Dr. Paul Chappell recently asked this question, and then followed up with some good advice–“Do you ever have a day go differently than you planned? Or a year? Or an entire season of your life?
I’m a planner, and although I know in theory that God may change my plans and, in fact, has every right to intervene, I don’t always see His hand in the unplanned delays, changes, or upsets in the moment they occur.
I recently came across the paragraph below, written by an Irish Baptist pastor in 1840. It was a great encouragement to me:
Nothing can be more consoling to the man of God, than the conviction that the Lord who made the world governs the world; and that every event, great and small, prosperous and adverse, is under the absolute disposal of him who doth all things well, and who regulates all things for the good of his people…. The Christian will be confident and courageous in duty, in proportion as he views God in his Providence as ruling in the midst of his enemies; and acting for the good of his people, as well as for his own glory, even in the persecution of the Gospel.—Alexander Carson
When you and I believe—not just at a theological level, but as a deep, heart-embracing belief—that God is in control, we can battle valiantly for Him…even when the terrain of the battlefield feels absolutely outside our control.
Consider the Apostle Paul who lived with constantly-changing circumstances outside his control. His trust in God kept him anchored and gave him the courage and confidence to press forward.
Think, for instance, of Paul’s words to a storm-tossed ship crew, remembering that these were spoken when “all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.”
Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.—Acts 27:25
If you’re having an unplanned day, or living in a season that feels helplessly out of your control, take courage in God’s sovereignty, and take confidence in His goodness. He is acting on your behalf. Love Him, trust Him, and press forward for Him.”