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Remember, God is in Control! (Part II)
Bible study on God.

In Part I of this series, we took note of several areas in which the sins of men, such as church owned businesses and small group ministries of megachurches, could result in problems for the Lord's church.

If we dwell on possible outcomes and the affect on us, we could become distracted, even paralyzed, and ineffective in our work as God's children.

We can't fear the difficulties that may come upon us. Rather, we should remember that God is in control. Nothing will happen to us, unless God permits it.

Learn From the Birds, Lilies, and Grass
Jesus commands us not to worry about life, not even about food and clothing (Matt. 6:25).

He gives us examples of the birds, who don't work for their food because God feeds them, and the lilies and grass that don't work for clothing (Matt. 6:26-30).

Jesus concludes that we shouldn't worry about food, drink, or clothing, but seek God's kingdom and His righteousness as our top priority (Matt. 6:31-33).

We can extend this lesson to the topic of this article.

We shouldn't worry about the sins of other religions, and the things that could negatively affect us. Rather, we should concentrate on our work in God's kingdom, and let Him worry about the problems that could result.

As worry won't add a single hour to our lives, so worry won't change the conditions under which we serve God (Matt. 6:27).

Our task is to concentrate on fulfilling our mission to the best of our ability.

God's Children Often Suffer as a Result of Other People's Sin
We must understand that God often allows His children to suffer as a result of other people's sins.

Daniel was a faithful child of God, yet he had to suffer as a result of Israel's sin, spending years in captivity as a righteous man.

Like Daniel, many prophets suffered, not a result of their sin, but as a result of other people's sin.

Jesus, comparing His disciples to the prophets, says:

  • "'Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you'" (Matt. 5:10-12).

We may, or may not, be called to experience persecution in our lifetime. Either way, we should be ready to persevere through ferocious trials, and not think it's odd or unusual. Throughout the ages, God has chosen for His children to be persecuted, and suffer as a result of man's sins.

  • "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation" (1 Pet. 4:12-13).

But don't fear, God is in control.

All Things Work Together For Good
We may not see how God is going to use our trials to produce something good, but we know He will.

  • "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God . . ." (Rom. 8:28).

I doubt the Israelites who died in Egyptian bondage understood the good God would manifest through their persecution. And, I doubt first century Christians understood the good God would manifest through their lives, after dying barbaric deaths at the hands of sinners.

So today, we probably won't realize the good God will bring about through our trials. We may lose the benefits we enjoy as a tax-exempt congregation, or even lose the ability to have home Bible studies, but God will produce good through the trials we experience.

These trials come upon us because God allows it. Therefore we should endure them, if we're unable to change them through godly means, knowing God will produce good through them.

Don't Let Satan Distract You
Satan uses trials as a stumbling block. History shows that he's often successful, as many of God's children turn away from the truth to avoid persecution.

When we endure trials, no matter how severe, we shouldn't allow ourselves to become distracted.

We shouldn't turn away from God to avoid trials. And we shouldn't allow Satan to hinder us in any way, from doing our work in God's kingdom.

Don't fear, and don't get distracted, God is in control.

When trials come our way, know that God allows it. He's in control -- He has a plan!

Yes, we should do our best to change "trying" circumstances, but in the end, if we have to endure them, we'll do so rejoicing in the Lord, knowing that God will work all things together for good.