God Is Always In Control
Dr. Charles Stanley
I admit that I often don’t understand why bad things happen. Even so, I believe that God has a purpose for everything He does or permits. My faith is rooted in the biblical principle that says the Lord is sovereign (Ps. 22:28). He is in absolute control of this universe, the natural and political climate of this earth, and my life and yours.
When we are in the midst of a trial, it is hard to resist crying out, “God, Why is this happening?” Sometimes we get the answer and sometimes we don’t. What we can be sure of is that nothing happens by accident or coincidence. He has a purpose for even our most painful experiences. Moreover, we have His promise to “cause all things to work together for good to those who love God” (Rom. 8:28).
Seeing in advance how the Lord will work evil or hurt for our benefit is very difficult, if not impossible. My limited human perspective doesn’t allow me to grasp His greater plan. However, I can confirm the truth of this biblical promise because the Father’s good handiwork appears all through my pain, hardship, and loss. I have experienced Him turn mourning into gladness and have seen Him reap bountiful blessings and benefits from my darkest hours.
As believers, we must accept that God won’t always make sense to us. Isaiah teaches that His ways and thoughts are higher than our own (Isa. 55:9). He sees the beautifully completed big picture. We can rely on the fact that God is in control, no matter how wildly off-kilter our world seems to spin.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
Inquire of the Lord
1 Samuel 30:8 tells us what David did next as He sought to deal with the troubles that besieged him. After grieving and strengthening himself in the Lord, here is what he did,
So David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?" And He answered him, "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all."
David inquired of the Lord.
There is a story in the book of Joshua that shows the importance of inquiring of God, of seeking His guidance, no matter how things may seem.
The nation of Israel had entered the Promised Land and they were gaining great victories. One day a group of Gibeonites showed up. They had bags full of old moldy bread, their sandals were worn out, their water skins were cracked and old, and their clothing was old and worn.
They told Joshua and the leaders that they had come from a country far, far away. They went on to tell them they had heard about the great things God was doing through Israel, and they wanted to make sure they would not be attacked. So they had traveled from afar to make a covenant so that when Israel eventually reached them in the future, they wouldn't attack the Gibeonites.
The Bible says specifically that Joshua and the men did not inquire of the Lord. Rather, they looked at the people's provisions…the moldy bread, the old sandals, the old water skins…and they made a covenant with them.
It turns out they were the next door neighbors and Israel had been deceived. And it caused huge problems in Israel's future.
I am telling you, things are not always as they appear. It pays to inquire of the Lord when you are going through difficult times. He will lead you.
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