Summary: Getting centered and focused on God comes when we admit God is in control
God is in Control
July 31, 2016
Life isn't easy. I don’t think I’m going to get too many disagreeing with me on that one. Life isn't easy, but it's good. Is it possible to still greet each day with a smile, to be excited about the possibilities, excited about life, excited about what God is doing - - - even when you're in the middle of a mess.
What do I mean by mess? It’s those unwelcome and sometimes unexpected complications that have a way of coming our way. Maybe the mess was caused by your own mistakes, maybe it was caused by someone else, maybe it's the result of circumstances beyond your control. They come in all shapes and sizes. They can be financial problems, work or school problems, health problems, relationship problems — or, sometimes it seems, everything at once.
We're in week two of a three week series on how to get centered in God's presence -- how to remain optimistic -- even when life doesn't fully cooperate with you. You can trust in God’s presence even when you’re going through difficult times.
Last week I spoke about the first step to getting centered in God is to declare - - to trust - SLIDE- - GOD IS FOR ME. God loves me, and in fact, God even likes me.
If you believe God is for you -- you can endure anything. You can face prison, persecution, poverty, sickness, loneliness, failure -- if you believe God is for you, you will have the strength you need to persevere anything life throws at you.
On the other hand, if you don't believe God is for you . . . if, instead, you believe God is out to get you . . . every little problem becomes monumental. Every obstacle becomes insurmountable. Something as simple as forgetting something - - can make you doubt the value of your existence. It’s a crucial first step toward getting centered - - - you need to believe - - - God is for you. It’s trusting and believing God is in control.
I think we would all agree - - the world seems like it’s totally out of control. It doesn’t feel like the good guys are winning. The reports on crime and war and unrest all over the world. Add to that the declining influence of church in society.
But I want you to know, in spite of how things may appear - - - - God is in control. No situation is beyond His grasp. No situation is beyond His power to save.
We see examples of this throughout the Bible. When the people of Israel stood on the banks of the Red Sea, with the rushing water in front of them and Pharoah's army closing in behind them, the situation looked out of control. But, with God, things aren't always what they appear to be. He made a way for the people of Israel to pass through the Red Sea, and He stopped Pharaoh's army.
In the same way, when Jesus was arrested on that Friday — — when His disciples scattered and He was crucified, then His lifeless body was put into a tomb. The world appeared out of control. There was chaos. All that Jesus worked for, all He spoke about, seemed to be lost forever.
But with God, things aren't always what they appear to be. The death of Jesus on the cross wasn’t a victory for satan. It was a crushing defeat. God was in control!
Some of you are facing out-of-control situations right now. Life seems to be tossing you one catastrophe after another . . . and maybe you don't know how to respond. Maybe you think this is a situation no one can fix -- not even an all-powerful, all-knowing God.
In spite of how things appear, I want you to know: God is in control. Whatever is going on in your life, God knows about it. Your situation did not catch God off guard. He’s not surprised by your mess. He knows all about it. If you want to find a place of peace during the storm, if you want to get centered in the middle of this mess, then you need to nail down this certainty once and for all.
Yet, I want you to know that if you’re in a mess right now and you feel like all of life is against you, know that you’re not alone. Listen to the Psalmist ~
1 Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? – Psalm 10:1
23 Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication, for my cause, my God and my Lord! – Psalm 35:23
2 For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me. – Psalm 38:2