One of the bedrock truths of my faith is: I cannot mess up my life, and neither can anyone else, past God using for His glory. Another way to say that is… God is in control of life events, not us. So many times it seems our life is completely out of our control. And that bothers control freaks.
“It all makes perfect sense” is said in heaven about every event. While on earth it is said, “What in the world is going on?!” As a believer in Christ, when confused by events in our life, consider how God works: Largely His plans are hidden from us. We don’t comprehend what He is doing or why He does what He does. That’s why we trust Him completely! Cases In Point…
Abram was told by God to leave his home and go to a land that would be shown to him. God promised him a child, then made him wait almost a quarter of a century for the child to be born. After the child was born, God commanded Abraham to sacrifice the child (Which God prevented). I imagine there were times Abraham scratched his head wondering what God was doing.
Abimelech thought Abram’s wife was his sister because of Abram’s lie. In a dream God revealed to Abimelech that The Lord prevented him from sinning. In other words… God kept Abimelech from doing what he would have done if God had not prevented him from doing it! God controlled the king’s actions! That concept really messes up us control freaks!! GOD controls us? Aside: I pray God prevents me from sinning often!
Joseph’s brothers hated him and conspired to kill him when he was 17, but instead they sold him into slavery. He was then sold by his owners further into slavery in Egypt. There he was falsely accused of attempted rape and was thrown into prison. He was forgotten for two years by a man who promised to help him. It took about 40 years before Joseph said to his brothers about these events “You meant it for evil, God meant it for good.” I imagine Joseph scratched his head a time or two over the years while those events unfolded….
Job never was told by God why he lost all his possessions… why all seven of his children were killed in one day… why his health declined horribly… or why his wife and three friends turned against him. Job did wonder… he did scratch his head… he was even bold enough to question God. Then one day God answered him (Click here and here), and Job realized something. But God again spoke to Job. In reply, Job shut up.
Naomi probably scratched her head when, because of a failing economy, her husband moved the family with two boys to another country. Then she must have scratched harder when her husband and both boys died while in Moab. All she knew to do was to go back home… alone. But Ruth (A Moabite) followed her. Back in Israel Ruth picked a field “at random” to glean for food. It turned out to be the land of a Kinsman Redeemer Boaz… whom she married. As a result, Ruth became the Great Grandmother of King David.
The Disciples had to have been constantly confused. Why would Jesus pick a tax collector, a revolutionary, a small person, and a thief to be his followers? Why would he tell them to feed 5,000 people when it was obvious they couldn’t? Why would Jesus tell them to get into a boat when he could see a storm coming? Why would he wait for his friend Lazarus to die before going to see the family? Why would he go to Jerusalem when he knew people there wanted to kill him? Why would he allow himself to be crucified on a cross unjustly? None of those things made sense.
Us. Why does God not let us have that job? Why wouldn’t he let us marry that person? Why would God allow us to get fired? Why would God allow a child to die? Why doesn’t God prevent tragedies? Why does God let evil people prosper? Why did God do this and not that? Why did he allow into our life things that are so hard and difficult? Why… Why… Why… Why?
I’m convinced the answer is simple, and twofold. First, God is all about doing whatever it takes to bring Himself the most glory. Second, every event of life is part of God conforming us to the image of Christ. That is God’s goal for every believer. And it is in His wisdom that He knows best how to accomplish both of those things. If the result is us scratching our head and being confused… so be it. If He chooses to reveal His purposes to us… so be it.
It was listening to a message that got me to thinking about these things. If you would like, click here to A) Read the message manuscript, B) Listen to the message, or C) Download the free MP3 of the message for later listening.