Who is in Control

 

WHO IS IN CONTROL

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 NKJV

When the bills are coming due, but not the paycheck. When the unexpected illness occurs. When everything around the house falls apart, including your relationships. When your kids are traveling up and down the interstate. Who is in control of it all?

I hope it isn’t you, and I hope it isn’t me either. Ah… but we want to be in the captain’s seat Because when we’re not in charge, we worry.

We are forgetting one important fact. Something you probably already know, but we tend to need a reminder. God is in control. Did you just utter a sigh of relief? I know I did. What a load off our backs. God controls the out-of-control life that we cannot control.

It is impossible to worry when we rejoice. We cannot be anxious while we praise the Lord. When we recite His attributes, our confidence soars.

God is creator and sustainer. We can bless the Lord for His love and tender mercies. We can smile as we shout about His grace, strength, and joy. We can praise Him for His peace. We can worship Him in victory.

Turn your worry into worship. Let’s begin by counting our blessings. That should take so long that we won’t remember what we were worried about in the first place.

If you have breath in your lungs, you are blessed. If you are healthy, you are blessed. Maybe your health isn’t great, but somebody has it much worse, so yes, you are blessed. If you have a roof over your head, you are blessed. If you have paid your bills, you are blessed. If you haven’t paid your bills yet, you are still blessed, because God said He would supply our every need (Phil. 4:19). If you have a job, you are blessed. If you don’t have a job, thank God for the door He will open.

Now, what was bothering us? God is in complete control, so stop trying to do His job. No wonder we get stressed. We are trying to do the work of God, something we were never equipped to handle.

Our instructions are to rejoice. It doesn’t say rejoice about your struggles. We will have trouble in this world. Jesus told us that. Our verse says:

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!

We rejoice in spite of our trials, not instead of them. Jesus Christ is our joy.

Don’t continue to allow tribulations, the world, people, and the devil to snatch your joy. Cast your cares on Jesus, and turn your worry into worship.

Father God, we rejoice today because You have it all under control. We can rest in the comfort of knowing You’ve got it. Help me remember this truth when I am inclined to pick up my life’s remote control. You are the Captain of my salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Philippians 4:4—9.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Today, make a quick list of everything you can thank God for. Keep it handy (on the fridge or phone) and refer to it the next time you become troubled.

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Throwback Thursday: Are You Spending Thanksgiving With Demons?

 

ARE YOU SPENDING THANKSGIVING WITH DEMONS

By Carolyn Dale Newell

For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused

If it is received with thanksgiving;

1 Timothy 4:4 NKJV

No, it is not your in-laws, nor the uncle you cannot get along with. However, you could be spending Thanksgiving with someone who shares the doctrines of demons.

Let’s unpack this passage of Scripture which Paul wrote to Timothy. He refers to the latter times, which we are living in now. Many will depart from the faith giving close attention to “deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). Paul continues with a list of demonic attributes: lying, a seared conscience, forbidding marriage, and abstaining from particular foods.

This was more serious than being a vegetarian. The Jews had lived under dietary restrictions for many years. God prohibited certain food for health reasons, but the law was primarily to prevent them from mingling with the heathen nations. Now things had changed. Jesus died for Jews and Gentiles alike. You can imagine the problems that arose during dinners. Gentiles ate ham biscuits and the Jews were appalled.

There were false teachers teaching the dietary law. Speaking of food, Paul says, “God created [food] to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:3b). God makes it clear that all food is lawful when it is received with thanksgiving.

This goes beyond saying the blessing and tonight’s menu. It is about having an attitude of gratitude. Demons are not thankful. If they had appreciated the heavenly home they once occupied they would have never rebelled against God. He cast the fallen angels and Satan out of heaven.

Let’s check up on our thankfulness. We do not want to be like the ungrateful demonic forces. No matter what is going on in your life today, find something to be thankful for. Only demons count their battles. Saints count their blessings.

Father,

Open our eyes to our many blessings. Forgive us for never adequately thanking You for homes, health, family, and friends, but especially for Jesus. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read 1 Timothy 4:1-5.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What are you thanking God for today? Help others realize what an affront their ingratitude is to God.

 

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.