Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;
That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:
That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:
That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
I noticed that when God is talking about His sovereignty He often points to creation to remind us that all of this is here because of Him. I have to admit that I often pass over this because I take it for granted that I am here living in this world. Over time my capacity for wonder has diminished so that I often miss the significance in such seemingly trivial things. If we can begin to recapture that wonder then we will see that this is strong evidence in support of God’s claim to absolute power over all things.
The fact that God is in control can either be a source of comfort or resentment depending on your attitude. Sometimes I feel both at some point during the day. I often give in to worry and frustration because of where I am in life. It feels like I am playing basketball while wearing a straightjacket because I am enslaved to circumstances beyond my control. I’m pinned down and I can’t move. I know that God can change everything in the blink of an eye at the moment He desires that to happen—and I resent Him for not doing it. Why does He tarry and allow me to languish? How can He just sit there and watch? Then I realize that I haven’t been in prayer and I’m holding back and hiding from Him.
As I resist the Devil in prayer my heart softens and my attitude changes. I remember that the most important thing in my life is God’s work of redemption in my life. That is the story of my life and nothing else matters. When I want more than that life gets complicated and I suffer under the stress. If I lose everything else I will still have the everlasting life that God has given me by His grace. My attitude starts to change even though my concerns are there in the back of my mind. I can voice those concerns now because I know that God wants me to say what I feel in my heart, especially when I am in despair. As I am talking about it in prayer God is working on me by lifting the burdens of my cares right off my shoulders. There is never any condemnation of shame that I feel because God isn’t looking for the “right answer.” He wants us to be honest with ourselves and with Him.
In the end what God wants is what God gets. He has the final word and the last laugh. He is always victorious. No one can thwart His plans. Life is not random. It is unfolding according to God’s purposes and ultimately He will be glorified. If you are walking through pastures then you need to reflect on this now because it will get you through the dark valley. If you are in the valley then you need to fall back on this because not only is it comforting but it is actually true. You can spend a lot of time in the valley, years even, as Joseph did. If you forget what your life is about then you will not endure. God is true and His promises give us a hope that enables us to live and wait for His return—or our homecoming.