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Day 4 | If God Is Sovereign, Then Why Is the World So Messed Up?

Written by Charlie Boyd

If God is a good God and a powerful God, then why is the world so messed up? Why all the violence? Why all the suffering? Why all the war? Why all the injustice? Why has this terrible thing happened to me? Why does she have to suffer like this? Why this, why now? When it comes to understanding who God is and what God is up to in the world—when it comes to trusting God with our lives—our “why” questions are the most profound and practical questions we wrestle with. How you deal with your “why” questions will shape how you interpret your world—it will direct the way you live, and determine the condition of your heart—whether you live in hope and peace or in misery and turmoil. The answer is found in an attribute of God that’s somewhat hard to understand. The Scriptures teach that God is sovereign. What does “sovereignty” mean?

READ Isaiah 6

When we encounter hardship, trouble, tragedy, pain, and suffering in our lives or in the lives of the people we love it can call our core beliefs about God into question, right? We go into our “why”-questioning- default mode. Why did God allow this? Why didn’t He keep this from happening to me or to him or to her? Why this? Why now? When Uzziah, King of Judah died, it seemed to many that the world was falling apart. The Assyrian army was on the march. God was saying judgment was coming to both Israel and Judah. In Isaiah 6, the prophet sees, not only the holiness of God, (we talked about that last week), but he also saw God, high and lifted up, seated on His throne in heaven. He says, “My eyes have seen the King!”—the true King. In other words, God is still on the throne. He is still in control. He is still moving all of human history toward his predetermined end. And seeing that, Isaiah was ready to serve God in spite of being given a very disturbing and disheartening ministry—a ministry that would last until Israel and Judah were totally wiped out and taken into exile.

Read Isaiah 40

So, how do you reconcile God’s power and goodness with the fact that your world sometimes seems out of control? Or the fact that, when “bad” things happen to you, it sometimes seems like God doesn’t care about you? What do we do with all the “why” questions that wreak havoc on our minds and hearts and faith?

  • Decide once and for all that, by God’s grace and with his Spirit’s help, to pray before asking God “why” again.
  • Submit your “why” questions to God by submitting yourself to God.
  • Take your “why” questions to the Cross and leave them there.