that we see the hand of God ruling over and guiding the activities of the nations and the effects of those activities on His people…

…God recorded in His Word specific instances of His sovereign rule over history in order that we might trust Him in the affairs of history as they unfold before us today. We should remember that, for those experiencing the events recorded in the biblical narratives, God’s hand was no more apparent to them in those events than His hand is apparent to us today in ours.

Source: © 1988 Jerry Bridges, Trusting God, Even When Life Hurts

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