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Is God In Control During Our Darkest Hours?

Is God In Control During Our Darkest Hours?

Have you ever wondered what God is doing in the middle of a trial?

Do you wonder if He sees and knows the details of your crisis?

Do you fear that other people will ruin your life or stand in the way of your progress if you don’t fight for your rights and run life your way?

For our 25th wedding anniversary, Peter surprised me and took me to London. One of the highlights for me was walking through National Gallery and viewing all the gorgeous artwork. If you study the great pieces of art, you’ll notice that each masterpiece has a bright spot–a highlight, or an area of light that takes centerstage. It might be an illuminated face, or a highlight in the fold of a garment, or the reflection of the moon on the foaming sea or some gleam from a silver teapot. Did you know that one way to draw your eyes to the light in a painting is to surround it with darkness?  The contrast of dark next to light draws your eyes to what you want seen.


When we struggle with long-term trials or dark seasons in our lives,

when we wonder what on earth God is doing,

it’s then that we need to remember that God, the Master Artist, knows His craft and is purposefully arranging the masterpiece of our lives with depth, darkness, and even things we find unacceptable, so that He can highlight and perfect the story we tell about Him in the end.

The topic of God’s sovereignty could fill volumes, and I’ll barely touch the surface here, except to say that if you are God’s child, God’s sovereignty over your life should fill you with absolute peace.

I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,” calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.  Is.46:9-11

He controls nature, life and death, and puts rulers in power and takes them down.

John Piper said, “There may have been a hundred horrible things in your life. But if today you are moved to treasure Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can write over every one of those horrors the words of Genesis 50:20: Satan, “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”

Then why do we worry so? Why are we tempted to take matters into our own {capable} hands?

Our fallen minds often ascribe fallen attributes to God. We assume He’s like us. We’re used to being sinned against, we’ve only known imperfection and unfaithfulness, disloyalty, pettiness, and fickleness in our experiences with other humans, so we think God is like that as well.


We might affirm that God loves us, yes. But we’re not really sure He likes us or approves of us. We wonder if we are a disappointment to Him.

But in Christ, this thinking is totally faulty.

To set our thinking straight, think of your  love for your own children. We love our kids! There’s nothing they could do to make you forget them for a day, let alone, hate them. You are always FOR your own child. You’re excited when good comes to them, or when they succeed or get some special opportunity! (My daughter just won a $10K honeymoon trip and I can’t stop thinking about how happy I am for her!)* We’re upset and distraught when they are hurt or mistreated or struggling. You sacrifice for your kids. There’s nothing you wouldn’t do for them!


Now, imagine what God’s love must be like for His own children. He shows us the lengths He was willing to take for us on the cross, He takes note of every hair on our head, He has given us freely all things. We are known, adopted, joint-heirs, loved sacrificially. And He has the FINAL SAY in your life. Nobody can trump His will or spoil His plans.

God is sovereign over your life. Breathe.

Yes, we do live in the fallen world, but we don’t live outside of the control of God’s final word.

This means:

  • that every detail of my life is under His rule.
  • Everything comes through His hand.
  • nobody can ultimately harm me, even if I am harmed temporarily.
  • nobody can thwart God’s plans for my life.

When it seems that life is out of control, remember that it isn’t.

  • When you are forgotten, remember that God always sees you and loves you. Your name is graven on His hands.
  • When you are overlooked or pushed out, remember that God gives you what is good and withholds what is not. He has assigned your portion and your cup and has made your lot secure.
  • When people criticize you, or assign negative motives to your good deeds, God may be giving you an opportunity to walk in obedience and be an example in a culture that is critical and judgmental.
  • When others form friendships around “hating you” or criticizing everything you do,  God may have you there to be a healer to others in the same boat in a toxic environment. (Remember, their words are a reflection of them, not you.)
  • When people who should support you and collaborate with you, stand against you or compete against you, God is still leading you and perhaps He is using their sin against you for a greater purpose, to push you in a new direction you might not have chosen for yourself. He may open doors for you because people closed doors on you.

My friend, I can tell you from experience, God’s will cannot be stopped. He lifts up those who are stepped on. He leads you and gives you the opportunities He intends for you to have. No mere human can stop His will. Man’s roadblocks are nothing to Him if he intends for you travel a certain way.

This should be a huge sigh of relief for us.

You are seen and known and loved. He has plans and purposes and good works mapped out for you to do and nothing will thwart that: not critical tongues, not manipulating behind-the- scenes behavior, not back room deals. Nothing. He puts you in spheres, either pleasant or unpleasant, to do the good works He ordained for you. Do them regardless. Be faithful. Trust Him. Know that He’s working all things out for your good.

I know that You can do anything and no plan of Yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

No wisdom, no understanding, and no counselwill prevail against the Lord. Proverbs 21:30

Vintage Bird 1


*If you want to test your love for others, think of how you love your kids and how you react when they receive good. Now think of that one person you struggle with and test whether your reactions would be the same for them. Your kid was honored! Yay! That person was honored. Grr. Your child got a great opportunity! YAY. That person got a great opportunity. Grr. We know we love our kids, so our reactions are a pretty good measure of our love.  If you can’t rejoice when good happens to your neighbor, ask yourself “Why not?!” Ask God to root out bitter thoughts, a critical spirit, a jealous streak, or hate that masks as indifference or apathy. Love is not optional, it’s not selective, and must be even to our enemies. This is part of our new nature.


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