We want to do right. We want to lead ourselves and others down the best path. But what about doubt? What do we do when our decisions don’t result in what we expect?
Sovereignty just might offer a solution.
Sometimes, we get confused about sovereignty or are uncertain of what it practically means for our lives. Looking closer, we might find way more than we expected.
In his Bible study Pathways, partially excerpted below, Dr. Tony Evans unpacks this powerful truth.
The Security of Sovereignty: Worried You’re Not on the Right Path?
Have you ever felt that you were on the wrong path? Have you ever surveyed the circumstances of your life and been unable to find God in them? This may seem like an odd way to begin a Bible study, but taking a moment to consider these questions will help you begin your study of Pathways.
In reading Esther,, you’ll undoubtedly notice that God seems conspicuously absent. While the king of Persia is mentioned 190 times, the name of God never appears. The further you venture in the book, the more the circumstances will seem to be stacked against Esther. Yet when it seems as though Esther is on the wrong path, the invisible hand of God is always at work. The story of Esther urges us to trust God even when we’re worried that we’re not on the right path.
How do you respond when you feel that your life isn’t going the way you hoped or planned?
Even though this is a common struggle, why is it such a difficult struggle?
If we were honest, we’d admit that we’ve all struggled with questions and doubts, wondering why God has taken us where He has or allowed us to face what we were facing. It’s human to feel these emotions. It’s human to lose hope. You don’t need to pretend that you’re superspiritual. God has seen discouragement and doubt before. He knows our frame. He knows we’re modified dust (Ps. 103:14).
In those times we just want God to show up to let us know He’s still there. We reach for Him, but like the wind, He escapes our grasp. His invisible hand eludes us, while His words urge us to keep walking the path He has called us to take.
But do we take the next step? Do we walk in faith? Are we able to believe the words spoken through the prophet Isaiah?
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, you Savior (Isaiah 43: 1-3, NIV).
A prophet may not show up at our door with a message from the Lord, but God has left us a witness in His Word. So how does God’s Word address our emotions and questions when we face loss and doubt? God is able to secure the promises delivered to Isaiah and to us because of who He is. To better understand what God does, we first need to consider who God is. At this point we need to introduce a theological idea that will be considered over and over again throughout this study—providence
And this is just the beginning. Diving deeper, this resource can help you discover the power of God’s providence in the midst of your personal pain, fear, gain, loss, and love. You’ll see that God has a purpose for your life, and He uses every action and event that occurs in it to make that purpose a reality. Find out more here.