15 Bible Verses to Remember When You Forget Who's in Control

When the world seems to be crumbling around us, we need reminders from Scripture to answer the question: Who's really in control?

Many of us struggle with the idol of control–when people or circumstances appear to be going haywire, we become easily angered and bitter. It may be situations under our own roof, in our own community, or in our own country. Yet, where the instability lies makes no matter; the point is we aren't good at trusting God when things don't go as we suppose they should. 

Times like these–when we feel helpless fix what is "wrong"–test what (or who) we are placing our hopes in.

We easily forget who is really in control, who has a perfect purpose and plan for things large and small, who is sovereign over finances, governments, and as well as every heart of man. This issue boils down to the element of trust. Will we trust the Lord when things aren't making sense? Will we trust that God uses the injustice of man to accomplish his perfect plan? Do we believe the Lord will continue to walk by our side when he is charting our path toward a storm?
Times like these–when we feel helpless fix what is "wrong"–test what (or who) we are placing our hopes in.
In his book, Trusting God, author Jerry Bridges makes clear how Christians are to increase their faith to trust in God:
"In order to trust God, we must always view our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not of sense. And just as the faith of salvation comes through hearing the message of the gospel (see Romans 10:17), so the faith to trust God in adversity comes through the Word of God alone. It is only in the Scriptures that we find an adequate view of God's relationship to and involvement in our painful circumstances. It is only from the Scriptures, applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit, that we receive the grace to trust God in adversity." (pg.16)
There are three essential truths Bridges highlights after making this statement: God is completely sovereign, infinite in wisdom, and perfect in love. He goes on to define God's providence as his, "constant care for and His absolute rule over all His creation for His own glory and the good of His people."

Thankfully the Scriptures do not leave us wondering about things like God's sovereignty, providence, and rule–nor do they encourage us to doubt his love, justice, or mercy. If we are to learn how to trust God when the world seems to be crumbling around us, we must know what the Scriptures have to say about who's sitting on the heavenly throne.
God is completely sovereign, infinite in wisdom, and perfect in love.
– Jerry Bridges
Lamentations 3:32-33
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.
Daniel 4:35
He does as he pleases, with the powers of heaven and the peoples of earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?"
Proverbs 21:30
In his heart a man plans his course, but the purpose of the LORD determines his steps. 
Jeremiah 14:22
Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, O LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.
Isaiah 55:8-9
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
Isaiah 49:15
"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has bourne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!"
Isaiah 50:10
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 43:2
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
Job 14:5
Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.
Deuteronomy 8:2-3
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you...He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna...to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
Job 23:8-10
But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
Job 1:20-21
Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.
John 19:11
So Pilate said to Him, “Do You refuse to speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You and authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me unless it were given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed Me over to you is guilty of greater sin.”
Proverbs 21:1
The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.
Proverbs 16:9
There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.

Of course there are many more Scriptures that encourage and admonish us to place our hope and trust in the LORD–not man, money, health or agendas. The Psalmist writes, "For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken" (Psalm 62:1-2).

These truths can take a lifetime to accept and understand, but that doesn’t make them any less true. In a sermon teaching on divine providence, C.H. Spurgeon said, “Providence is wonderfully intricate. Ah! you want to always see through Providence, do you not? You never will, I assure you. You have not eyes good enough. You want to see what good that affliction was to you; you must believe it. You want to see how it can bring good to the soul; you may be enabled in a little time; but you can not see it now; you must believe it. Honor God by trusting him.” 
Christine M. Chappell
Christine M. Chappell is a wife, mother of three, and the author of Clean Home, Messy Heart: Promises of Renewal, Hope, and Change for Overwhelmed Moms. She has completed her certificates in Biblical Counseling through the Institute of Biblical Counseling and Discipleship (IBCD) and is presently in the process of obtaining certification through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). Christine is a guest contributor at Desiring God and served two years as a contributing writer at Thrive Moms.
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