“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet…” (Matthew 1:22)
As I read through the book of Matthew, I find myself pausing to smile at verses like the one above; there are many of them throughout the book. With each occurrence, I reflect upon God’s amazing sovereignty. For He truly is sovereign. Before the foundation of the world, God existed. He was, He is, and He always will be. Before He ever said, “Let there be light”; before He breathed life into man; before Adam and Eve chose to disobey; before Jesus came to die for our sins; before I was ever conceived; before it all–God knew it all. Before He spoke those first words of life, He knew everything–and I mean every thought, word, action that could and would happen. He knew. And He knows. He knows my every moment. He knows your every moment. And in His knowledge–in His sovereignty–He is weaving an amazing story. It is His story, yet it is ours as well.
Nothing surprises God. He knew Jesus would be born in a manger; He foretold it He knew Jesus would be called a Nazarene; He foretold it. He knew Jesus would be sinless and die on the cross; He foretold it. And in the same way He knew the life of Jesus, He knows my life. He knows your life. He knows what happened yesterday. He knows what happened today. He knows what will happen tomorrow. And He has a plan. Even those things which attempt to throw us down, to crush us, to make us lose faith–He knows, and He has a plan. God has a divine purpose for each of us. It may not make sense in the moment–like I doubt Mary and Joseph would have fully understood having to move around so much in the early years of Jesus–but it makes sense to the One who wrote the story, to the One who knows the beginning and the end. After all, He IS the beginning and the end.
Now I admit I–with my limited understanding–would not choose all the things that have happened, are happening now, or will happen in my life. I do not think Mary would have chosen a manger as a crib for her precious bundle of joy. I actually do not believe God in His sovereignty would have necessarily chosen everything for each of our lives either. God didn’t choose sin; He hates it. God didn’t choose sickness; He is the Healer. God didn’t choose death; He is the Resurrection and the Life. But He did choose us. He chose me. He chose you. He chose each of us before the foundation of the world. And He chose us knowing everything. Everything. The good. The bad. Everything. He also chose to work out all things for His purpose and according to His glory. He didn’t choose all the bad things which happen to us, but He did choose to use all of them to fulfill His purpose in our lives. He has a plan. He has a purpose for my life. He has a purpose for your life. And even if what we may be experiencing appears to be a mistake or an unbearable load, we must remember God is sovereign. God doesn’t cause the bad things to happen, for God is not the author of evil, but in His sovereignty He is more than able to use all of it–yes, all of it–“that it may be fulfilled” in my life. Each moment, each word, each thought so “that it may be fulfilled.”
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever… (Psalm 138:8)