If God is in Control, Why…

Written by Judy Hildebrandt

godisincontrolWhat do you do when the roof falls in? I hate failure and disappointment. Why does God allow these things to happen to me if He’s really in control?

God often allows failure to point us to one critical truth…we can’t live the Christian life on our own. Throughout our lives, there will be times when God will place us in situations that will cause us to realize our insufficiency and make us depend on Him. Only Jesus has lived perfectly the Christian life and if anything of eternal value is going to be accomplished through my life, He is going to have to do it!

2 Cor. 4:17,18 says, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Earlier in this book (1:8) Paul says, “we were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.” When Paul speaks of “light and momentary troubles”, we know that actually his trouble was severe, BUT in comparison to what was being gained and accomplished in his life and ministry – it was insignificant. In fact, he says, it “far outweighs them all.” What a perspective! How do I get it?

Recognizing that God has allowed or placed me in the situations I’m in to add to my character something of eternal value is the first step to dealing positively with failure or disappointment. I need to believe that this particular situation is His special way of performing His refining work in my character and accomplishing in me that which will far outlast what is presently disappointing me. He is using this situation to teach me how to walk by faith and to equip me to make eternal investments in the lives of others. Romans 8:29 clearly states that every situation has the effect of molding us into Christ’s image and ICor. 1:4 explains how our ministry is made more effective by experiencing trouble! Circumstances are not out of control but are used for our good in the hands of a loving God!

We become bitter to the degree we don’t give thanks to God. Purpose to focus on what He has given rather than what is gone. Choose with your will, not your feelings, to form a habit of giving thanks often remembering that He is in control and is working in your life to produce that which is precious and which will not fade away but will last for eternity.

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28 Responses to “If God is in Control, Why…”

  • Sharon Sharon says:

    to John– if God is not in control who is then. I feel for you it is hard to see God in control when trouble comes and to believe in HIM it is beyond our imagination we can’t fathom on who God is. our head can’t wrap God around our heads and minds prayers does work if you let God work in your life and want to see it I am praying for you to really know God somehow. from sharon

  • John says:

    I hate this idea of godly control always have done. I unfortunately gave in to prayer a few years ago and have regretted turning to it for help- Its not that I don’t believe theres a benevolent dictator up there – At the moment we are doing battle but with any dictator its impossible to dislodge them – My advice think carefully before falling into the trap of turning to gods prayer especially the ones that litter prayer publications these often tell you to give up your will to god – What i find is an entity who is outside my own belief system and doesnt like to give in

  • John says:

    I hate this idea of godly control always have done. I unfortunately gave in to prayer a few years ago and have regretted turning to it for help- Its not that I don’t believe theres a benevolent dictator up there – At the moment we are doing battle but with any dictator its impossible to dislodge them – My advice think carefully before falling into the trap of turning to gods prayer especially the ones that litter prayer publications these often tell you to give up your will to god – What i find is an entity who is outside my own belief system

  • RAVIKIRAN P says:

    In my child why I fall in love ,it is my big problem, 14 year loving since , my life lot dist……, always thinking 24*7, I using drug tablets , it is little use for out coming in love , without my lover,life is not have again position I came ,I not understand in child with out seeing face with touch I fall in love , it is real my lucky ,I tried all direction I fail all , I want end my life there is no way ,I fail , pheromones I got ,it useful ? Zinc need in body , god is very sin ,real Iam telling , I hate god ,I little believes technology sec…. now it useful ,my life ? ??????? , she is loving me ?

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Rosslyn, I read through your comment several times and I can’t make out what you’re trying to say. You start out by saying that the world would be better without God but then by the end you’re saying “stop playing with the toys of the unbeliever” which almost sounds like a pro-religion standpoint.

  • Rosslyn says:

    The world would be a better place if there is no belief in some form of ‘God’, the greatest disappointments in life is created by the word and understanding of a ‘God’. With that the new generation is turning on societies values because they rebelling through feeling as though they being lied to and they are our future, why is it that the new generation wisdom is being overthrown by fears of the new age. The kids say there is no God, and they created website’s and social networks for us to use not to over-power the toys that they created for us to researche the human psych. Stop playing with the toys of the unbeliever, because they are only creating these toys to bring awareness to the new way of things. Nobody needs to be lied to anymore it’s the 21 Century, we should try another way!

  • Barbara Alpert Barbara Alpert says:

    Hi Geraldine, So glad that you enjoyed this article and our site. With God there are no accidents. His perfect timing always comes just when we need it the most and when we are fully ready to receive that which He wants to relate to us. Hope you take some time to check out all the other great articles, videos and studies. Let us know if you have any further questions that we can help you with.

  • GERALDINE says:

    Helpful information. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident did not happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Bob, it is important to remember that God is not only sovereign, that is in control of all things, but sin came into the world because of man’s self-will. God does not take away the consequences of our sin and sometimes that is the hardest thing of all. You are so right in saying that God gave man free will.

  • bob columbia mo says:

    I believe God gave man to be in control of things on this earth. Man failed allowing Satan and sin to come in to this life. Control is by man either looking to man ,looking to god or looking to Satan. For a Christian praying to God asking God to control some things in his or hers life Then I believe God does control. For nun christian I think man sometimes allows Satan to control and sometimes man himself controls Yes God is Almighty and can control anything He wants but when he created man he also gave man a freewill and to rule over things

  • Mark says:

    Love&Peace” in life there will be a struggle and true this difficult the lord will always
    Make A way of escape if not E will guide us true the fire wee learn something from trials and tribulations this is warn make us strong stronger in joy your blessing for you walk by faith not by sight

  • Hi Jen,

    I will try to provide some answers to your questions, but given that my last comment was unsatisfying to you, I’m not sure this one will be either. I don’t claim to have all the answers after all, but hopefully what I do share will be of at least some value. Sharing a bit more about your background (without getting too personal or revealing identifiable details of course) might help people to give more satisfying answers.

    It sounds from your first paragraph that you have been on the receiving end of “Christians [supposed Christians] behaving badly.” I have no interest in trying to defend such behavior, so I won’t. I will suggest that those who do such things are not reflecting the kind of values (the kind of “fruit” so to speak) that we would expect to see from someone who claims to follow Jesus. In terms of suing people, it shouldn’t be a Christian’s first resort against another Christian, but then it could still be justified in some circumstances. See here for example.

    With regard to the “other inconsistencies in the Bible,” I’m not sure any response I could give could be adequate to your central query re more bad things happening to Christians, since if I disagree with you, you’ve already said that I am just a “hypocrite,” which I don’t think is really fair. You’ve made the objective claim that more bad things happen to Christians than non-Christians; even saying it is “100% guaranteed.” Can you prove that this is always true? (I don’t mean to downplay your apparently negative experiences at all, but only to suggest that the experiences you’ve had and seen may not be uniformly representative.)

    For the sake of argument, even if it is true that Christians have more bad things happen to them (which, at the risk of being a “hypocrite,” I don’t think is true, at very least not always true), Jesus spoke often about how Christians would have trouble … ex, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) and the entire passage headed “The World Hates the Disciples” (all Christians are disciples) in John 15:18-27. I don’t know why a Christian would be surprised that they suffer trouble? Nowhere does Jesus say “Come be a Christian and relax on easy street forever.”

    Re evolution, this is just my own opinion, but I don’t think that God-guided evolution (aka theistic evolution) is incompatible with the Bible or Christian faith. The way in which God chose to create and work in the world isn’t important to me, only that He did. There are a lot of modern misunderstandings or exaggerations about things like the church persecuting Galileo. My views on the relationship between science and faith can be found here if anyone is interested.

    My last comment is that I don’t think it’s accurate to portray my beliefs as being “there is basically no difference in what kind of life God grants Christians and non-Christians” as you’ve stated Jen. I would say that a Christian’s life will be easier in some ways and more difficult in others, but in all ways can and should be more fulfilling, since a Christian will be living the kind of life they were always meant to live in their design by their creator. We will always have unanswered questions; some questions we will discover answers to eventually with perseverance, others we may never fully understand. But there will come a time when instead of us asking questions, it will be God asking US questions. I hope that when that time comes, I hope that we are ready to respond.

  • Carolyn says:

    Yep, Jen. The Christian Church is no freer from sin than the rest of the human race. I’ll be honest, I have a real love/hate relationship with the church – and many times even with other Christians. The majority of the things you point to are so true. It’s what brings shame to the Christian Church and to us Christians, as well. But even worse, it abuses the very love God has given us. It is also an example of why grace can seem so unfair. Our human nature cries for Justice; and if Christianity is so great, then why can’t Christians be better than the rest of the human race? What’s so great about God if we’re guaranteed, in many ways, to have just as rough a life here on earth as everyone else. But God never said we would never have problems. He never said we would always be successful. He promises instead to be with us. We look to God for an answer and God gives us love, grace and forgiveness instead. What kind of crazy God would do that? But He does. I have also experienced something else. Because of that love and forgiveness, I get the courage to say, you’re right. We have sinned. I truly repent and ask you and others for forgiveness. Even though I still don’t do it perfectly, I am learning how to forgive others, as well. It empowers me to care about you and so many others who are genuinely hurting and longing for something better. It is that gift of grace that runs throughout the Bible.

  • Jen says:

    Darren and others,

    Looking at it at an objective point of view, the Bible is not consistent and full of holes. Aside from the issue I mentioned before (which you did not really answer directly), more inconsistencies are found. You have supposedly Church leaders and pastors committing sin by using church money for their personal gains and lavish lifestyles, and on general so many self-righteous hypocritical christians running around preaching and exclaiming the word of God, but committing unremorseful bad deeds even to their fellow christians. And whenever this bad thing happens, we are supposed to just rebuke and “pray” for the erring Christian and not advisable to sue that person. Why? I’m still waiting for “justice” from God, I might die if I hold my breath.

    And then you have the other inconsistencies in the Bible: why do more bad things happen to Christians than non-Christians? (Christians who do not admit this happens are really hypocrites as well) Why are there disasters that kill even “good” Christians? Why is there no mention of the creation of micro-organisms in the Book of Genesis, though it is very clear they were first created even before the plants animals and man? Why are Christians so arrogrant ego-centric people, first believing the Earth is the center of the universe (which they were proven wrong by science), and now believing Man just appeared all of a sudden in Eden as opposed to coming from ape-like animals? Christians are in denial that evolution does exist, because Christians cannot accept that Man came from evolution from animals. And why did God create mosquitoes and other parasites? All these questions and no clear answers.

    A very clear answer on all these issues will be appreciated, as opposed to the unconvincing answer mentioned earlier by Darren, because based on what he said what the Bible said, there is basically no difference in what kind of life God grants Christians and non-Christians. In fact, your life will denifitely be more difficult as Christian. 100% guaranteed.

  • Darren says:

    Jen, I’m not sure if you are posting your comments from a Christian perspective or not. But here is a Christian view on the matter.

    Jesus once said that “God causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45) God’s mercy extends to all human beings who He created. Why should God be faulted for giving good gifts to the people he made? (Remember that non-Christians have no more righteousness of themselves than Christians do, since a Christian is “credited with righteousness” (Romans 4:5 et al))

    I think when the author spoke about being unable to live apart from God, she was referring to living the kind of life God meant for us. She said “we can’t live the Christian life on our own” which I think is entirely true. To live that kind of life requires first to understand the kind of freedom living God’s way offers (ie, the freedom to become the way we are truly meant to be) and second to be reborn and have the Holy Spirit live within us to guide us.

  • Jen says:

    “God often allows failure to point us to one critical truth…we can’t live the Christian life on our own.”

    And so tell me… if that were true, why does God allow success to non-Christians, especially to non-Christians? Andy why can these non-Christians live on their own? It’s really a bunch of bullcrap. I honestly tried to see the logic and reasoning for this way of thinking, but it just does not make sense.

  • Carolyn Schoenborn says:

    Akan, I am going through something similar. The message that has come to me is “Wait! Trust!”

  • Akan says:

    I don’t seem to understand. I have never in my ministry had this kind of failure i’m experiencing now. People are dieing as there is something wrong. I’ve praid and organised programmes. Including fasting and prayers. What else should i do.

  • boy says:

    HIS will not ours, shall prevail. To God be all the Glory and praises. Amen

  • Adrianna says:

    Thank you for the encouraging word…I just was crying to the Lord “Why” about a certain situation in my life and this article really helped cheer me up! I could not have made it this far without Him. He is so beautiful and sweet and always there, faithful. I’m learning not to run from Him when I’m in pain but to run to Him instead through these difficult situations and He sees me through.

    Blessings Adrianna

  • Shernett says:

    What a beautiful article. It has really ministered to me especially at a time as this. My husband and I have just lost our 1 month old son. Daily God is teaching us to trust him knowing that indeed he is in control and he is using this difficult time to mold us. I know as a counsellor that God will use this to help me in my ministry. Thanks for reminding me that I shouldn’t just focus on what God has taken away but what he has give. And so I give God thanks that we still have our oldest son who is 9 years old and has alreday surrendered his life to Christ. God Bless!

    Shernett (Jamaica)

  • maricor yang says:

    Dont mind what other people say about you; just go on with your life as like it said in Proverbs 29:25 fear of man will prove to be snare but whoever trust in the Lord is kept safe. trust God will all your heart and minds and God find the best way in you God bless Ms. Amy taylor God bless

    In Jesus

    name

    Amen

  • Amy Taylor says:

    What a great article and I really like the comment about it not just being about us. My life and all that is in it is a testimony to God’s power and goodness. My trial stands as an example and has a ripple effect on those around me and then on and on from that.

  • maricor yang says:

    W We thanked the Lord God for He remembered our names in His plans,God teach us everyday thru the guidance of the Holy Spirit; for God teach us first is love as like it said John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you love one another As I have loved you, so you must love one another ; by this all men will know that you are my disciples; if you love one another. as it said also in Romans 13:10 love does no harm it neighbor so it means the fulfillment of the Law is “LOVE”. for the love you may understand the word of God and how the word helps you in your daily living, in every teaching that you learn try to apply in real life, with this word of wisdom we learn to forgive, to be humble to be patient,to be friendly, to love our neighbors as ourselves, we learn to understand others, with this word you learn to love God with all your heart, with all your mind,with all your soul, and all your strenght, you learn to bow your head and surrender yourself to God,you learn to obey His laws and not your own will, and every trials that you have you may think twice,because you know God, you know His laws and in your heart God teach you the way you should go. for we are all must have the doctrine so we may not go in wrong way, so if somebody asked to us we know how to answer it.

    sometimes God gave us trial to test our faith to learn and have lesson to remember, for the word of God is in us we know how to survive it, we know how to drive it because of Gods love and understanding is in us. for God will not leave us or forsake us. as it said Isaiah 49:15-16 others may forget you but not shall I. when we pray talk to God privately, give all your worries all burden in your heart and God will find the best way in you as it like it said Mathew 11:28-30

    Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and lowly and humble in heart and you will find the rest of your soul.for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. and once you submit all to God look and see
    the miracles God will let in and start to move in your life. and you may see the next thing…always thanked the Lord God!the more you
    know God, the more you become closer to Him.and
    you might feel He is God and a forever bestfriend in your heart. and in every of your steps there is light upon you His name is “Jesus” and if you feel that way always GOD IS KNOCKING!!!

  • I loved your article, Judy. The one issue that still bothers me, though, is the way we Christians have a tendency to make individual trials and tribulations JUST about me. Why is this happening to ME?! While the answer to this question is important, it is only half of the story. The other half is about how God is dealing with the larger world and the domination of the larger systemic principalities and powers of the world. God has promised to turn ALL tribulations towards an ultimate GOOD – even if we (the Body of Christ or society as a whole) may not see or experience that good for months, or even years down the line. It is important to know that God is dealing with universal issues – of which I am a significant part. – CJS; Life Journey Ministries

  • maricor yang says:

    God is in control to change our attitude towards lives, for lives is meaningful to God, that we must give important becuase this is special gifts to all and always think we have only one life to live. for the word of God teach us everyday to learn and to apply in real lives. because of Gods love and understanding in every of our steps we made a decision which is right to our steps, for the word of wisdom is in us, all the trials comes in our ways we know how to drive it and with our prayers of thanksgiving to God, to thanks for power of His words our lives becomes wonderful and continue our living and we may not forget this things happens to all just let us know God love us so much no matter who we are in our lives, or what status of our lives will be. God is merciful and kind for what we have, we have too because in Him we are His reflections character. and little things that we do it means a lot to God, for in accordance to our faith; for Gods love is no measurable but with no end specially like you because you are chosen before the earth created and with purpose by his hand.

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  • waseem yousaf says:

    Dear Brother,

    I am Waseem Yousaf from Pakistan. I have studied your web site, and I found it the most wonderful site to get right to the True Word of God. My suggestion for you is to create your material in my language of Urdu and Punjabi also. It will bring lots of blessings of the Word of God for the Pakistani and Indian Urdu and Punjabi speaking people. For that purpose I as a translator will bring your material into Urdu languages and into Punjabi language as well. Although it will take your low expenses as well, as fund for the Word of God to reach out to the deserving people. I my self, work on a local radio station also. Many times it becomes difficult for us to keep doing this because of being minorities and because of the lack of the financial resources. I will wait for your response.

    Sincerely,
    Waseem Yousaf (Pakistan).

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