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God's control over everything
- Jacob Ninan
It's deeply comforting to know that our Father in heaven is in total control of not only everything that happens to us, His children, but also everything else that goes on in the entire universe. Nothing catches Him by surprise or escape His notice (Mt.10:29;Lk.12:7). Even the decisions the heads of states make are subject to God's sovereignty (Pr.21:1). Satan himself has to obtain God's permission before he can touch us, God's children (Job.1:9-12). We can place all our cares, fears, anxieties and doubts into God's hands and know that He cares (1Pe.5:6,7).
The question that comes up then is why bad things still happen to us. This does not prove that God is not in control. (Some preachers say that nothing bad really happens to them, because God does everything for their good. But that is to deny the reality of bad things that happen and the suffering we all go through. Rom.8:28 (NASB) says only that God causes all things to work for our good--sometimes by positively making good things to happen, and sometimes also by causing bad things to result in our ultimate good.) When God created man with a free will, man chose to sin and the consequences of sin continue to be present even now. Sometimes we suffer due to our own sin or folly, sometimes from other people's sins, and sometimes because we live in a sin-defiled world with calamities, sickness, pain, etc. How is God still in control?
When the disciples asked Jesus whether a man born blind was that way because of his or his parents' sin, Jesus replied that it was not due to their sin but that the works of God may be seen through him (Jn.9:2,3). Some people misinterpret this as if it was God who made this man blind to start with, with the intention that one day Jesus would heal him! Such a concept would imply that sometimes God would do evil in order to achieve a good end! But this is unthinkable once we know the heart of God. Isn't it right to understand this in this way that God permitted Satan or natural causes (we don't know which it really was) to make this man blind knowing that one day He would heal him through Jesus? Some people misread Amos.3:6 to place the blame on God for every calamity that happens, not realising that when there is an obvious misfit between what a verse seems to say and God's character, we need to interpret that verse wisely? (When Jesus tells us to cut off our hand and pluck out our eyes--Mt.5:29,30, we understand differently, don't we?)
Within the scope of His supreme sovereignty and control, God has permitted a certain limited scope for people and Satan to do what they like. But He has His control on everything so meticulously that whenever something tends to cross His set limits He will intervene. For example, He will allow us to make mistakes, but will intervene if we are about to make any terrible mistake (Ps.37:23,24). If Satan tries to tempt us beyond a point, God will not allow him (1Cor.10:13). So God is still very much in control!