Tuesday, November 8, 2016

God Is In Control - Dinner #73

     A couple months back, our youth pastor taught a lesson on Job, in which he made the point that “there is really SO LITTLE in life over which we have any control.” And that thought has really stuck with me, since then.  We THINK we have control – We sometimes think that it is entirely up to us to keep our children safe, or to keep our plants alive, or to put the right President in office – and, no, we are not void of all responsibility, but, ultimately, GOD is the one Who is really in control of our lives.

     Psalm 104 speaks of a loving and kind Creator who cares for the world which He has made: “He watereth the hills from his chambers . . . He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man . . . He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night . . . The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. . . These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. . . Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.”

     On the flip-side of this, what have WE created? What are WE in control of?  “Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? . . . Hast thou given the horse strength? . . . Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?” (Job 39) The answer is quite obviously, “No!” WE are not in control of such things! The truth of the matter is, we are in control of so very little that occurs in our lives. 

Deuteronomy 4:39 “Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.”

Psalm 86:10 “For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.”

Romans 11:33-34, 36 “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? . . . For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”

     We worship the One True God! He is WISE and He IS in control! He is in control of EVERY aspect of my life! He is in control of the very breath I breathe! Job 12:10 “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”

     God was in control when, as a first-year teacher, I had to be rushed by ambulance, for an emergency appendectomy. God was in control when a doctor later told me that if I didn’t follow his worldly advice, I might never be able to have any children. God was in control, when we moved here with two little ones, and Brandon lost his job only a couple of months later.  God was in control, when He started laying Southeast Asia on our hearts.  And I have to believe that God is in control, even if we take 4 – maybe even 5 – little girls to a country that is predominantly Muslim.  I have to believe that He is in control, even if I end up wrapping Christmas presents, early, in case we never make it back from our survey trip.  I have to believe that He is in control, if we have to postpone our trip until the beginning of January, because of a missionary visa situation.  Because My Bible tells me that God IS in control! And God is in control, no matter what you are going through in YOUR life.  Whether it’s health-related, or family- related, or presidential-related . . .

     Do we all have anxious thoughts, at times? Absolutely!  But the Bible says, “In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19  If you’re tempted to be up until the wee hours of the morning, tonight, watching the little red and blue State results on the screen, open your Bible to the book of Psalms, instead, and “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts . . .” Colossians 3:15

Psalm 91:2, 4-5 “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust . . . He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”

     We can place our vote - and I hope you did, today – but we really have no say in who gets elected to be the next President of the United States of America. My Bible tells me, “But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Psalm 75:7) “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings . . .” (Daniel 2:21)   And we can trust Him!  

Psalm 84:11-12 “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.”

     God is in control – and God seeks my GOOD.  Does evil sometimes befall us? Yes.  But God means even THAT for our good. Remember Joseph’s words in Genesis 50:20? “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good. . .” Had bad things happened in Joseph’s life? Yes!  But God was in control, and God “meant it unto good.” He always has a BIGGER and a BETTER plan than our human ones.  Even if the opposing candidate wins . . .

     It’s all about TRUSTING God and GLORIFYING God . . . and, no matter, the results of this election, not waking up in despondency, tomorrow, throwing up our hands and wondering where God is in all of this. Because “ . . . I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39  Not even Mrs. Hillary Clinton. We serve a LOVING God.  And NOTHING that occurs in our lives is out of His control. 

     There might be dark days ahead of us as a country.  There might be dark days ahead of YOU, as an individual, or ahead of me.  But we have to trust, that whatever befalls us, God “means it unto good.”  Romans 8:28 holds the very special promise, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I Timothy 1:17 “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”