Trusting that God is in Control
Do you ever feel like other factors have more control of your life than you do?
If you have children, you know that any plans you have for the day can quickly be pushed out because of their needs.
It may be something big like they get hurt or ill and you end up spending your day at the hospital. Our thirteen year old dropped from a backyard zip-line this summer and broke BOTH of her wrists. That not only altered our plans for that Sunday evening – it altered our plans for the next two months.
But it can be something small, like, on your way out the door your 9 month old has a blow out diaper. I remember when a diaper accident was enough to throw off the entire day! You’re walking out the door, all bundled up, diaper bag and purse in hand, child in arms. You have an unpleasant realization that the blowout did not only mess the child’s clothes but your own – back into the house, put down all of the stuff – clean up the baby, clean up yourself, then look at the clock and realize that there is now not enough time to go out at all. So you reset everything.
Recently the USA held their elections for President. We all listened to all the predictions, comments, and bluster for eighteen months leading up to the election. Everyone was divided pretty much down the middle. Someone was going to be terribly disappointed in the outcome – whatever it was.
Watching it all unfold, I was relieved when I realized something. I did not care one way or the other! OK – I definitely have my opinions on which way our country should go, no doubt. BUT – when it came down to it, on election day – none of it was going to matter anyway. What a FREEDOM that thought brought!
What I remembered was Romans 13:1:
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those who exist are established by God.
EVERY SINGLE GOVERNMENT EVER exists because God put them there and allowed them to be. He does not choose their evil ways, but He does make use of them. Jesus told Pilate, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11). The sins that come from those governments are not because of God. Those are the choices of men. But the authority the government has is a God-given authority.
So whomever is in power; at the moment, as a Christian, my task is very simple:
- Pray for them and the effect they will have on the lives of those in their charge (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
- Respect their authority (Romans 13:1-2)
- Be submissive so I have no fear of that authority coming down on me (Romans 13:3-7)
- Keep my eye on the “better country”, for therein lies my hope (Hebrews 11:13-16, 39-40)
In the Old Testament God explains to the prophets that He uses the nations around Israel and Judah to be His tool of correction for His people (Hab. 1:5-11; Jer. 5:14-19). He also says that each of those nations will receive their own punishment for their evil doings – in His time (Is. 13 – 20). God wields nations the way a warrior wields a sword – with precision. It is not ours to know the when and the why of God’s choosing to use one nation over another. It is simply ours to keep our fealty to our Lord God and to remember our citizenship is not here, it is heaven (Phil. 3:20).
While we do have the freedom to participate in our government here in the United States, we might do well to temper our responses when things do not go as we would like. As women, wives, and mothers we have a great many other things to focus our attention and concern upon. We need to do our work, love our husbands, clean our homes, and care for our children. We need to be ready to help others. Above all we need to share the source of our peace in the midst of turmoil which is the hope we have of salvation because of the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ! We have work to do. Do not allow yourself to get distracted by relatively small things like who might be at the helm of our nation.
God is in control.
The simple fact is that God may have other plans for this nation and I may not like them. So, I need to be ready to always be submissive to whatever government is in authority over me. I need to pray every day that I am respecting HIS decisions that affect my life. So whether the new government is one to protect me as a Christian or one that is to wake me up because I have been lazy in my service to Him, I need to see it as a government that is here to serve God’s purpose.
The hard part may be the reality of actually DOING that – trusting in the government that may scare me. Oh, but remember, JESUS understands! What government did He and the apostles live under? ROME! Even as Jesus was teaching a new covenant that He knew Rome would not tolerate much better than the Jews, He also taught His followers to respect and obey the laws of that government.
Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said. And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” Matthew 22:15-21
As King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, there is “nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9)! Take heart! Others have been in our shoes – uncertain as to WHO is in control as they watch their world spiral in ways they never imagined. Have NO fear – trusting God is in control is all any of us needs to do. Doesn’t that just set your heart FREE?
PS Share with me how you remind yourself to lean on the Lord when your days do not go as you thought they should. Your methods may be of help to someone else who is struggling to get hold of their trust.