God Is In Control, But… The Time Is Short
So many people do not understand, or completely reject, the predication that God is in control of what happens during the course of our lives. Please take about 16 minutes to watch a video that can only be described as extremely compelling, especially if you are one who believes in random chance rather than in God:
Here are multiple testimonies from Holy Scripture that display irrefutable proof that God, not man, not random chance, is in control:
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)
A man’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way? (Proverbs 20:24)
Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future. (Ecclesiates 7:13-14)
The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand. (Isaiah 14:24)
This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? (Isaiah 14:26-27)
Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?” (Isaiah 43:13)
I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. (Isaiah 45:5-7)
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. (Isaiah 46:10-11)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:8-11)
I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23)
Who can speak and have it happen if the LORD has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? (Lamentations 3:37-38)
In the video Peter mentioned that his life was now one with an urgency… to do the work of God the Father Almighty, who gave His Son Jesus Christ that the world might be saved through Him, so that on the Great Day of the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ he might hear the comfort of his Savior’s words:
“Well done, good and faithful servant”
All men should be possessed by such urgency!
There are those who will read this post and be offended… possibly by the words from Lamentations 3:37-38, if not by other passages of Holy Scripture that I have provided here. I tell you I have only the Word of God to stand on with authority, as I do not know the mind of God, and He does not consult me before He makes His decisions (which, by the way, were known before the beginning of the world):
what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:4)
One thing I do know: God in His absolute moral perfection and in His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence has directed or permitted what will happen where, when, and how. What about ‘why?’, you ask? For His glory and our ultimate good.
Some will say, ‘God has no right to do things like that.’ God has every right…
Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me”? Can the pot say of the potter, “He knows nothing”? (Isaiah 29:15-16)
“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’? Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to his mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’ (Isaiah 45:9-10)
But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? (Isaiah 9:20-21)
Regarding the pain and suffering that people can (and do) endure, unarguably the most compelling book in all of Holy Scripture is the book of Job. Job was a man allowed by God to be afflicted with horrific suffering when Satan mocked God by challenging Him to afflict His dedicated servant so that Job would curse God to His face. Job’s considerable possessions were stolen or destroyed, his entire family was killed, and he was covered with boils from head to foot as he sat amongst the ashes of his destroyed house.
So that: 1) God would be glorified, and 2) for Job’s ultimate good.
God was glorified because even when Job was all but dead, he refused to curse God. He would not consign the God that had been his lifetime’s comfort and provision to the rubbish heap. Please do not get me wrong: Job did not understand why God was allowing him to suffer, and throughout his entire ordeal, he not only discoursed with his three friends about this issue, but he challenged God directly, asking Him for an explanation of what He had done and why. In these actions, Job mirrored exactly what any one of us would do in the same circumstances… and God understands these actions as well now as He did then.
In the 38th and 39th chapters of the book of Job, God answers Job’s challenges out of a storm, asking Job in essence ‘Are you like Me? Have you put into place the things that I have put into place, seen the things that I have seen, and done the things that I have done?’ He begins the 40th chapter by asking Job if he will contend with Him by correcting Him! Job wisely answered that he would not, and in the 40th and 41st chapters, God continued to do what I cannot see that He has done anywhere else in Holy Scripture: He justifies Himself to a mere man! Then in chapter 42, Job speaks after having heard the words of God Himself:
Then Job replied to the LORD: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6)
Job received ultimate good because God restored him to twice the amount of his former material possessions, and gave him seven sons and three daughters. God blessed Job with 140 additional years of life following his affliction, and allowed him to see his children and their children to the fourth generation, finally dying old and full of years.
There are some powerful lessons here:
1) If you read the book of Job, you will observe that in the discourses that occur between God and Satan, God directs Satan as to what He will allow him to do to Job. What we learn from this is that God is the utltimate authority both in heaven and on earth, regarding all things seen and unseen. Evil cannot touch His children unless He permits it for the good reasons of His choice, and all suffering is held in His mighty grasp.
2) God understands when we rage against Him regarding the suffering that we endure in this life, and to His credit, He does not hold it against us. He knows our pain, He feels our heartache, He knows when we feel abandoned, He hears our cries for justice, He knows what it means to feel hopeless… because He bore all of these, and all of the rest of what we cannot ever even hope to verbalize, on the cross at Calvary in the person of His Son our Lord Jesus Christ.
3) God will make things right. We must believe in Him, we must trust Him in His revealed Word, and believe in the One that He has sent, understanding that His correction of our circumstances may not come in this earthly life. What it is more important to understand is that His correction will come:
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 9:10-12)
The pilot in the video spoke of urgency. Lastly, and most importantly, in this post, are the words of Jesus Christ regarding urgency:
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24:36-44)
Do the Lord’s work while you still can. Believe in the One He has sent, read and revere His Holy Word, and tell everyone you can about the only grace that saves souls: Jesus Christ.