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God is still in control no matter what: Delineating the theological
principles upon which this statement is constructed.
Discussing some of the misconceptions and misunderstandings associated
with this profound theological formulation, 'God is still in control no matter
what,' is vital to comprehending sources used by people of faith to draw from
and help construct this position statement for the life journey. When we
verbalize this profound statement, we are, in a few words, summarizing and
acknowledging the fundamental truth, which is central to our Christian faith.
This position emanates from a deep sense of gratitude for who we are as
children of God. We appreciate that the Good News's transforming power can
mend the broken hearts and heal our troubled world. Hence, when we say,
'God is still in control no matter what,' we are submitting, repositioning, and
aligning ourselves with the transforming power of God's word. We are
affirming the Good News and the love of God demonstrated in Jesus Christ
The Apostle John cogently articulated the basis for Christ's ministry on earth
in John 10:10 this way, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I
have come that they may have life and have it to the full." Although the
opposing forces are always with us here on earth to steal our peace, destroy
our hope and kill our physical bodies, we also know that the coming of Christ
was to bring the Good News and assurance for us to have the fullness of life.
Christ came to show the way and model how to live life fully. Jesus
demonstrated this through His ministry, suffering, death, resurrection, and
ascension, which are the centerpieces of our Christian faith. Hence, we don't
say, 'God is still in control no matter what,' to appease or console ourselves
as we go through hard times, but as a way of professing the faith that has
developed from the knowledge of the Gospel.
The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 18: 1 said, "For the message of the cross is
foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the
power of God." Although sometimes our faith can be perceived and described
as an act of foolishness, the truth of the matter is that we know who we are
and how we have experienced God's love and grace amid frustrations, pain,
and even loss. When we go through these experiences, we sense the abiding
presence of God articulated in the Good News. We affirm what the Apostle
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5: 7, "For we live by faith, not by sight."
While we acknowledge that presence, we also know that no words can
adequately express the deep connection we feel in knowing who is on our side
in times of pain and sorrow. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel used the word
'ineffable' to describe the unexplainable spiritual feeling we have when we
encounter the power of the Holy. We may not explain them, but experiences
of the Divine in the scriptures can be appreciated and can instill in us hope
and peace and gratitude for the presence of God known to us as Emmanuel.
The Divine's ineffable nature inspires us to humble ourselves and trust God
beyond what human words can conceive.
'God is still in control no matter what.' Uttering this faith statement does not
mean we are merely numbing our physical pain or using it as a coping
mechanism. Still, we acknowledge our present realities while expressing our
faith in the one we trust. In the scriptures, we have seen how Jesus Christ
handled the emotional, spiritual, and physical pain experienced during His
ministry. Scriptures tell us that He was not immune to emotional pain and loss.
In John 11: 33 – 35, Jesus mourned the death of his friend Lazarus. In Matthew
27: 45 – 47, Jesus was in physical pain on the cross, and He prayed in agony.
In Matthew 23: 37, He was troubled in spirit when he saw that people would
not heed his words. All these scriptures assure us that God knows who we are
and understands what we are going through. Through Jesus's pain and
suffering, we see God's grace and love and know that our God is not just a
God of the better times. God does not cease to be God because we are going
through tough times. We attest that our faith is built on God's promises and
not on current experiences. Through the scriptures, we are comforted and
assured not to worry about what we cannot control but remember Emmanuel,
God who is always with us.
When we say, 'God is still in control no matter what,' we affirm the
experiences we have seen in the scriptures and the examples of people who
have kept the faith during pain, suffering, and loss. We draw strength from
these examples of faith even when things seem hopeless. Luke 6: 45 says, "A
good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an
evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth
speaks what the heart is full of." We speak our faith out of knowledge of God's
word and all its promises to humanity. Through this, we locate and reposition
ourselves in the scriptures and turn our anxieties into hope and not terror. Locating and repositioning ourselves in the scriptures allows the scriptures to
become alive again in our lives while making sense of the challenges we are
going through in life. Jeremiah 29: 11 says, "For I know the plans I have for
you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to
give you hope and a future." We speak faith because we know what God has
in store for us.
On February 17, 2021, we are starting the season of Lent in our Christian
calendar. This 40-day period is essential for us to reflect, fast, and pray for
forgiveness as we remember the suffering, the death, and the resurrection of
our Lord Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Take this time to renew your faith
and position your life with the will of God for your life. Remember, this is the
reason we say, 'God is still in control no matter what.' Because of Lent, we
know that God's love is still enough for us no matter what we are going
through in life.
Stay strong. Keep the faith. Trust God no matter what.Stay blessed and see you Sunday.