What is Sovereignty, Anyway?

I like old poetry and hymns and texts with ancient, mysterious words—as long as I know what those words mean. Knowing the meaning of old, complicated words makes them more beautiful. Here are a few examples of archaic yet lovely language:

 

From the hymn, “At the Cross,” by Isaac Watts:

 

Alas! and did my Savior bleed

and did my Sovereign die?

Would he devote that sacred head

for sinners such as I?

 

A few stanzas from the poem “Light Shining out of Darkness” by William Cowper:

 

God moves in a mysterious way,

His wonders to perform;

He plants his footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm.

 

Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never failing skill

He treasures up his bright designs,

And works his sovereign will.

 

Both of these texts contain one of those puzzling old words: sovereign. Both give some hints to its meaning.

 

This summer I’ve focused on what to do with feelings of disappointment over long-term singleness, a circumstance that sometimes feels like it just wasn’t meant to be. But now I want to turn my attention to the other side of the coin: God’s sovereign point of view.

 

We are good at viewing these circumstances from the earth side of heaven and can identify things that cause singleness or delay marriage. But how does God see things?

 

More practically, how does His view affect the way He acts?

 

The concept of sovereignty has been a challenging one for me to grasp since my college days, when I became convinced that sovereignty and God’s will were the same thing.  Recently, however, I’ve come to think otherwise, and that will be the subject of my blogs this fall.

 

In the meantime, what is your view of God’s sovereignty? How does it make a difference in your life?

 

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