Psalm 115:3 is one of my favorite verses; it says: “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” The context of this statement is the question of :2, “Why should the nations say, ‘Where now, is their God?'” There WILL be times when people who do not know the Lord will question, observing our circumstances, “Where is their God?” “Why doesn’t his God heal him?” “Why doesn’t her God answer her?” — and so on in a multitude of cases. But our solace, our answer, is to be found in God’s sovereignty: “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” God has His own reasons for what He does or does not do. We are to trust Him. When the puzzles of life confound us, we are to trust in His sovereignty.
We may think that God should do a certain thing, that it would glorify Him – but whether He does or not, is up to Him. “He does whatever He pleases.” He is absolutely sovereign.
However, God’s is not a cold, arbitrary sovereignty. We can also balance our belief in God’s sovereignty with other things we know from scripture. His sovereignty is balanced (or perhaps a better word is “defined”) with a number of His other qualities we find in the scriptures:
— Wisdom. God is absolutely wise; what He chooses to do is best and most wise – whether we understand it at the time or not. As Isaiah 55:8-9 teaches us, His thoughts and ways are higher than ours.
— Goodness. God is perfectly good. “For the LORD is good.” (Psalm 100:5) He does not just arbitrarily choose “whatever He pleases”; He chooses what is good – the absolute best good. We may have a short-term “good” in mind, but His good is far better; it is what is absolutely best.
— Kingdom purpose. And the “good” that He is working towards is not just our own personal well-being and “happiness”, but what is wisest and best for the eternal purposes of His kingdom. Some particular thing may be “good” for us, but not as good for others, and for His kingdom for eternity. On the other hand, something may be harmful or “bad” for us in the short-term, or even over the course of our lifetime, but yet produce things, or lead to things, that will bless others, and further His kingdom and His eternal plan. To keep our outlook (and perhaps sometimes even our sanity?!) we must try to keep an eternal, kingdom perspective on things – and trust God’s sovereignty. He does whatever He pleases – and whatever He pleases is what is wisest and best for His eternal kingdom purposes.