By David Dyess II
Last Sunday my pastor spoke on ‘Hope’. After thinking about his message for several days, I began thinking about how we lose sight of the control that God actually has. We have hope in God, the Son, and the Spirit, but do we embrace the entirety of that hope? Hope is the belief that something will come that can not yet be seen. We have hope, because God gives us hope. He gives us hope through his Son, who was born into this world, became sin (yet never having committed sin of his own) and died on the cross to cleanse us of our sins, was raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven. He gives us hope through the messages of His word. He gives us hope in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Yet, with hope, we seem to forget that God is in control. Does God, who foreknew us, predestinated us, and calls us, stand aside and leave control to us? Is there hope in God not being in control? Can we, then, say God knows everything that has, is, and will ever be, he knows everything about us and everything we will do, yet he is not in control? God knew that Adam would sin, before there was an Adam. God knew that His Son, Jesus Christ, would die as sin, and cleanse us of ours, before He ever created Adam. Is that not God in control? We lose sight of God’s control at times, most of the time Satan tries to hide it from us with guilt and fear. God has a way of bringing his control back to light. He chastises us: he separates us from our so-called friends, he separates us from money, he separates us from our children; all to bring us closer to him. No matter what God separates us from, nothing can separate us from God. Nothing. Is that not hope? Is that not God being in control? If God be for us, who can be against us? It’s time that we embrace our Hope, embrace God’s control.
After Elder Asbell finished his message, the congregation was gathered in fellowship for lunch. A sister and Elder Asbell were having a short discussion about feeling low-in-spirit. I didn’t hear the entire conversation, but I did hear our sister say that sometimes low-in-spirit felt more like lacking in the Spirit. Elder Asbell countered her statement, saying that being low-in-spirit, is when you know the Spirit is there. If the spirit wasn’t there, you wouldn’t be feeling anything-in-spirit. I don’t think she quite knew how to take what he had said, but, once again, it made me think. When we are feeling low-in-spirit, it is God ministering to us. He is separating us from the world, to make us humble, to show us the only way is to walk with him. Satan tries to use that time to make us push God away, he gives us guilt, fear and confusion. Satan uses the world to make us ignore God. Satan uses television, he uses our friends, he uses our jobs, our hobbies, even our kids and spouses, to separate us from our walk with God. So what does God do? He starts taking those things away. He knows as long as those things are there, then we forget He is there. Sometimes He brings them back, sometimes we don’t enjoy them as much or in the same ways. The point is, God is in control, he knows everything. He knows everything that was, is, and will be, but also, and think about this, he knows everything that won’t be. God doesn’t chastise us to only take things away from us that keep us from serving Him, he gives us something better in return.
A part of faith is letting God handle the things we can’t control. When we stand aside and look at the world around us, we see there is very little we actually are in control of. Instead of worrying about what tomorrow will bring or take away, keep your faith before you in everything that you do. Give your worries and fears to God, turn to God in your times of need. We have a faithful Father, we have a loving Father, and we have a Father that is always in control, even when we forget He is there.
From In the Master’s Service, October 2004.