God's Sovereign Power
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead demonstrates His sovereign power over all human history, even the death of our children.
You might be tempted to believe that God was powerless to stop the death of your child. For many parents, securing the physical and emotional well-being of their children is the ultimate objective of life. If we attribute the very same priority to God, then because there is nothing that we could think of that would justify death, we would be left with the conclusion that God was not powerful enough to stop our child’s death. Under this mode of thinking, God is on the same side of the “grief ledger,” so to speak, and grieves along with us. We need not ask tough questions of God at all, because God was not powerful enough to assist us with avoiding our child’s death.
If life were lived outside the control of an all-powerful (“sovereign”) God who controls and directs everything in our lives, then the logical course of action would be to not only physically bury your dead child, but also to take whatever means necessary to mentally bury the memory of your child as well. The pain associated with grieving after your child would be so great that the best course of action would be to bury all of our memories in a black blanket of repression, and to pretend, against all reason, that one’s now-deceased child never existed. One would need to reject, as a mistake, any fleeting thoughts of the child.
But we need not live in a black blanket of memory repression because the Bible clearly promises that God is sovereign and, in his sovereignty, accomplishing His purposes for us and our children. According to the Bible, God will always accomplish the purposes he sets out to do. “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do will that I please…What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.” Isaiah 46:9-11.
The Bible assures us that His purposes will be accomplished, whether through God times or bad. Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 says, "Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other." Nothing is outside of God’s control, even the exact length of our child’s lifetime. King David wrote that, “in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:16. God has purposed some of us to live 100 seconds on this earth; for others, He purposes a life of 100 years. The exact length of our earthly lifetime was set by God even before we were born.
Rather than being thwarted by evil and death, God uses it to accomplish greater purposes. Again and again throughout Biblical history, we see God exercising sovereign power for His great glory. In the book of Genesis, we read that Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery out of jealousy. Joseph endured numerous and significant sufferings before, miraculously, becoming the Egyptian Pharaoh’s second-in-command. Later, when Joseph’s family was suffering through a great famine, they came to Egypt. There, because God in his sovereignty had placed Joseph in a position of high authority, he was able to save his own family. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph tells his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Even in the most heinous crimes, the most terrible of circumstances, God is there, using these circumstances for his purposes. The greatest of all human crimes was the betrayal, accusation, condemnation, torture and execution of Jesus. Only through this of all crimes was God’s greatest possible good accomplished, for in suffering as He did for us, Jesus redeemed the otherwise irredeemable. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” 1 Peter 3:18.
When Jesus rose from the dead, God demonstrated His ultimate sovereign power over death. Death is no longer an insurmountable force, for God has demonstrated that his power is superior. Rather than living in despair, the resurrection of Jesus allows us to live in peace, trusting that God can accomplish all his objectives for us and our deceased child. If Jesus can raise Himself from the dead, does He not also hold the keys to life and death for your child? Based upon God’s demonstrated ability to use suffering for our ultimate good, we have the assurance that God will use all of our sufferings, most especially the grief of our infant or young child, in a manner to accomplish purposes far exceeding our grandest expectations.
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Eternal Purposes In Suffering