The doctors told us that there was very little chance he would live. ", "Why are imperfect people a part of God's plan? It governs every aspect of nature, every aspect of history, national life, personal life — nothing, absolutely nothing, is outside God’s sovereign governance. Therefore, if God was in absolute control of the world, where would there be any place for evil in it? We see unjust, uncaring or even clearly wicked people doing things that adversely affect us. If you have a small God, you will always have big, overwhelming problems. Finally, there is the despair of realizing that some difficult circumstances–a physical infirmity of your own or perhaps a severely handicapped child–will never change. Just a few years ago, I had seven friends who were battling cancer. The sheer enormity of the Asian tsunami disaster, the death, destruction, and havoc it has wreaked, the scale of misery it has caused, must surely test the faith of even the firmest believer. God is in complete control of every molecule in the universe at every moment, and everything that happens is either caused or allowed by Him for His own perfect purposes. Experiences like the mate that walks out, the cancer that brought death, the drunk driver who went left of center, the wayward son, the wayward daughter, the betrayal by a business partner, the upside down financial experience, the loss of a house … you name it. But it is the ability of God to so arrange diverse human actions to fulfill His purpose that makes His sovereignty marvelous and yet mysterious. Nothing, not even the smallest virus, escapes His care and control. If we are going to learn to trust God in adversity, we must believe that just as certainly as God will allow nothing to subvert His glory, so He will allow nothing to spoil the good He is working out in us and for us. Because God is in control we can trust him for our future. And even more devastating to human lives and property were the horrific Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. He’s in control even in our fallen world where terrible things happen and people do terrible things. The truth is: Nothing will come into my life or your life today that God did not either allow or decree for our ultimate good. In our pain and difficulty and betrayal, it is really difficult to believe this. Considering these questions in this message, Dr. Sproul explains the extent of God’s control over His creation. Tragic events uncover our deepest, most personal questions about God. Perhaps you have a hard time seeing His power because life is full of storms, swelling and threatening everything you hold dear. He does not give us free will then take it away. He offers us blessing and cursing, life and death. Doesn’t He care about me?”. God does not control us. But just as headline news raises questions about God’s involvement, so does personal tragedy–perhaps even more so, because we often suffer alone with our questions and anxieties. BGEA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Some suffer intense physical pain and catastrophic tragedies. The more you focus on this truth the more you will develop a larger picture of God. All rights reserved. Faith is always rooted in the character of God and the promises that He makes. One of our problems with the sovereignty of God is that it frequently does not appear that God is in control of the circumstances of our lives. I remember thinking I have no idea what it means for God to be sovereign. The Bible is pervaded by teachings that God’s sovereign control is complete, not partial. The so-called laws of nature are nothing more than the physical expression of the steady will of Christ. Because God’s sacrifice of His Son for our sins is such an amazing act of love toward us, we tend to overlook that it was for Jesus an excruciating experience beyond all we can imagine. When we trust in the Father’s sovereignty, we stand on two assurances. Maybe I had just been fooling myself. Remembering these verses doesn’t mean that my to-do list will go away, or even that my anxiety will evaporate. If God was controlling everything, we would not se… Other adversities are chronic, persistent and seemingly designed to wear down our spirits over time. God is always in control. God is in control from the moment of your conception to the moment of your death and beyond. Designed to foster open and authentic discussion, Is God in Control of My Life? People were looking for answers. Still others experience the sting of injustice, the dull ache of loneliness and the stabbing pain of unexpected grief. “[He] is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes” (Daniel 4:17). It was for Jesus in His humanity a calamity sufficient to cause Him to pray, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me” (Matthew 26:39); but He did not waver in His assertion of God’s sovereign control. Is God really in control? I’m trying to respond here to someone who says, “Well, God doesn’t control everything, but he permits lots of things.” I’m saying that’s right. “I hope the pandemic ends soon.” “I…, Sometimes the Christian life feels blessed and rewarding. Will Graham Q&A: Should the Faithful Heed COVID-19 Warnings? God’s Eternal PlanOne of our problems with the sovereignty of God is that it frequently does not appear that God is in control of the circumstances of our lives. One of the best-selling books in recent years, written by a psychiatrist, put it very well with this opening statement: “Life is difficult.” In fact, sometimes it is downright painful. Many observers noted, for example, that church attendance in the United States rose just after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 48 contiguous United States only. He is, in fact, the Lord of lords and the King of kings and in absolute control of time and eternity. in order to be a conqueror of your life then God needs to be in control of your life. Isaiah 41:10 ESV / 3,623 helpful votes. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. Instead of God being in control, maybe my life’s course had no real purpose after all. pholds His creatures in ordered existence, guides and governs all events, circumstances, and free acts of angels and men, and directs everything to its appointed goal, for His own glory.”. Numerous setbacks and failures later, I still believed God was in control and had a purpose through it all. Now, the way he controls all things may differ. God is accountable only to Himself. Put your trust in him. The most common way we use the word today is to mean a desire or a wish. We experience the consequences of other people’s mistakes and failures. God sets the circumstances of our lives and so influences things that our choices are made in accordance with his plans. He’s in control even in our fallen world where terrible things happen and people do terrible things. Get free sermon MP3s, devotionals, blog content and more. God never pursues His glory at the expense of the good of His people, nor does He ever seek our good at the expense of His glory. The truth is: Nothing will come into my life or your life today that God did not either allow or decree for our ultimate good. Sproul. God SustainsThe Bible teaches that God not only created the universe, but that He upholds and sustains it day by day, hour by hour. The sovereignty of God is asserted, either expressly or implicitly, on almost every page of the Bible. Passages like…, Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Will He help? In the dictionary, the word sovereign means above all, superior to all, the greatest, the supreme in rank in power; holding a position of authority; a ruler, excellent, reigning; a person who possesses sovereign authority, and specific like a monarch or a ruler. We experience the … Some of you do the exact opposite: You just give up! And God is in control of history. Some pain is sudden, traumatic and devastating. Other times it’s a struggle. And spare my people—this is my request. There is the humiliation of rejection by others, the smoldering hurt of racial bias and the anguish of failure that is one’s own fault. Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?” (Lamentations 3: 37-38). He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. PARTICIPANT GUIDE. It remains in mystery. The idea that “God is in control” seems like it honors God because many mistakenly think that absolute control over everything at every moment is a fundamental requirement for God to be God. Someone has expressed it this way: “God in His love always wills what is best for us. We want to think we have control to feel safe and secure. His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). God promises to always be by your side. He gives us options. This is Paul’s argument in Acts 17:22-31. There is a plan. Any use or disposition He chooses to make of any part of His creation is His sovereign right. So about twenty college students prayed for him and we begged God for two days to save his life. Policies & Procedures. I committed my life to God and allowed Him to shape my life as He wills, and not as I think it should be. Let’s take a look at the nature of God; He tells us through His Word that He is love, light, and all things good. Note the absolute terms Packer uses: “unceasing activity,” “all events … all acts,” “directs everything.” Clearly there is no concept of now-and-then, part-time governance on God’s part in this definition. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California. During those weeks, as I continually prayed to God for relief, I was reminded of Solomon’s words, “Consider what God has done: Who can straighten out what he has made crooked?” (Ecclesiastes 7:13). View Resource. He will provide for me. Audio Message by R.C. When I was a new Christian in college, a good friend of mine was involved in an accident on campus. God GovernsThe Bible also teaches that God governs the universe, not only inanimate creation, but also the actions of all creatures, both men and animals. (1 Chronicles 29:11-12). Many are the plans in the mind of a man, … For my own sake, I have developed a slightly shorter definition that I can more easily remember: God’s providence is His constant care for and His absolute rule over all His creation for His own glory and the good of His people. When my sister’s husband died many years ago I remember telling her (as a young Christian) that God didn’t have anything to do with him dying, that the enemy took his life. This is the first step to serenity in your life. But if you have a big God, then little by little, those problems you face — won’t necessarily be less painful — but they will start to become smaller and smaller. Jesus acknowledged God’s sovereign control over His life. All people–believers in God as well as unbelievers–experience anxiety, frustration, heartache and disappointment. There is the anxiety of the family breadwinner who has just lost his job and the despair of the young mother who has learned she has a terminal illness. Put God in the driver’s seat of your life, beacause anything under His control will never be out of control. And the writer of Hebrews very honestly states, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful” (Hebrews 12:11). When adversity strikes, even the Christian is tempted to ask, “Where is God? A similar incident, though even more deadly, occurred in Madrid, Spain, in March 2004. The Providence of GodGod’s providence is a term we sometimes casually use to acknowledge God’s seemingly periodic intervention in our affairs. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Historically, however, the Church has always understood the providence of God to refer to His care and governance over all of His creation at all times. He either permits it to happen, or He brings it about Himself.” Notice how encompassing this statement is: Nothing happens without God either permitting it or directing it to happen. He certainly does permit lots of things. This Scripture passage offends many people. ", "Why does God's plan seem so complicated?" If God is in control of everything that happens in the universe, then He is in control of everything that happens in your life as well. Aug 31, 2013 - God is in control of my life!. God of course! Of course, some people are dismissive of God, even expressing anger at Him. Now, who determines who I am and what my circumstances are? Lastly, God’s permission for Satan or man to act is nevertheless part of God’s ultimate design and final control. 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