“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Friday, March 05, 2021

Disability and the sovereignty of God

 I recently had the opportunity to do a sermon at my church. My topic was God's sovereignty, particularly in the context of disability.  I talked about how we support or "carry" others for whom the sovereignty of God is difficult, and also how to respond when it is difficult for us our selves. 

Should you be interested in watching the sermon, here is the link.

Responding to God's Sovereignty



Anonymous said...

This sermon was a huge push for the Christian community to take part in the other’s suffering, even when we may not be experiencing suffering! What a great encouragement to hear as a fellow believer. Christ was an example of obedience through suffering, whether the suffering be a disability or any circumstance that causes suffering. Christ suffered yet still was obedient to the will of his Father. Through his suffering, Christians can have confidence that God has a plan for suffering, even if that plan cannot be seen in the moment. Christ’s suffering brought about the pinnacle of hope for all believers: salvation from our sinfulness and communion with the Holy God. Christians can offer this same hope to all those who are suffering, not only at the moment of conversion, but in the moments when a heart is growing weary from the effects of suffering.

The fact remains that hard moments in life happen, whether it be to us or to those we love. I think we can take a page from Jeff’s book and remember to have compassion and patience for those who are disheartened in their suffering, knowing that even the strongest of people have moments of doubt and fear. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 states: “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” In this passage, Paul acknowledges that there are those who will be disheartened and weak. His response, through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, is to come alongside such people. How do we do this? We “rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) Rejoice because God is in control. Pray because we can endure only by His strength. Give thanks in ALL circumstances because God’s power is perfected in our weakness (2 Corinthians 9-10). We do all of these things because this is God’s SOVEREIGN will for us in Christ Jesus.

Such wonderful encouragements were offered in this sermon. Thank you for butt kicker, Jeff!

Unknown said...

Hi Dr. McNair,

I loved your sermon and your emphasis how we can help those who are experiencing suffering. The Lord of the rings analogy you used, talking about how even though Sam could not carry the ring, he could carry Frodo and he goes on to carry him up the mountain. Even though it would’ve been easier for him the carry the ring, it was physically impossible. Many times we find ourselves wanting to take away the pain and the struggles others face, but it is physically impossible. Our job as outsiders, is to walk alongside them, be there for them, and carry them if they need us to.

When we experience suffering ourselves, it is important to remember that if it is God’s will, it has a purpose. This does not mean it would be hard, or it won’t be challenging, it means that even though we may not see the good, God ultimately has a plan. Jesus prays in the garden before he is crucified and he cries out, “not my will be done, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). We we are strong, we tend to lean on ourselves, but when we are weak, we are forced to lean on God. God’s power is not made perfect in strength, it is made perfect in weakness. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

-Helena Frederick

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this sermon. I think Proverbs 3:5 was a wonderful verse to remind us of God's love no matter what we may be going through. You were spot on with saying that we do put a lot of faith into the Lord and if we can trust him for the bigger things in life, we should surely be able to trust him with our daily lives and interactions as well. Sometimes as Christians when times get hard, it's easy to be frustrated with God and we begin to ask Him why He would let certain things happen. I know I was personally upset when my grandmother fell ill. She was an educator and made such a difference in this world and watching her be paralyzed for the last five years of her life angered me and made me question why God would allow something like that to happen to such a wonderful person. During this time it became crucial for me to lean into the Lord and not try to make sense of this myself. That was definitely a time when I felt like my faith was shaky, but I knew there was a reason for everything, even if I could not see it.

I also really enjoyed how you tied in carrying others through their hard times. I know I leaned heavily on family and friends when my grandmother passed. To me, being a good Christian means looking out for those who need to be looked out for. In difficult times, we cannot see what is happened, but having people with us on the journey of the unknown is crucial. By praying, suffering with others, and helping others to hold on to their faith, we can help others by being the type of believers we are called to be.