I’ve learned that if you are in control of your life then God isn’t. God created us to love him, but there could be no mature love between us and him without the freedom to choose. There are three basic beliefs that we as Christians hold as it relates to the control issue in our life. First, God is supremely in control when he limits his control. Second, he is sensitively in control as he grants us the gift of free will, knowing what we may do with it. Third, he is sublimely in control as he intervenes and brings good out of evil that happens to and around us.
These three great truths about the nature of God help us to have the assurance that he is in the midst of our topsy-turvy lives bringing meaning, purpose, and direction. God has taken the risk to give us the freedom to choose. We could either be puppets or persons. The desire of God is for us to love him. He wants us to be a person and not a puppet. And so we must dare to be what he asked us to do with the dangers of misusing our freedom. The great assurance is that he does not leave us alone with that freedom. He loves us so much that he uses the circumstances that he allows to happen to us to help us grow. When we feel as if our lives are out of control it provides the perfect situation for us to deepen our faith and dependence upon him. Even in those events in life that cause us to cry out, “God, please help me,” he uses these as turning points in our spiritual journey. Rest assured that nothing will happen that will not ultimately be used to shape us into the person that we were meant to be.
There are many things in life that you can’t control. You have to take it as it comes. We waste time and energy worrying about things we can’t control. Instead we need to be focusing on the things that we can control the things that we can do something about. Don’t worry incessantly about the things you can’t control or change.
You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control your attitude. One of the major growth areas for most of us is developing an attitude that is willing to learn from disappointments, setbacks, and failures as they happen and then turn them into strengths and wisdom for the future. I like the prayer a minister prayed when his church was making an important decision: “Lord, please help us to be right about this because if we are wrong we will possibly keep doing it the wrong way for the next one hundred years.” He knew how resistant to change people can be. It is sad that so many people react to change or any setback with a negative whining attitude. Such an attitude will not do – cannot do – you any good. Again, the proper attitude is to ask yourself some tough questions: What can I learn from this that will help me the next time? How can I turn this disadvantage into an advantage? I believe it will be impossible for me to overstate the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. A negative attitude takes a bad situation and makes it worse. If you have a negative attitude you are not going to go very far in life. So do yourself and others a favor – control your attitude – keep it positive!
Is your life out of control? Then let Jesus Christ control your life today, tomorrow, and every day for the remainder of your life. You will be amazed at what will happen when you learn to trust him and rely upon him to be in control. I encourage you to resign as president of the universe. And let the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills be your rock and your refuge in times of trouble.
See you Sunday in church!