If I had asked you at the beginning of 2020 how you envisaged the year unfolding, my guess is your answer may have missed the mark! All of us had plans for this year which had to change due to the Covid pandemic. As a church we have had to change dramatically how we “gather for worship”, with the focus being online. We look forward to the day when we can gather again in a physical sense to worship our Lord together. In every way, this has been a year full of unexpected events. However, if we think about it, that is true every year. Every year we may have plans and hopes, but we have limited power and control to make them happen. Sometimes things unfold as we had hoped, sometimes they do not. There is always the unexpected.
This year the unfolding Covid pandemic has highlighted a number of things to us. Whether we are a Christian or not we have been made aware that we are not in control of our lives and certainly not this world. For some that makes them incredibly uncomfortable. The idea that “we”, humans, are not in control of our own destiny has been a wake-up call for many. We live in the affluent west where people have money, opportunity and choice. If we want to do something, the general philosophy is, we can. “We’re in control” of our own futures. Now, of course that isn’t true. We don’t have ultimate control and our plans do, and have, gone up the proverbial creek. But as Christians we have a God who is firmly in control of the entire cosmos. Hallelujah!
If we take God out of the equation, then this is an incredibly scary, dangerous world we live in, where no one has ultimate control. But praise God that we know the King of the whole universe, God almighty, is sovereign over all and He is firmly in control.
Our plans may have changed, but God’s have not. His plan is certain and sure and being worked out in history. Though our times seem uncertain and unstable, we can be confident that the Lord holds our lives and all things in his sovereign hand. That of course doesn’t mean that everything will work out for us as we had hoped, but it does mean that God’s ultimate plan of salvation and restoration will prevail. For those who are “in Christ”, we have a certain hope that we will stand before the Lord on that final day, forgiven because of all that Jesus has accomplished. When this earth passes away, we will enter into the glorious new earth to dwell with the Lord in complete safety and security forever. As those who have a certain hope, may our hearts long for the coming of Jesus when the instability and uncertainty of this world evaporates, and we will know in all its fullness the surety of God’s rule and goodness.
Proverbs 19:21 reminds us: Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
As we continue to work our way through this pandemic, globally, nationally, as a church and individually…may we continue to look to the Lord. May we release any false ideas that we are in control or that we are masters of our destiny, and may we go into the Autumn full of hope and joy that our times are in His hands. He is in control, and for all who have come in repentance unto Christ there is such hope and peace in knowing the Father’s good purpose.
Spurgeon said, “The sovereignty of God is the pillow on which the Christian rests their head”.
May we know in an increased measure the peace that comes from knowing He is in control and may we demonstrate through our witness that we have a God who is good and sovereign.
God bless you this September. With love and prayers