Summary: God is in control!
These verses speak of God’s Sovereignty – “all things to work” (v.28a) not just isolated incidents!
Explanation: God has promised to take your promotion as well as you demotion, your prosperity as well as your poverty, your tragedy as well as your victory, and use it to accomplish something “good” in your life through the transforming power of the Spirit. You don’t have to be consumed with anxiety. God is in control!
Quotation: Chuck Swindoll said, “When we cannot fathom why, He knows. When we cannot give reasons, He understands. When we cannot see the end, He is there (Shedding Light…88).” “Our Lord operates from an eternal agenda, not a daily planner (Making New Discoveries).”
Illustration: In Max Lucado’s book, And the Angels Were Silent, there’s a dialogue between actor Charles Heston, who played the lead role in the motion picture Ben Hur, and director Cecil DeMille. Heston said to DeMille, “I think I can drive the chariot, but I’m not sure that I can win the race.” DeMille reportedly replied: “You just stay in the race…I’ll make sure you win.”
Application: Sometimes, we feel like D. L. Moody’s young discourage parishioner. We’ve driven the chariot about as far as we can go with it. Winning isn’t even on our agenda. We would settle for survival. But God says’ “Stay in the race. I’m in control. I’ll see to it that you win and that you’ll be more like Jesus as a result of your battles.”
Application: V. Raymond Edman offers some great application points on this point of God’s Sovereignty in our lives.
“First, He brought me here, it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest. Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me the grace to behave as His child. Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends for me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow. Last, in His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows. Let me say I am here, by God’s appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time.”
Quotation: Mr. Edman also offers this piece (Tardy Oxcart, 425).
In every life
There’s a pause that is better than onward rush,
Better than hewing or mightiest doing;
‘Tis the standing still at Sovereign will.
There’s a hush that is better than ardent speech,
Better than sighing or wilderness crying;
‘Tis the being still at Sovereign will.
The pause and the hush sing a double song
In unison low and for all time long.
O human soul, God’s working plan
Goes on, nor needs the aid of man!
Stand still, and see!
Be still, and know!