God has already determined what will happen in the world, with events unfolding according to His set purposes including how long each individual will live (Ps 139:16; Prov 21:1; Act 2:23, 4:27,28, 17:26; Eph 1:11; 2 Tim 1:9). Are we unnerved by the unpredictable, even tragic, events in life or do we believe God is in control with nothing ‘just happening’, as all is according to His counsel and purposes and such events become a stimulus to know God better – the source of genuine comfort (2 Cor 1:3,4). Satan and those who side with him would try to ‘drown’ us in the storms of life, yet these are the same events God allows for our growth and the blessing of many other people; we might call it coincidence, chance or luck but behind everything is a loving Father who has planned it all (Gen 45:4-7, 50:20). Although it is wise to plan and prepare for the future, often what we envisage is over-ridden by events beyond our control. Job said it is foolish to expect to receive only pleasant things from God (Job 2:10). While God delights to give good gifts, being a Christian does not exempt us from calamity and painful trials (Mt 7:11; Act 14:22). It is essential to have roots that go deep into the solid foundation of God rather than a superficial, shallow ‘sand’ relationship that can’t survive these buffetings of life (Mt 7:24-27). Continue to trust God and be submitted to Him, understanding it is more important what happens within us than ‘out there’.
Do I believe God is vitally at work in my world?
positive in all situations and not fighting or denying what has taken place. Do we view the challenges of life as God ordained growth times and thank Him in all circumstances confident this is God’s will for us? (1 Thes 5:18).
Some things that take place are known in advance. For example, Jesus knew He would die for lost humanity, while we are also destined to die and then face the judgement (Mk 10:32-34; Heb 9:27). The various events prophesied and written about in Scripture, will come true at their prearranged time (Lk 1:20; Jn 19:36; 2 Pet 1:20,21). Some specific events will happen prior to Christ’s return, including the gospel being preached throughout the whole world (Mt 24:3-35). Other events are logical; we know that after winter, spring will come, and if the fuel tank is not replenished eventually the car will stop! Other incidents are the result of cause and effect, the reaping of the consequences of sowing a particular lifestyle in the past (Gal 6:7,8). However, as we don’t even know what will happen tomorrow, rather than boasting about what we will do it is better to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” (Jas 4:13-16).
The various experiences of the Israelites “happened to them as examples for us so we can avoid making similar mistakes” (1 Cor 10:11). Don’t despise the day of small beginnings or seemingly insignificant happenings in your life, rather walk in tune with God so He can guide you (Zech 4:10; Gal 5:25; 1 Jn 1:7). Ruth, in the providence of God, just ‘happened’ to be at the right place at the right time and met the right person. From that series of events, the stage was set for her child to become famous throughout Israel as the grandfather of King David (Ruth 2:2-4:22).
See also: chance, disaster, end times, future, predict, prophecy, protection, providence, sovereignty of God, trials.