36 East Victoria St.
Santa Barbara





“Things happen for a reason.” So the saying goes. But do they really? And how can we be sure? Does God actually control the circumstances of our lives or do bad things just happen to us because we live in a sin cursed world? Come this week as we learn how God’s rule provides a pillow for the most aching head, a sedative for the most unsettled nerves, and the confidence we need that God’s promises will come true.




There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. …On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldings [as the doctrine of God’s Sovereignty].

—C.H. Spurgeon

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.

—Matthew 10:29

Whate’er my God ordains is right,
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken,
My Father’s care is round me there,
He holds me that I shall not fall,
And so to Him I leave it all.

—Samuel Rodigast




Isaiah 45:1–13

Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
   whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
   and to loose the belts of kings,
to open doors before him
   that gates may not be closed:
“I will go before you
   and level the exalted places,
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
   and cut through the bars of iron,
I will give you the treasures of darkness
   and the hoards in secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
   the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
For the sake of my servant Jacob,
   and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
   I name you, though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
   besides me there is no God;
   I equip you, though you do not know me,
that people may know, from the rising of the sun
   and from the west, that there is none besides me;
   I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness;
   I make well-being and create calamity;
   I am the Lord, who does all these things.

“Shower, O heavens, from above,
   and let the clouds rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
   let the earth cause them both to sprout;
   I the Lord have created it.

“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
   a pot among earthen pots!
Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
   or ‘Your work has no handles’?
Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
   or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”

Thus says the Lord,
   the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:
“Ask me of things to come;
   will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?
I made the earth
   and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
   and I commanded all their host.
I have stirred him up in righteousness,
   and I will make all his ways level;
he shall build my city
   and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,”
   says the Lord of hosts.


Isaiah 41:1–10

Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;
   let the peoples renew their strength;
let them approach, then let them speak;
   let us together draw near for judgment.

Who stirred up one from the east
   whom victory meets at every step?
He gives up nations before him,
   so that he tramples kings underfoot;
he makes them like dust with his sword,
   like driven stubble with his bow.
He pursues them and passes on safely,
   by paths his feet have not trod.
Who has performed and done this,
   calling the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord, the first,
   and with the last; I am he.

The coastlands have seen and are afraid;
   the ends of the earth tremble;
   they have drawn near and come.
Everyone helps his neighbor
   and says to his brother, “Be strong!”
The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith,
   and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil,
saying of the soldering, “It is good”;
   and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved.

But you, Israel, my servant,
   Jacob, whom I have chosen,
   the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
   and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant,
   I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
fear not, for I am with you;
   be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
   I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.




Sovereign Lord, you rule the nations,

But we live as though we are at the center of the universe.

Sovereign Lord, you ordain all things for your glory and our good,

But we seek to control our own lives and the lives of others.

Sovereign Lord, you have written all our days,

But we fret over the unknown.

Sovereign Lord, you rule with justice and mercy,

But we presume to be more just and merciful than you.

(silent confession)

Lord, forgive us for all the ways we think we can do your job better than you, and give us a humble confidence in your sovereign will. Amen.




God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

God of mercy! God of grace! Give us eyes to see!
Eyes to see Your smiling face within the mystery, within the mystery.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

God of mercy! God of grace! Give us eyes to see!
Eyes to see Your smiling face within the mystery, within the mystery.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

God of mercy! God of grace! Give us eyes to see!
Eyes to see Your smiling face within the mystery, within the mystery.