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God Is Still in Control!

June 30, 2023

The holocaust. Oklahoma City. 9-11. Columbine. It often seems like God has taken His hands off and just lets whatever will happen. We wonder, “Where is God?” He seems distant at times and indifferent to the events of our world. At least that is what Satan would want us to believe. If he can’t convince us that God does not exist, he will try to deceive us into believing that He really does not care.

The Bible reassures us that God does care and has always been and will always be in control of all things. There will always be the doubters who, though they acknowledge that God exists, question whether He cares. Remember Job’s friend, Elihu? In Job 35 through 37 he speaks eloquently and almost convincingly about this very subject. God’s response to all of it came in Job 38:2 when He asked Job, “Who is this who darkens the divine plan by words without knowledge?”

One problem we have is that we want to know why. God made us to be inquisitive. But as we have studied before, we cannot always know the mind of God. We may not always know why. But rest assured, He does have a purpose for everything – though not everything that happens is His will. Remember He made man an agent of free will and most of the time man has chosen his own path and strayed far off the course that God had set for him.

“The LORD nullifies the plan of nations; He frustrates the plans of peoples. The plan of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation.” (Psalm 33:10-11)

Psalm 33 speaks to the purpose God has for His creation – that is to praise and glorify their Creator! Verse 10 says that God nullifies, thwarts the plans, devices or purposes of the nations (the godless). Remember the tower of Babel? Remember Joseph’s brothers? Remember the enemies of Jesus who had Him crucified? Verse 11 reassures us that God has a plan that will stand forever. It is unchanging. It is from generation to generation. Trying to thwart God’s plans is like a rowboat ramming a battleship. It won’t event put a dent into the battleship, but it will sure mess up the rowboat!

“God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:16-18)

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)

God promises Noah that seasons, day and night would continue. Do you realize that God is the power that keeps the Sun shining? That causes the earth to rotate? That causes the earth to tilt which brings us the seasons? That causes the moon to rotate around the Earth? That causes the planets to rotate around the Sun? The regular cycles that we can set our clocks to is evidence of God’s continued hand on His creation. He didn’t just make the world and then sit back and let whatever happens happen. That may be how Ford and GM operate, but God’s warranty on all his parts is for as long as the Earth remains – for the life of the Earth!

“This is what the LORD says: ‘If My covenant for day and night does not continue, and I have not established the fixed patterns of heaven and earth, then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, so as not to take from his descendants rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But I will restore their fortunes and have mercy on them.’” (Jeremiah 33:25-26)

God promises to be true to his covenant with Israel. It is as certain as the laws of nature he established – gravity, motion, physics, chemistry, all the natural laws that science has been built upon. The fixed laws of nature are not just in the physical realm, but apply to the spiritual and moral as well. God promised Jeremiah that He would restore his people after their captivity and He was true to His word.

“Every person is to be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a servant of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore, it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for the sake of conscience.” (Romans 13:1-5)

This passage pretty well parallels what Jesus said in Mark 12:13-17 which concludes with His famous statement, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” God has established civil governments to keep order in this world. We criticize our government and police forces, but can you imagine what it would be like without them? We are told to submit to government authority. Don’t fear them if you have nothing to hide.

What if a government is corrupt or evil? Remember what Jesus told Pilate in John 19:11? In essence “Your power has been given to you by God.” That means that the governing authorities don’t answer to the people, but to God. Look at history. What happened to Hitler? His Third Reich was supposed to last forever. But it lasted barely a decade and is no more. An evil government will not last. God will bring them down.

As Christians I believe that we need to be actively involved in our political process. We should work within the framework of the laws and established social order to influence our world for Christ. If we allow our government to walk all over us, it is our own fault. Silent Christians are ineffective Christians. We are to lead by example and be exemplary citizens. How should we live? First Timothy 2:2 says, “Lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” However, if a law forces us to violate scriptural principles, I believe we are compelled toward civil disobedience for the sake of godliness.

“But [Jesus] answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” (John 5:17)

This reminds us that God is still at work, lest there be any doubt. God works on Sunday. Did you know that? Those who would have you believe that it is wrong to work on Sunday because of the Old Testament laws concerning the Sabbath would be well served to study John 5:10-18. Rest does not necessarily mean idleness. Psalm 121:4 reminds us that God “will neither slumber nor sleep.” He is always at work.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

This is a much-quoted verse. I want you to notice that it points to God being actively involved in working the circumstance out for good. It isn’t some random “Well, I guess it will all work out OK” thing. “All things” includes the really bad things, the sickness, the death, the pain, the suffering, the divorce, the evil, the rotten, everything! God is in control even in the midst of all that. In every situation – even yours as hopeless at it may seem. That is a promise.

But you need to notice one more thing. All things will work out for the good for “those that love God.” They won’t work out for just everyone. You must love God. You must be His child.

So, what do you think? Is God some uncaring force out there that just made it all then went back to whatever He was doing and forgot about us? Is He just out of touch or too busy to care? The Bible indicates otherwise.

“Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.” (William Cowper, 1774)

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