What would it be like if God were only good but not sovereign? If God were not sovereign then His desire to express goodness would only be mere sentimentality. There would be many times when God wanted to express His goodness but he would be unable to do so because He lacked the ability to do it. What if God were only sovereign and not good? If God were only sovereign and not good then it would be like having a tyrant rule over you who gives no thought or desire for your well being. Thankfully, God is both sovereign and good. These truths are part of the foundation for understanding who God is. Recently as I was reading through the opening chapters of Genesis I was reminded of how clear these truths are expressed. From the very first chapter of the Bible it is assumed that God is and that He has no rivals: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." It is also clear that God is good. This is the point of the continued refrain in chapter 1 of the phrase "And God saw that it was good." If an artist praises his work what is he really doing? Ultimately he is praising himself because he is the one who has created the artwork. This is what is taking place in Genesis 1. Each of the refrains "and God saw that is was good" should be understood to be emphasizing the goodness of God.
So what do these two truths have to do with the above picture? Well, about three weeks ago I had my car stolen. It was eventually found but not until the thieves had managed to completely ruin the car. In addition to losing the car my wallet was in the glove compartment. The thieves used the credit card to purchase several hundred dollars worth of goods. Needless to say this has been a small trial in my life. In the midst of this trial two of the most encouraging things to me have been the twin truths that God is both completely sovereign and completely good. This is what the wonderful promise in Romans 8:28 is all about. There is absolutely nothing that is beyond God's control. There is absolutely nothing that comes into my life that is beyond God's plan. God causes all things to work together for good for those who love him and are called according to His purpose.
Who is it who is control of all things? God. What does He do with every event for a believer? He works them together for good. Nothing that comes into my life is anything except a gracious gift from the hand of my Father! Because my Father is sovereign over all things I need never worry that something is happening to me merely because of an evil decision of man. God is sovereign even over the evil choices of people. God is sovereign over stolen cars and stolen wallets. Because God is good and because God is sovereign I can take great comfort in the midst of this small trial.