God’s Sovereignty and Adversity

Adversity is a given through the course of life, and the American culture is steeped in a deep individualistic mindset that meets challenges and overcomes adversity (Bennis, 1999, p. 72) Though this mindset is highly valued there is a growing disconnect from relying on God and allowing him to move in the lives of Americans. Scripture shows that God’s interaction with mankind can assist in navigation of adversity.

One way to overcome adversity is through reliance on God and his ultimate sovereign will. This simple, though impactful, shift in perspective can be vital to overcoming adversity or giving into the despair of it. One circumstance I have seen is a friend of mine got through adversity on levels that most can only imagine. He has been electrocuted, lost three children in late stage pregnancies, been run over by a car from behind, and finally was diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the brain that threatens his eyesight as well as his life. Most would be overcome with despair and worry about the future, but he chose to take things one day at a time, try to be optimistic, and appreciate what God has given him. God saved him in a mighty way, continues to use him in mighty ways, and so his perspective is that God is sovereign, and he can face adversity trusting in God’s sovereignty.

The sacred texture of socio-rhetorical criticism reveals the divine interactions with humanity (Robbins, 1996, p. 130). Such an analysis of Luke 22:39-46 shows Jesus facing his betrayal, torture, and death but relying on the sovereignty of God the Father. It is apparent that Jesus desires to not go through the next eighteen hours he is going to face, but his prayer to God reveals his trust and reliance.


Bennis, W. (1999). The End of Leadership: Exemplary Leadership Is Impossible Without Full Inclusion, Initiatives, and Cooperation of Followers. Organizational Dynamics, 28(1), 71–79.

Robbins, V. K. (1996). Exploring the texture of texts: a guide to socio-rhetorical interpretation. Valley Forge, Pa: Trinity Press International.

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