Recently, I have come into contact with some passages that illustrate God's absolute control over everything that happens to us. Now, I have a notion in my head that says, "God is in control of my life," but its so blasted hard to keep that in mind in my day-to-day life.
One passage that has recently illustrated this to me is in Genesis 37. Joseph, the favorite son and least favorite brother, has these dreams that he is ruling over his brothers. So they throw him in a pit, take his envy-inducing colored coat, and sell him into slavery. Now, this was an unexpected and saddening turn of events for him, and he probably was quite frustrated and angry with God. So much for that "your sheaf is bowing down to my sheaf" business. But wait! A few chapters and a few more divinely orchestrated events later, Joseph is running Egypt, and his brothers, driven by famine, do in fact bow down to him. God used an event that for Joseph must have been inexplicable and terrifying, but God was still completely in control of Joseph's life.
Another passage would be Judges 4, which we covered at RUF last night. Israel is being oppressed and so God raises up Deborah, who calls on a man named Barak to lead 10,000 Israelites. God routes the enemy and Israel wins. But early on in the passage, Barak asks Deborah to accompany him, and she says, "You're not going to kill the enemy general, a woman is." And sure enough, the enemy general is on the run and gets to a tent, is convinced to go inside, and a woman kills him. Doug Serven, RUF's leader, mentioned that God clearly knew what was going to happen in the smallest detail, including tent placement. And without telling anyone, he was setting it all up. That's neat.
There are more passages, clearly, but these are the ones that have stood out to me recently. They've stood out as a confirmation of God's control over everything that happens to us, when there have been some developments in my life that I simply don't understand. Its almost become a mantra to me..."God is sovereign. He knows his purposes and will accomplish them." And there is a great amount of not only comfort that comes with this, but also freedom. I am free to continue onward, not looking backward wishing and wondering. Now, of course this is hard to do. And in some ways, its more gratifying to say, "Let me lie and languish for a bit."
But this is not what we are to do. Whatever God throws our way, we ought to accept as divinely ordained. Because it is--nothing happens outside his governance. I think Paul is a good example. Beaten, imprisoned, the object of failed stoning attempts, and often unpopular, he pressed on. He knew God was in charge and that it was about more than his happiness, and here's the kicker...that's where he found contentment. Woo! We can find contentment even in the hard things in life if we understand the power and the goodness of God.
Over and out.