Here are some thoughts on how we as Christians ought to think through God’s control over our physical circumstances.
God’s Control of Our Physical Circumstances Demonstrated from the Bible
I. God Controls Nature
- When the weather is good
Matthew 5:45: …for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
- When the weather is bad
The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.
II. God Controls Physical Afflictions
- Our Physical Limitations
Exodus 4:11: The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
- Our Physical Maladies
John 9:2–3: And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Our Response to God’s Control
I. An Attitude of Trust NOT a Victim Mentality
As Christians we must recognize and accept the fact that we are not victims of our situation. The circumstances we face, no matter how tragic, are ultimately from the Lord. We are not victims of an impersonal tragedy. We are participants of divine Providence. Among other things, this means that we can’t blame our circumstances for our sins. James 1:13-18 puts it this way,
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
II. An Attitude of Thanksgiving NOT Complaining
When we understand that God is in control of the circumstances of our lives that means when we complain about those circumstances we are ultimately complaining about God. If God weren’t in control then Philippians 2:14 wouldn’t make any sense at all:
Do all things without grumbling or disputing
Rather than complaining we must be thankful to God for the circumstances we face, even when they are trials, because they are a part of the good plan that God has for our lives.
III. An Attitude of Responsibility NOT Resignation
When we understand that God is in control of the circumstances of our lives our response to a trial should be an attitude of responsibility not resignation. A Fatalist looks at a situation and says, “I can’t change it anyway so why try.” A Christian looks at a situation and says, “God is in control and he will hold me responsible for how I respond.” When we understand that God is in control of even bad circumstances that should give us the hope to keep being faithful, not an excuse to do nothing! Habakkuk finally figured this out. He didn’t understand what God was doing, but he did finally realize that God was in control. Habakkuk 3:17-18 records his response:
Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
He took responsibility for his attitude and determined to rejoice and be joyful even though his circumstances had not changed!