Do you really believe God is in control?
I know, we all SAY that we believe that, but do we really? If the past election season is any indication, the answer to that would have to be a resounding no.
I am 44 years old, and I have never seen so many people descend into hysteria and ugly behavior like I did during and after the 2016 election. Sure, I’d seen people upset before about the outcome of an election, and let’s face it, there have been some pretty ugly presidential campaigns in the past where feelings ran high.
When Anxiety is Contagious
But 2016 was different. I found myself becoming fearful and anxious. There was a feeling of desperation that seemed to hang over everyone like some awful spiritual smog.
I found myself coming again and again to Psalms 146.
I wish now, I had been reading through the stories of the kings. During this time, the nation of Israel had split, with two of the 12 tribes becoming Judah and the rest becoming Israel. There was no love lost between the now split kingdom, and they often fought each other, spilling blood and destroying the land which God had given them all.
The leadership under which the people found themselves was lacking, too. Judah had a few good kings, but while many started out well, they tended not to end well for a variety of reasons. (You can read about King Joash, King Amaziah and King Uzziah to find out more).
A Kingdom Without Hope
Israel’s track record wasn’t any better and was actually much worse. All their kings seemed to have the phrase “he did evil in the sight of the Lord” after their introductions to the throne.
Things seemed pretty grim and the hope that anything would change seemed dim. The glory days of King David and King Solomon seemed very distant. I’m sure a lot of the Jewish people wondered where God was, and even more of them had lost sight of God all together. They were too busy bowing down to false idols.
But tucked into 2 Kings 14 between the stories of two of Judah’s kings, Amaziah and Uzziah, we find a nugget of hope and evidence that despite the bad leadership and the people’s sinful ways, God was still on the throne and still sovereign.
God Steps Into the Void
In 2 Kings 14:23, it says, “In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam, the son of Joash king of Israel (2 different Joashes here) became king in Samaria and reigned forty-one years.”
Jeroboam was no different than his predecessors and has the same tag line after his intro – that he did evil in the sight of the Lord. And yet, the following verses are not about his destruction or the further destruction of Israel. Check out what it says instead.
“He restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, which He spoke through Hiss ervant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was of Gath-hepher. For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel which was very bitter for there was neither bond or free now was there any helper for Israel. The Lord did not say that He would blot out the name of Israel from under the heavens, but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.” 2 Kings 15:25-27
While I’m sure God would have preferred to work through a king that followed Him, He had promised not to wipe out Israel. The Israelites were doing a good job of trying to wipe themselves out, but God was still in control. While things seemed hopeless and the king seemed less than ideal, God still used Jeroboam to accomplish His purposes.
In Proverbs 21:1 it says, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.”
God is Bigger Than Circumstances
No matter what circumstances look like and no matter what human has attained apparent control, no person can thwart the will of God. As believers, we can trust in God’s sovereignty and His goodness. No matter how much evidence seems to point to the contrary, God can use anyone to do His will – even the unwilling or the wicked.
I don’t know about you, but that truth eases a lot of my anxiety. While life can feel out of control, God is always in control.
How about you? Have you been feeling anxious or helpless at the state of current affairs? Take heart because there is no safer place than in the palm of God’s hand.