Some days, it seems as if the whole world has gone mad and that it’s spinning out of control. With all the conflict and confusion, we cannot help but have a sober and sincere concern for our children and our children’s children as they face an increasingly chaotic and hostile world. But as history shows, this is largely the same sentiment of our fathers and our fathers’ fathers—all the way back to the fall.
The world, on the other hand, wants to give the impression that everything is going to be just fine—that everything is under control, and that world peace is just around the corner if we all just give in, give up everything we believe, and get along. The truth is that everything is not going to be just fine; everything is going to be perfect. Everything is indeed under control, and world peace will come when the Prince of Peace returns. Until that day—and we pray it comes quickly—we strive against the chaos, conflict, and confusion of this world, resting in the fact that God is sovereign and that He’s got the whole world in His hands.
Life is not always good, but God is good, and He is in control.
The problem is not just in the world, but in our hearts. Just as the world wants to give the impression that they have everything under control, so we want not only to give the impression that everything is under perfect control in our hearts and homes, we actually want to have complete control as if we sovereignly reigned over all. We want everyone to like us, to look up to us, and to want to be precisely what we want them to be. What’s more, we want the world to be impressed with us, and we even sometimes want our friends to be a little jealous of us as they see that we seem to have everything perfectly under control.
Life is not always good, but God is good, and He is in control. One way He shows us He is in control is by showing us we’re not. He shatters our illusions of a perfect life this side of heaven and brings us to our knees through trials, heartbreak, death, and disease. Our loving Father often gives us trials not so we might run from the trial, but in order to get us to run to the One who gave us the trial. For we don’t always run to Him when we feel like we have everything under control. What’s more, we don’t pray as we ought when we think we have everything under control. Prayer is our surrender of our perceived control over our lives to the One who has control over them and cares about them more than we do. And so, we are told to cast all our cares upon the Lord—not just the ones we think we don’t have control over—looking to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
Dr. Burk Parsons (@BurkParsons) is editor of Tabletalk magazine, senior pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., and a Ligonier Ministries teaching fellow. He is cotranslator and coeditor of A Little Book on the Christian Life by John Calvin.