“Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plan, but God is not helpless among the ruins. Our broken lives are not lost or useless. God comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out his wonderful plan of love.” Eric Liddell
If God is God over us then we must yield completely in obedience to him in all things. He cannot be over us in one thing, and under us in another, but we must yield to him in every part of our lives. We must completely trust, depend, and obey him in all things.
Remember the story of the parakeet “Marty” in the post November 16, 2018 entitled “Is God in Control?” Marty was tested by one of the fundamental principles in life as we walk by faith. We must always be prepared for the unexpected in this life. That was a lesson that Marty learned the hard way.
Scripture leaves no doubt about the fact of God’s sovereignty. Psalm 33:10-11 “The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. 11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.” As this passage tells us we cannot carry out any plan apart from God’s will. James 4:13-15 says it very plain and to the point. “……Why do you not even know what will happen tomorrow, what is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes….” The problem of evil is well attested in Scripture that God can and does use events, even evil ones to bring about his purposes.
The story of Joseph in Genesis 37 is an excellent example for this point. After his jealous brothers sought unsuccessfully to kill him, he was sold as a slave in Egypt. It appears that Joseph was merely the victim of sin, which indeed he was. God used the brother’s sinful actions to bring about a greater good. During a terrible famine, God worked through Joseph to feed his father and brothers, the patriarchs of God’s chosen people the descendants of Israel. Genesis 45:5 “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.”
Later Joseph told his brothers: Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” What did Joseph think when he was on his way from Canaan to Egypt? If you had been in the same situation; what would you have thought? At that time Joseph did not understand the reason or purpose for his suffering. He may not have understood until his brothers came to buy food about 17 years later.
We can see another example of God’s Providence at work in the story of Priscilla and Aquila in Acts chapter 18. In A.D. 49 the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome. Priscilla and Aquila were forced to leave Rome because of this edict. Priscilla and Aquila had to leave their home, their business, and many of their friends. God turned this tragedy into something remarkable. God then led them to Corinth where they met the apostle Paul and became his trusted coworkers. They helped Paul established the churches in Corinth and Ephesians – Acts 18.
Paul made a statement in Romans 16:3-4 “They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.” Priscilla and Aquila were victims of persecution in the first century. Yet God turned this persecution into a benefit for his kingdom.
God’s ability to fulfill his purpose in spite of the events Satan brought is seen more clearly in the drama that occurred at Calvary. Satan conspired with human rulers to bring about Jesus’ death and to ruin God’s plan for mankind salvation – Luke 22:3.
The apostles did not understand even after spending three years in training with our Lord and Savior – Acts 1:6.
1 Corinthians 2:6–8 “Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” It was precisely through Jesus death that God brought about redemption of humanity. Even when things seem bleak God has a way of turning them around into something that will fulfill his purpose.
We all know the Scripture Romans 8:28 that states; “God works all things for the good of them that love him.” But that is only part of the statement. The other part of the statement is “for those who are called according to his purpose”. God is very close and involved in our lives. His purpose is to form us into the likeness of Jesus Christ. God is taking very good care of all that he has made, especially the people he has chosen to be his special inheritance.
How do you know if God is in control of your life? How did Joseph know that God was in control of his life?