Is God in Everything?
Is God involved in everything that happens throughout the world? How you answer that question is important. What people believe about the Lord's sovereignty affects both their trust in Him and their reactions to struggles. Moreover, believers' thoughts on God's dominion influences their compliance with His requirements. For instance, "in everything give thanks" (1 Thess. 5:18) would be an impossible standard if God were only partially in control of what's going on.
Believing God is present in the positive aspects of our lives is easy. Reconciling hardship to His promises of provision and love is tougher. But think about this: If the Lord has reason to provide a job promotion, might He not also have reason to orchestrate a job loss? If He gives good health, might He not also allow sickness,
as He permitted in Job's life (Job 2:6-7)?
The Bible says that the Lord's ways are not like our ways (Isa. 55:8). He has a master purpose for involving Himself in every aspect of believers' lives—namely, conforming them to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). Jesus' life was not easy or sweet. He suffered shame, abuse, ill will, and persecution even before He faced the cross. If we are to be like Him, then we must expect that God's loving hand will sometimes hold a tool for reshaping us.
Every believer is encircled by God's protection (Psalm 34:7), so nothing touches our lives unless He permits or directs it. Bitterness and blame cannot take root if we accept that every good and bad thing comes with God's knowledge and permission. We can trust Him to do right by us (Rom. 8:28).
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Some days it seems as if a spirit of anger is permeating the entire world. News stories of violence, road rage, and international discord fill the airwaves. If that were not enough, our families are also being torn apart by unresolved conflicts. Where do we turn for peace in this angry world?
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