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Week 1: God Is in Control

Day 7: The Higher Good


“…if we were blind to the higher (and now obvious) good that Christ’s tortures served, then how much more might we be blind to the higher good served by the sundry other moral evils that vex us?”

Dr. James Spiegel (Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Taylor University)

Our Hope

Acts 2:22–23

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus,[a] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Acts 4:23-31

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,[a] said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
    and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers were gathered together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed’[b]

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Our Insight

How do we know—really know—that God is Sovereign, that He is in control? By His Word (Days 1-4), and by His actions (Days 5-7).

And no act of God more fully validates His Sovereignty than the life, death and resurrection of His Son. At the proper time (Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:10), in the promised way (Genesis 3:15), Jesus lived, suffered, died, was buried and rose again. In the mystery of God’s providence and man's responsibility, God’s purposes and plans came to pass. It can be no other way if God alone is sovereign—and He is.

Our Prayer

Following the model of the apostles and the early church, let’s allow their prayer in Acts 4 to guide us in our own. Make Acts 4:24-31 your own prayer. I will get you started, then you continue by adding your own words of confidence and trust that God is in control…

The Prayer of the Apostles: Acts 4:24-31 Making it My Own

24 “…Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?

26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,

28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place…’”

Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them…

You who spoke through your word and promised to send a savior, knowing that He would be despised of men, and rejected…You kept your promise.

When Jesus faced the most powerful people in the land—He remained in the Hands of the His all-powerful, almighty, only sovereign Father.

Nothing happened to Jesus that was outside of Your purpose and plan…

Our Gratitude

Before closing this devotion, take a moment and bring to mind one thing—at this moment—that you are thankful for. And thank God for it.