Do I ever feel like some situations in my life are just out of control?
(OK, before we get too far in this post … I am writing this post to myself and sharing it with you. Maybe you will relate … maybe you won’t … but my response to the above question needs evaluation and more surrender …)
Let me be the first to confess … I do. There are certain aspects of my life that seem totally out of control … some so much so that I am consumed with worry and fear and paralyzed with either total procrastination or inaction. After all, procrastinate long enough and the issue goes away, right?
OK, but my opening question really isn’t worded right …
Do I ever feel like some situations in my life are just out of MY control?
That one little two letter work begins to bring things into focus … and goes a long way in explaining any anxiety, fear and worry I am experiencing. But as a follower of Jesus Christ, shouldn’t I be asking an even different question …
Do I ever feel like some situations in my life are just out of GOD’S control?
The answer to that question can be a faith dissecting one revealing things about my faith I have not fully confessed or dealt with … after all, are anxiety, fear and worry characteristics of a strong faith … I think not.
Do I ever truly control all the situations in my life?
Quite thankfully … I must say ‘No’. The belief that I do is simply the result of a ruse of the enemy, my flesh and my pride … a ruse to keep me from repenting and trusting in the One who is truly in control of ALL the situations in my life … Christ Jesus. And I must confess I am NOT a reluctant victim to that ruse … at times I truly embrace it.
So quite frankly I have a faith issue … and that issue encompasses what I currently see as three issues …
- First, I want to control my life
- Second, as such, I think I am the author of my faith
- Third, I either doubt God’s ability in the midst of my situations –or- I’m not exactly embracing the outcomes of His sovereignty … I am discontent in the midst of His control
So I need a few reminders … some of these verses I know we have looked at recently. First, if a passage ever signified the loss of ‘my’ control to be experienced by a born-again believer, this is it …
Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.“ John 3:7-8 (ESV)
Now while that does reveal I am no longer in control, it does reveal that God is fully in control!
Now while I may be provided some very, very limited editorial responsibility in the walk of faith, let me not be confused as to Who the true author of faith is … because to do so, as the passage reveals, will indeed cause me to grow weary and lose heart.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 (NASB)
If I will truly embrace that truth, then Jesus will indeed perfect my faith … and that faith will trust in his guiding hand in ALL circumstances …
And we know that God causes all things to be good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (Webb)
OOPS! Had a little typo there … perhaps my mind is revealing something to me … but quite frankly, isn’t that how we oftentimes interpret that verse? OK, let’s see if we can get it right this time …
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (ESV)
OK, this is easily explained. In the midst of his arrest, beatings, mock trial and crucifixion, do you think Jesus was thinking God causes all things to be good? I don’t think so … remember in the garden he sought to have His Father remove the cup He was about to drink … and as the crucifixion drew to a close He asked His Father why He had forsaken Him? These are not the words of a man who believes God causes all things to be good.
That said … there is absolutely NO doubt Jesus believed and embraced the truth that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Sneak another peak at the Hebrews 12 passage above … who for the joy set before Him endured the cross. Even in the midst of the difficult things, Jesus saw and trusted how they would be working together with everything else FOR GOOD … not only for His good … but for my good … for our good … I long to embrace such a visionary faith.
Which brings me to one of the real problems I am struggling with … in the midst of the difficult things I practice discontent instead of faith …
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 (ESV)
Interesting … I don’t embrace contentment for my sake … I embrace contentment for the sake of Christ Jesus. This seems very paradoxical … I will embrace contentment in the midst of my weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, calamities … where are the things that naturally provoke contentment?
I think that’s enough self-talk for today … Lord, I have much to pray and meditate upon.