Everything Under Control
Does your life ever feel like a runaway train? Are you disillusioned and afraid when you think about the state of affairs in the nation? What about some of your other anxieties and concerns? Do you worry about your health, job security, church or (grand)children? Are you tempted to think that your problems are too big to solve and your troubles too complex to untangle?
If you are anything like me, you probably have answered one or more of these questions with a resounding yes. Life does feel often like it is spining out of control. And that experience can be both threatening and paralyzing. We all have days when we look like a heavy breathing patient, struggling to take the next breath, desperate for a flow of oxygen-rich air into our lungs.
What we need in these moments is a hefty dose of God. A massive dose of trust in God’s sovereignty to be more exact.
The Sovereignty of God is the biblical teaching that all things are under God’s rule and control, and that nothing happens without His direction or permission. God works not just some things, but all things in accordance with His plan (Eph. 1:11). He is never surprised and never frustrated. He has everything under control.
He is sovereign over:
- Our salvation (Eph. 2:8-10; John 1:13)
- Our daily lives and plans (Prov. 20:24)
- The earthly authorities of this world (Dan. 2:21; John 19:11)
- Satan and his evil spirits (Job 2:6; Lk. 22:31)
- Evil things (Is. 45:6,7; Amos 3:6)
- Nature (Jonah 1:4; 4:6,7; Mat. 10:29; Mk. 4:37-41)
- Man-made machinery (Ex. 14:25; 2 Kings 6:5,6)
- Our bodily and psychological afflictions (Ex. 4:11; 2 Kings 5:14; Ps. 30:11,12)
- Seemingly random things (Prov. 16:33; James 4:13-15)
- Life and death (Deut. 32:39)
Believing in God’s sovereignty doesn’t erase human responsibility. Jesus’ death on the cross was part of the Father’s prearranged plan. But the hands who hammered the nails through Jesus’ hands were guilty of the most heinous crime ever committed (Acts 2:23; 4:27,28).
God used the Assyrian's hostility to discipline Israel. They were the "rod of God’s anger” (Is. 10:5). But when His disciplinary action towards His own came to an end, He redirected His holy passion at Assyria for the evil they committed (Is. 10:25). The Assyrians were held responsible for their choices.
And yet, the theological truth of God’s sovereignty brims with practical application. If His scope of control is as deep and wide as Scripture teaches, we can be greatly encouraged. Nothing will happen in our lives, in our churches and in this world that has not passed through the filter of His all-wise and all-loving hands first.
I admit, God’s sovereignty is mysterious to us. But this shouldn’t surprise us. If we would understand His ways, we would be God and that is a silly thought (Deut. 29:29; Is. 55:8,9). The question is not if we comprehend it fully. The question is, do we believe it? Dare we entrust ourselves to this unbelievable truth? How I pray that we will.
The fact that not one single molecule operates outside of God’s control is a precious reality. It is the best medicine in sickness, the greatest comfort in death, the certain paycheck in unemployment, the rock-solid foundation in our child rearing, the most assuring thought in presidential elections, and our hope for the future. Our God has everything under control. He reigns (Ps. 97:1)!