Mark My Words – Is God in Control?

As we are dealing with a second round of the Coronavirus, the delta variant, along with other crisis around the world, it can cause us to question whether God is in control or not. Admittedly, even as a Christian, it is all too easy to look around at the world we live in and think that things are spiraling out of control. Fires in the west, floods in the mountains, earthquakes in Haiti, and the onset of a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan are all indicators that something is terribly wrong with the world that we live in. In our own congregation we have parishioners that are battling sickness and grieving over the loss of loved ones. In this article I would like to discuss 1) Why things are the way they are, 2) whether God is in control or not, and 3) walking by faith and not by sight.

1) The Bible offers a clear answer on why things are the way they are in the world we live in.

SIN. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they fell into sin. This separated and alienated them from God. Sickness, shame, grief, and pain entered the human experience. Somehow, when Adam and Eve fell, all of humanity that would come after them fell as well. Not only are humans negatively impacted because of the fall, but all of Creation has suffered the adverse effects of the first couple’s disobedience. I believe that even natural disasters are somehow linked to a creation that has become disconnected from God due to sin.

2)   Is God in control?

The Bible answers that question with an unequivocal, YES. Does that mean that God controls everything? NO. God is not the author of sin, nor can He sin. He is perfectly Holy and Righteous. When I get up in the morning and decide which clothes I’m going to wear, do I think it is God’s will for me to wear the blue shirt instead of the red shirt? Of course not. God is in control, yet he has given me freedom to make choices on my own. Throughout history Christians and Theologians have debated the Sovereignty of God and the Free Will of Man. The Bible clearly teaches that both are true even if we as humans, with our finite minds, cannot fully figure it out. God is Sovereign. He created all things and upholds all things through what we would call His Providence. However, he gave Adam and Eve a real choice to make in the Garden. Would they obey or disobey God? The choice was theirs to make. God did not force them one way or the other. God is Sovereign. We are free to choose.

3) In 2 Corinthians 5:7 we read that “…we walk by faith, not by sight”.

My interpretation of this verse goes something like this: ”trust God and stop trying to figure everything out”! This life is meant to be LIVED even if it cannot always be understood. In Proverbs 3:5, we read that you are to: “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”. Embrace the fact that you will not always understand what’s going on in your life. Rest in the fact that God does understand all things even if we do not. Our job is to “trust in the Lord with all our heart”, “lean not on our own understanding”, and to “acknowledge Him in all of our ways”. The promise if we do these things is that “God will direct our paths”.

When you board a cruise ship in Miami headed for another port of call in the Caribbean there are some things that you have control over. You choose the type of room you want to stay in as well as the recreational activities you want to be involved in while onboard. However, there are some things that you have absolutely no control of once on board. Only the ship’s captain has control over departure and arrival times and the course that he plans to travel through the ocean to reach the desired destination. You may be free to move about on the deck of the ship, but your captain is Sovereignly guiding the ship as he knows best. God has given us many choices to make in this life and we should be careful to choose well. However, God is Sovereign over the course of human history as well as nations and will bring human history to a close at His appointed time at the return of His Son Jesus Christ.

Trust God, he is Sovereign. Stop trying to figure everything out. Choose to do good by making good choices. Know that God is the perfect captain and that He is in control even when piloting your boat through the stormy seas of life.