Oh how I have had to learn this. It was very hard, but now I am so glad I did. It makes the crazy things, the hard things, the unexpected things that happen in my life so much easier to take. You see, it is all about perspective.
Have you ever been flying in a plane above the clouds and noticed how dark it is below in certain patches of the community? Where you are the sun is shining bright, but to those beneath the clouds, they just see a cloudy and dreary looking day. Only if you could tell them, the sun is still shining!
It really is all about perspective, how you look at it, how you view things. You see, I am a created being living in a created world, so for me, that means there is a Creator, and that Creator is God. God is not only Creator, but he is Sovereign and has all things in control. It’s been said that there are no maverick molecules running loose in this universe outside the control of God.
How does knowing God is Sovereign change my perspective? It lets me know that nothing that happens to me escapes him. So now the why questions – Why is this happening to me? Why me? Why can’t I move forward? – are resolved in knowing that God has a purpose and a plan for everything, including me.
I believe that God’s providence is at work in the details of our lives to accomplish his purpose. What is God’s providence? Dr. J. Vernon McGee described it – “Providence is the means by which God directs all things — both animate and inanimate, seen and unseen, good and evil — toward a worthy purpose, which means His will must finally prevail.”
The scripture Ephesians 1:11 backs Dr. McGee’s statement – “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”
This is why I can say, nothing is for nothing because I know God uses circumstances that may seem inconsequential to me to bring about his purpose. I have seen it in my life over and over again. There is one more scripture that I rely on:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
So when things are not going my way, or not going as planned, or something unexpected happens, I now look at it believing there is a purpose for this.
What does God want me to see in this? What can I learn from this? Am I responding the way he wants me to respond?
Yes, now I have new questions. But in these questions, I know that God is working out even these circumstances out for my good. It may mean that I need to be more patient, more disciplined, more loving, trust him more.
Again, Dr. McGee states in the same piece quoted from above – “Providence means that the hand of God is in the glove of human events. When God is not at the steering wheel, He is the backseat driver. He is the coach who calls the signals from the bench. Providence is the unseen rudder on the ship of state. God is the pilot at the wheel during the night watch. As someone has said, ‘He makes great doors swing on little hinges.’ God brought together a little baby’s cry and a woman’s heart down by the River Nile when Pharaoh’s daughter went to bathe. The Lord pinched little Moses and he let out a yell. the cry reached the heart of the princess, and God used it to change the destiny of a people. That was providence. That was the hand of God.”
So when you find yourself in an unexpected situation, be it a flat tire or someone cussing you out for no reason, much like what happened to King David by Shimei – 2 Samuel 16:5-13, know that God is still in control and sees all. There isn’t any circumstance that is purposeless, nothing is for nothing. He uses all to conform believers to the image of his Son and will work it out for your good.