By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
When our confidence is in the sovereignty of God, we will not panic when we face tough circumstances. But when we try to control our lives and manipulate events and people to our advantage, we will become frustrated and joyless.
Paul trusted the sovereign hand of God, and he learned to be content in the ups and in the downs, in the abundance and in the lack, in sickness and in health, in the courts of kings and in the dungeons and prisons. Paul recognized God as the source of his strength: "I can do all this through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).
Whatever God called Paul to do -- whether speaking with the powerful or the poor, whether preaching to thousands in a coliseum or to a lone Philippian jailer, whether speaking to King Agrippa or to a lowly soldier in Rome -- Paul knew that God would equip him for his tasks.
Paul's God-centered focus brought joy and contentment to his life. The psalmist declared, "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him" (Psalm 28:7).
God will also provide for us and strengthen us as we seek to follow Him in faithful obedience. "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Whatever needs we have -- salvation, comfort, encouragement -- Jesus can meet them. He can lift us above the hurts that others have caused. He can give us perseverance when we are in the middle of the valley. He will meet our needs in His perfect timing and in accordance with His glorious, inexhaustible riches.
Prayer: God, thank You for Your sovereignty. Help me to trust in You, knowing that You are more than able to see me through every trial I face. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle" (Psalm 140:7).