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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

27 Nov '14

God is never surprised by our surprises

Posted by T.J. Addington in God's sovereignty
Perhaps the hardest moments of our lives come when we are surprised by events that rock our world: A medical diagnosis, the betrayal of a friend; losing our job or a loved one - whatever the cause the surprises are surprises of pain, uncertainty and often deep shock. It is in those moments that we need to remind ourselves that God is never surprised by our surprises, in fact He knew about them long before they become known to us. He is never taken by surprise and He also knows how He is going to redeem our situation for His eternal purposes.

Bad news that comes as a surprise is hard to cope with precisely because we have not had the time to come to terms with it - to process the news and its implications. It is precisely at those moments that we need to remember that God has had all of eternity past to know, understand and anticipate the moment when we face our greatest uncertainty. The certainty of His knowledge and goodness is a game changer in our uncertainty. 


His certainty is expressed well in Psalm 139:6 where the psalmist writes "all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Our surprises are never His surprises. In fact, if the events of our lives were written in his book before one of them came to be, the implication is that God's eternal purposes in our situations are sure and that what appears to be random events of fate to us is never so to God. For if He knew the events that would overwhelm us He also knew beforehand how He would show His goodness and His sovereignty in the midst of them. There is much we cannot be certain of in our lives but we can be certain of Him.


As I reflect back on the surprises I have encountered in my 58 years, I can see in retrospect much of how God used them to guide the journey I am on. Some of them were not pleasant and some not fair but what surprised me did not surprise Him and He redeemed those events for His purposes in my life in amazing ways. It is that fact that gives me perspective when the surprises come. 


Leaders need to understand this principle in their leadership role. Our lives are filled with surprises that we did not anticipate. Yet the confidence that God is not surprised ought to give us a settled heart as we deal with those surprises. God is not panicked and neither should we be.

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