Sovereignty and Providence part 3: Tragedy to Triumph

Posted: December 7, 2011 in mens group OCT-DEC2011, Sovereignty

I believe I will start every week by restating these facts about God.

What are the ingredients of sovereignty?
1.1 Ownership
1.2 Authorship
1.3 Control

What is the providence of God?
God’s execution of His plan in your life and in the entire universe!

Sovereignty and providence… if you believe these facts about God, you should sleep well at night.

God is in control of everything.

He’s in control of where you live, where you work, who you marry ext.

For example, Martin Luther, the famous reformist who stood for truth when the church was extremely religious and corrupt, often battled depression.

If you do not know about the reformers, here’s a brief background from Wikipedia… (I mean you can trust those guys right?)

The Reformation began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church, by priests who opposed what they perceived as false doctrines and ecclesiastic malpractice—especially the teaching and the sale of indulgences or the abuses thereof, and simony, the selling and buying of clerical offices—that the reformers saw as evidence of the systemic corruption of the Church’s Roman hierarchy, which included the Pope. Both issues were dealt with in an altogether different manner by the Roman Catholic Church during the Counter-Reformation.
Martin Luther’s spiritual predecessors included John Wycliffe and Jan Hus, who likewise had attempted to reform the Roman Catholic Church. The Protestant Reformation began on 31 October 1517, in Wittenberg, Saxony, where Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences to the door of the Castle Church, in Wittenberg.[4] The theses debated and criticized the Church and the Pope, but concentrated upon the selling of indulgences and doctrinal policies about purgatory, particular judgment, Catholic devotion to Mary, Jesus’s Mother, the intercession of and devotion to the saints, most of the sacraments, the mandatory clerical celibacy, including monasticism, and the authority of the Pope.

In short, the church was unbiblical, showing partiality and selling the rights to enter Heaven, holding certain members and dead saints as divine (Mary, the Pope, ext.), teaching about purgatory (which is nowhere in the Bible), and so on. They were corrupt, and something needed to be done.

Luther didn’t exactly pick up the torch; he helped make the torch, others picked it up after him.

Anyways, getting back to his depression.

I can see him being depressed, I mean he was one of the very few people who actually cared what the Bible said, and he was being attacked from every angle by the church.

One day while he was losing this battle against the church, he locked himself in his room for days on end. He would come out and eat and then go right back to his books.

His wife Katie decided she was going to say something in a very bold fashion. She got dressed in all black and walked into Luther’s study.

Luther asked her, “are you going to a funeral?”
Her reply, “no, but since you are acting like God is dead, I thought I would come in and mourn with you.”

God knows you.
He knows who you should marry.
He knows who to use to get you back on the horse.

For the past few years I have been dealing with a small case of PTSD in my own life. After the war, I thought I was going home to life as usual, but things had changed.

Off and on I had nightmares, I would fight fits of rage, strange bursts of feeling helpless, guilt because I survived and some of my friends did not… and so on.

But… God knew that I would feel that way, so he sent me a helper, Crystal.

She’s always there to tell me I’m freaking out over nothing, or to calm me down.
She knows that I take many things to seriously and she keeps me even.

I think God for her all the time, because if I had married a woman who is as serious as I am all the time, I would be in a lot of trouble!

God knew who to place in Luther’s life, He knew one day she would do this act.

She helped him stay focused on the prize.

Soon after (or maybe before), Luther would do something that would make him a marked man. In 1517 he refused to change his position on the teachings of the church. He was given 24 hours to repent, and after the 24 hours this is what he said:
“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me.”

This is NOT what the Roman Catholic Church wanted to hear, so they escorted him out of the building. Luther was ordered to return in three weeks, where he was sure he would be hanged or burned to death.

Luther was heard saying, “I am finished.”

On his way home, his wagon came under attack.
Luther managed to grab his Greek New Testament, and his Hebrew Bible.
He thought he had three weeks; now his time was up early.

However, his kidnapper was his friend the elector of Saxony, Fredrick the Wise. He took Luther to his castle to save his life. Luther was forced to stay at the castle and renamed Knight George. He was depressed because he missed his students and friends, but then he got an idea. Why not translate the Bible into German so the common people could read it!

So he did (translate the bible into German) and to this day the Luther translation is used as the standard German Bible.

Avoiding a horrible death, Luther changed Europe forever giving them the living word in their own common tongue.

This is the providence of God!
When we thing life is over, its just starting.
When we feel like our circumstances have us captive, we can overcome them by the blood of Jesus.

Psalm 139:1-6
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

He knows you all to well, and if you let Him be Lord over your circumstances, eventually you will like the desired outcome, in this life or the next.

Remember,
#1 God Works strangely
#2 God works slowly

God Bless,
Dan Fogarty.

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