Isaiah 44:8 “Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.”
The faith which comes from God, granted by Him, will be discerned as a trust and belief in His sovereignty as the Great I Am, the Ancient of Days, the Almighty God who is Lord and King over all.
If you have come out of a world religious system, this understanding will be a bit more difficult to grasp. If all your life you viewed God by your terms, or a way humans think, you most likely have a distorted view of His sovereignty. What I usually see in this, as I had done as a Roman Catholic for 43 years, is to give God certain NON-negotiable terms in order for you to believe in Him.
Example would be Catholics giving a term that Jesus MUST give up His authority to Peter and to his earthly successors of which they deem, and call “pope”. Before God can be real and believed in this presuppositional view, Peter must be granted full authority over Christ’s church and pass it down to supposed successors. If the term is not met, the Catholic’s faith that there is a God is in jeopardy.
Another example from a Catholic view is the term that Mary is queen of heaven, mother of the church, and by whom all graces flow through. Her righteousness must be granted to souls in purgatory as well for less time and punishment. Mary must be given this elevated idolatrous status in a Catholic’s view, or God cannot be God to them.
The fact is Catholics and many others will try to say they believe in God’s sovereignty, but it comes with humanistic terms, thus it is really UNBELIEF in His sovereignty. God cannot rule the universe without these terms first being met. I have heard from others for example when teaching on God’s sovereignty, “He is a monster”, “we are not robots”, etc. Why? Because in the Scriptural view, God is NOT meeting their terms on justice. Sin? Well, God must overlook lesser sins and give everyone an equal chance, or He cannot be My Lord is the sentiment, when in fact God does not owe humankind one thing.
The charge I have heard in the past is that God is not the author of sin. This is true! But sin does not dominate Him, it does not control God, nor does Satan and his demons. Nothing in this universe can move a muscle outside of God’s control. The tiniest atom is under His control, He is not guessing, reacting, changing, and trying to figure things out on the run as heretic open theists would teach. By His omniscience and foreknowledge, He knows the why and how and when according to the decree/allowance He has made but everything happens according to His will and purpose.
When you get to this level of belief in God’s sovereignty, you then will realize the FULL REST He offers. Our limited finite brains will never contemplate all the workings of God, so stop trying, and start believing in Him! Believe that in the good, bad, indifferent, it will be to His purpose to His will and nothing will get past His control or operate outside of it, and you will understand really what it means to be at peace and rest in Him.
Jesus came to earth, not on a gamble by God, not because it was a billboard display on the cross hoping that He could somehow convince others to believe in Him, it was by His sovereign will that Jesus made the atonement and redeemed His children. Nothing could have changed this, the promise was decreed, it was carried out, and salvation came!
If you find yourself giving terms to God, that He must do this or that before you can believe in Him, STOP DOING SO! Stop trying to control God, you are never cooperating with Him, we abide and live only by His good pleasure. Start submitting to this fact if you struggle in this regard and you might then begin to understand what peace and rest is, as well as growing your relationship with Him!
With God it is not a “give and take”, it is only a “give” and He does all the GIVING. We exist because He said so, He made it happen. If you placed your faith alone in Jesus Christ, it was God who made this happen, not you! Trust Him, believe in Him!