We often refer to God as being sovereign, but I’m not sure we really stop and think about what that means and how it effects us. To begin let’s look at a few of the ways Merriam-Webster defines the word “sovereign“: “having unlimited power or authority, not limited; having undisputed ascendancy(position of power); possessed of supreme power; unlimited in extent.” In other words, as a dear friend of mine used to say, “God is large and in charge!”
Now let’s connect this with the Hebrew word “emunah“ (H530), which is typically translated faith or faithful, but also as steadfastness. This definition however doesn’t capture the cultural understanding behind the word: emunah is the belief (faith) that because God is sovereign we can trust that we are safe in His steadfast hands. As such, when bad things happen, rather than rail against them, we choose to ask why we’re going through them and what we can learn – we choose to trust that beauty will come forth from ashes because that’s the character God we serve.
A vital part of walking in this form of emunah faith is knowing and having confidence in the character of God and His goodness. It’s incredibly difficult if not impossible to trust someone you believe is unkind or untrustworthy, so knowing the heart of God and having relationship with Him is a vital part to any true faith walk. But as you step into that kind of faith, there is such a sense of peace because you are releasing those burdens into God’s very capable hands. It allows you to be lightened of spirit and simply enjoy childlike faith because you trust your Papa God.
The beautiful thing is that as you walk in this emunah faith, your experiences begin to underscore your beliefs. As you see over time how God shows up again and again, or how He turns challenges into blessings, or even how He will take trauma and transmute it into beauty by empowering overcoming and then later bringing hope to others through the sharing that victory… all of this supports and strengthens our emunah faith conviction.
In closing, I’ll share this quote from Tzvi Freeman’s post “What Is Emunah? Beyond Belief,” “Emunah, however, is an innate conviction, a perception of truth that transcends, rather than evades, reason. Quite the contrary, wisdom, understanding and knowledge can further enhance true emunah.” So may you be steadfast in your faith and in your understanding of the character of God that you might rest in His capable hands and live in that place of peace.
- Ephesians 6:16 (KJV) Above all, taking the shield of faith…
- 1 Peter 5:7 (RSV) Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.