If God is Sovereign, Every Situation is Both Preparation and Fulfillment

God’s sovereignty is a comforting thing, especially if you find yourself in a life circumstance that doesn’t seem to make sense. This is not a scenario of sin; it’s not a circumstance that came as a result of bad or unwise choices; it’s just a season that you have “fallen into”, in a sense, and you wonder how you got there.

Perhaps it’s a time when you are in a job you don’t enjoy or you don’t feel like makes the most of your abilities. Or maybe it’s a time when you had to move into some kind of temporary housing because the house you were trying to buy fell through. Or maybe it’s a time when you moved to a new place with great hopes and you haven’t been able to make good friends. These are tough times, and in some ways, times like these can feel like a step in the wrong direction. That is, you were at one point in your life, and then things went backward despite your best intentions and attempts to follow the Lord’s will.

These are moments when it’s good to remember that:

A king’s heart is like channeled water in the Lord’s hand:
He directs it wherever he chooses (Prov. 21:1).


{God} changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him (Dan. 2:21-22).

Even when it seems like you have taken a step backward in life, God is sovereign. And if God is sovereign, then that tough situation is two things:

It is preparation, and it is fulfillment.

Let’s think about it in terms of a simple example – a living situation. In most of our minds, there is a logical progression in housing. We start out living at home. Then we move into a dorm. Then comes the apartment. Then comes the starter home. Then comes the bigger home. Then the last home, eventually paid off, and happily ever after. That is our paradigm, and it works not just with houses, but with careers, budget, and overall life situation. Each lesser situation prepares us for the greater situation, and that fits, because the greater situation always means more. More money, more space, more responsibility. It’s an upward trajectory, at least from an earthly perspective.

And when that progression is broken in some way, it can be very discouraging. It can seem like your past experiences have been wasted; that you are starting over at the beginning. You find yourself wondering what happened; what you did wrong; why you should be “here”, when based on that trajectory, you should be “there.”

But here’s the thing…

Who can know the mind of the Lord? His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. We must be careful, then, not to impose our own sense of logic and timing on our circumstances. Because what we perceive to be a step back is still a step forward – one that, even if it might seem to be “lesser” in some way – God has been preparing us for.

This is the chain from God’s perspective – it’s not the same upward trajectory we assume to be true. It’s that even when we seem to be stepping backward, we are still living in the fulfillment of what God has been doing in our lives. That step backward, in other words, is exactly what God has been preparing us for.

And it doesn’t stop there. That step backward is simultaneously the fulfillment of what God has been preparing us for, and still the preparation for what comes next. That is true if God is sovereign.

If you find yourself living in one of these tough spots right now, be it in your career, living arrangement, relationship status, or whatever – be encouraged. You are where God desires you to be. You are living in what He has prepared you for, even as He is preparing you for what’s next.

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