Jun 09 2017

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God’s sovereignty in grief

Today’s word for Five Minute Friday is expect. This month, I’m putting my Friday focus on God’s sovereignty with a verse, a song, and a prayer. Before I saw the word, God drew my heart toward God’s sovereignty in grief. Here are my thoughts in five minutes followed with a verse, a song, and a prayer.

God’s sovereignty in grief

God’s sovereignty in grief


We wake up in the morning ready for good. We hope for it and pray with expectation. We like our world to run smoothly, with everything coming to us easily. Most days, it’s what we expect. Often, we get an abundance of good—much of which passes us unnoticed.

We sit in church clapping at the stories of miraculous healing, money coming in at the last moment, or a lost job turning into an unimaginably better job. We praise and shout and clap. This is the answer to our prayers. But what about the days when the healing doesn’t come, the money doesn’t make it, and the job is not better? People console us with “God’s got this.” It comes out of their mouths so easily. They’re not thinking about God’s true sovereignty. They’re focused on blessings of abundant provision with health, wealth, and job satisfaction. Where is “God’s got this” at the funeral or filling for bankruptcy, or at a job that pays less and sucks away at the soul?


We question God’s sovereignty in grief

Did God not have it in his hands when the story turns to loss and grief? We love the God who gives, but our hearts break at the times he takes away. “Praise the name of the Lord” is hard in a pile of tears. Job said these words after he heard “all your children are dead.” In grief, Job leaned into God’s sovereignty.

Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said,

“I came naked from my mother’s womb,

and I will be naked when I leave.

The LORD gave me what I had,

and the LORD has taken it away.

Praise the name of the LORD!”

Job 1:20-21 

Job didn’t know it would get worse. “God’s got this” abundance didn’t come until after more suffering and a bigger lesson in God’s sovereignty. In no place in the story does God explain himself. In no way does God guarantee an “even more than” blessing here on earth simply because we go through hardship. Instead, God proclaims his omniscience (he knows everything) and his sovereignty (he’s in control).

How can we rest in God’s sovereignty?

We know God isn’t missing the important details. In fact, he knows the details we don’t know. He has accurate records of the past, present, and future. Paired with his sovereignty, we know everything will be working for God’s perfect good.

When life hurts, “God’s perfect good” stings my heart. But, those very words press me toward eternity. It hurts now, but in eternity God’s perfect good will prevail. In the meantime, I ask for God’s wisdom and comfort. He gives those gifts freely and abundantly in my right-here-right-now pain.

Active Rest

Rest in this context is active. Resting in God’s sovereignty exercises faith muscles. In our pain, God grows us to become who he’s designed us to be—yes, that’s part of the “perfect good” he’s working.

“Praise the name of the LORD” came in tears and a broken heart, but those words sustained Job. We can expect hardship in this life, but we can expect God’s presence as we draw ourselves to him.

A praise song in grief

Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns grew from the faith of a little girl, Erin, dying of cancer. Read about it here or watch as he tells her story:

Praise You in This Storm

From Prayer to Grief to Prayer to Worship

If you’re grieving, the journey to worship is taken one step at a time reaching out to the Father. I know someone who is headed to a funeral. Someone who is facing bankruptcy. Someone who is in a soul-sucking job. My tears and prayers for them are real, and this is my prayer:

Father God,

I don’t understand, and my heart aches. It all feels wrong, wrong, wrong. Death and loss, they fill my heart with grief, and the “better than” blessings feel so far away. Yet I know you are sovereign. You are good. You know all the details, and you alone know how you plan on working your perfect good. I ask for your wisdom and comfort to my friends that grieve.

In Jesus Name, the One who knows our pain,


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Permanent link to this article: http://realinginlife.com/gods-sovereignty-grief/



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  1. Joe Siccardi

    Visiting as your FMF neighbor. Very, very insightful. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Cheryl

      Thanks for visiting.

  2. Donna

    Love your words – Rest in this context is active. Resting in God’s sovereignty exercises faith muscles. In our pain, God grows us to become who he’s designed us to be—yes, that’s part of the “perfect good” he’s working.

    God is GOOD even when it’s hard.

    1. Cheryl

      Yes. God is good all the time. It’s difficult to see it in pain, but it doesn’t change what’s true.

  3. Sara

    God has really led me to posts today that have helped my heart. That casting crowns song has got me through so many dark days whrn grief almost consumed me.

    1. Cheryl

      I’m so glad. Reading the story behind the song made the song that much more powerful to me. May your heart continue to be led by God and be filled with exactly what you need.

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