Roy Ingle, “Suffering and the Sovereignty of God”

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[This article has been edited and adapted for inclusion here. Here is a link to the original post and comments on Roy Ingle’s blog, Arminian Today. The story Roy shared in this post is from a number of years ago now, but it still seemed worth sharing for Roy’s reflections on what happened and the attitude he displayed at the time.]

Someone stole my bank card last night. By the time I knew it, the person (or persons) had charged over $1000 to my card and finished off the night we a meal at McDonald’s. After making all the necessary phone calls all morning, I finally had a moment to sit down and read my Bible and pray.

I prayed for three things. First, I thanked God that He is sovereignly in control. I can’t imagine how those who don’t believe in God’s sovereignty spend their lives without trusting in the sovereignty of God. Even when bad things happen, I trust in the sovereignty of God. I am grateful for Psalm 91 as I read today and meditated on the assurance that comes from resting in God’s sovereignty.

Secondly, I prayed for God to help us. We don’t have $1000 lying around to just give away. The bank assured me that the funds will be returned after the proper channels are taken. But it makes Christmas very hard for us. I once again rest in the sovereignty of God to provide for us. We are blessed with many Christians around us helping us when we need it such as now. God will provide and I trust Him through this financial crunch.

Third, I prayed for the person who did this. I want them to be held accountable for their actions so please don’t misunderstand me when I say that I prayed that if they needed what they purchased then show them that there are other ways to their needs. They spent over $400 at Wal-Mart and $250 each at three grocery stores before they had dinner on me. I prayed that God would bring them to repentance (Luke 13:5) and that they would be convicted by the Law of God of their sins (1 Timothy 1:8-10). I prayed for justice but also for divine mercy as they see their sins and their need for a Savior (1 Timothy 1:15).

This is the first time this has happened to me. Why share all this personal information with you? Because I want you to pray with me (and for me). I understand that we all face times when we feel so despondent and full of despair. I did this morning. But I also want you to know that we serve an awesome God. Jesus is the reason for my hope, my joy, my salvation, my acceptance, my eternal inheritance. Jesus is the focus of my life. My eyes are not on money but upon Him. Jesus will take care of us no matter what we might face.