Is God in Control?
I love my Dad very much. As much as an imperfect woman can trust an imperfect man, I trust him. I am confident in his love for me and I believe that he wants the very best for me in everything. He has proven both these things to me in many ways over the years.
BUT If he had looked me in the eye the day before my wedding and said, “Have faith my daughter, I will make sure the weather is perfect tomorrow.” I would not have put my trust in him.
If my dad had sat beside my bed and promised me that I would pass my test the next day…I would not have lain down that night with confidence. Not because I do not trust my dad’s love…or his goodness.
I would not put my faith in my father’s words because I do not trust my father’s power and control of these circumstances of my life.
Power and Control:
I can only truly put my faith in someone’s promises if I trust that they have the power to carry those promises out. This starts right at birth as I stop crying when my mother picks me up. I believe, in my limited immature way, that she will meet my needs. As we get older and begin to recognise our parents’ limitations, they gradually lose the status of the one who can fix anything, meet any need. Why? Because they can’t make my kitten alive again. They can’t guarantee my entry into university . They are not in control of these and many other circumstances in my life.
But I might put my faith in Uncle Jo, who is the Chancellor of the university and has promised that he can pull strings and have me accepted. He has power. In this realm, he is in control.
God and His Promises:
When we face trials and circumstances which threaten to challenge our faith we are often encouraged to go back to the promises of God. There are verses which meet us in so many different circumstances.
1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Ps 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
Phil 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
These are just 3 of hundreds of beautiful reminders of God’s promise to be there in times of trouble and need. When we hear these promises, they should give us a deep confidence that, no matter what comes our way, God is with us, and will provide for us. God will carry us through. This firm confidence will not make the trial easier, or less painful. This confidence gives us hope to carry on. It gives us a foundation which we stand firm on, and do not sink below. It allows us to trust His hand holding onto us, even when our own distress is so deep we cannot hold on.
all of this rests on our faith in God’s power to actually carry out what He has promised. Does He control the weather, the traffic on the road today, the goodwill of my boss this morning, my health and every other area of life? Does He have the authority to promise that my needs will be met, or is that dependent of whether someone down the line remembers to pay their bill from last month?
I can only trust God’s promises and have the confidence and peace that will bring, if I believe God is in control and has the power to bring about what He has promised, in every area of life.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego:
The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is an amazing story of faith. These three men stood firm in their determination not to bow down to a God other than the one true God. When faced with death in a blazing furnace this was their response (Dan 3:16)
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
These three men trusted God because they firmly believed He was in control. They declared with no hesitation that God was able to deliver them. They believed he would but they did not take that for granted. I believe that it was their confidence in his love and goodness that let them stand firm in their conviction, even if He did not deliver them. They trusted that God was in control of that too, and they believed He would do what was best. They were willing to entrust their very lives in to His hands.
When I doubt the promises of God:
Sometimes the promises of God are just all words to me. Sometimes I feel reluctant to entrust myself to their comfort. I want to rant and rave a bit first. I allow worry to linger a while. I think, “That’s all very well..but…” In reality, in many cases, I am doubting God’s ability to keep His promises.
Once again, it is through His Word and His people that God will often meet me in these times. I come back to His Word and see again His powerful hand weaving the story of history. I see Him controlling the hearts of Kings and the ravens in the desert. I see Him withholding the rain and providing food in the wilderness. On every page of Scripture I see a God who is in control and who uses that control to do His good and perfect will and to fulfill His purposes in and through the lives of His people.
As others walk alongside me and testify to His provision and the way He has kept those promises in their lives, and remind me of His work in my own, I am strengthened to put my faith in Him again. To entrust myself in to the hands of the one who is good. The one who loves me. The one who is in control.
God is good. God loves me. God is in control.
When I can believe three truths together, by the grace of God, my faith does not wobble. When I feel the times of wavering, it is these three truths that I look back to, to see where I have taken my eyes off God’s character.
SERIES: 3 Foundations of Faith – the 3 things I believe which keep my faith strong and stable
Week Four: God is in Control: Do I believe it? So what? (This post)
Do you struggle to believe that God is in control? Do you doubt His promises when trials come? Which areas of life do you find it hardest to believe that God is in control? May He expand your faith in His control, His love and His goodness this week and in the weeks to come.
Hugs and Prayers,