We remember Cassinga, we remember! This is the old song that is commonly sang as we remember the prominent event in the history of Namibia. This event is known as the Casinga massacre that happened 44 years ago in the southern part of Angola. This world is broken as result of sin. The Cassinga massacre is an example of that. It is inevitable that it was a moment of great sadness and suffering, thus questioning Sovereignty of God. Therefore, what we need to remember today is the sovereignty of God in all events.
The sovereignty of God may be defined as the exercise of His supremacy. Being infinite elevate above the highest creatures, He is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; God does as He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases. None can thwart Him, none can hinder him (Pink, 1975).
How can we as Christian find comfort in the moment of suffering? In this brief reflection, I would like to propose that the truth of the sovereignty of God should bring comfort for Christians in times of suffering.
God is in control
The reality that we are not in control is something that we don’t like. Suffering is a great reminder that we are not in control. John frame’s definition of the sovereignty of God is much helpful towards this reality he said,” The sovereignty of God is the same as the lordship of God, for God is the sovereign over all of creation”. Nothing happens without his plan and his perfect will (Eph. 1:9-11). Even the most tragic events in the hands of Cruel man. He does all his pleases and all he that he does is perfect (Ps. 115:3, 135:6). As hard it is for our finite minds to fathom this precious doctrine. It should give us peace for God is for us and with us in the calamity (Rom. 8:31).
We are finite beings yet through Christ we are made children of this sovereign God (John 1:12). Our triune God is in control of all things. What a great blessing to be sons and daughters of the triune sovereign God. This should give us great hope in the times of suffering. Many are the times that we are overwhelmed by the hardship we face in our lives and we forget that we are Children of the sovereign Lord. In this fallen world, we will all face suffering of some sort. When our world comes crashing down, we must remember that our God is sovereign and trust in him.
Rather than being offended over the bible’s assertion of the sovereignty of God in good and in calamity, believers should be comforted by it. Whether our particular calamity or adversity may be, we may be sure that our father has a loving purpose in it. God’s plan and His ways of working out His plan are frequently beyond our ability to fathom and understand. We must learn to trust when we don’t understand (Bridge, 1990)
When there is an understanding that God is in control of the circumstances in your life, it should lead to the worship God.
Learning from the Psalmist:
In Psalm 121:1-2, the Psalmist is seeking for help and he turns to God who made heaven and earth. Yes, our God is Lord over creature. He is all powerful, is in control and he has authority over all. In Psalm 124: 8., 146: 5-6, we see the same idea being present that we can trust in our sovereign God because he is Lord over all creation. The psalmists understood the attributes of God and, that has helped them sing songs of praises to God even in the moments of Calamity. Oh! that we may learn from them. In the moments that we are overcome with suffering let us turn to the book of Psalm, in addition we must study the attribute of our sovereign Lord. The understanding of the sovereignty of God and his attribute is key when dealing with events in our lives, especially those that are beyond our understanding. When there is an understanding that God is in control of the circumstances in your life, it leads to trust in God. This precious doctrine of the sovereignty of God should result to trust and worship of God.
Find hope in our sovereign Lord.
What is the hope of this suffering world? The greatest hope of this suffering world is not in the absence of war. But it is the Gospel of Christ. If you read this article and you do not have hope in the person and the redemptive work of Christ, let Cassinga Day be to you a reminder of the sinfulness of the world we live in. This world will never offer you the perfect peace that our sovereign Lord offered in the suffering death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8-11; 2 Cor. 5:20; Col. 1:20).
Dear Christians, remember that our God is sovereign overall and our sufferings are under his perfect control and will. In the person and redemptive work of Christ, we have hope that the suffering of this world will one day be no more and we will be with our sovereign Lord in everlasting peace (Rev. 20:21).