The saying, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” –William Ernest Henley; isn’t a realistic view of our life. There are many things in our life that we have no control over. God sovereignly controls everything in His universe. Nothing happens within God’s universe that God hasn’t allowed to happen. God’s purposes for our life are not always known by us, because they’re His eternal purposes. God always has our eternal welfare in view! We cannot understand many of God’s eternal purposes and plans for our life because we cannot see or understand the future. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps…Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Proverbs 16:9, 19:21).
When we don’t like what’s happening to us, we often say, “Why has God allowed these things to happen in my life?” But it’s because we cannot see the eternal plan that God is working out in our life. We’re very conscious of our present circumstances, and most of the time we’re living according to our feelings and emotions, which can lead us down the wrong path. God’s longsuffering, mercy and kindness allows humans to rebel against Him, but it’s also true that God doesn’t have to allow humans to resist His will. God could demand that we follow His will and force us to obey Him. He could say, “That’s the way it is, and if you don’t like it, poof, you are history.” God will allow us to make our own choices which can be a mistake when it comes to following God’s will for our life. “God is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all…Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” (Psalm 103:19, 135:6). We have no right to challenge God, because He is a good, gracious and merciful God, and whatever God does is right. In the few short years that we’ve been on planet earth, which one of us can say that? It’s not wise to challenge God’s rule of everything in His universe. “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning…My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to build the Babylonian Empire, but he became prideful and God warned him about his pride in a dream. For a year Nebuchadnezzar walked carefully, but then he said, “This is the great Babylon, which I have built!” Nebuchadnezzar didn’t consider that it was God that allowed him rule. God took his sanity from him and he lived with the animals and ate the grass of the field like the cattle. After seven seasons God returned Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity to him, and Nebuchadnezzar wrote, “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:35).
“For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (Corinthians 4:7). Everything a person has, in one way or another, was given to him or her! You didn’t choose your DNA, the time or place of your birth, your parents, your intellectual ability, your looks, and color of skin. Someone gave us the food, care, and protection we needed as babies. Someone helped us in our education, our opportunity to earn a living, and anything else we have. No matter how hard we’ve studied in school and worked at our business or profession, we would have nothing except for what the Lord and many others, by God’s providential hand, have given us. Thinking we are a self-made man or woman is foolishness; nothing is more self-deceitful than this type of selfish arrogance, and God hates it. “If anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Galatians 6:3).
Many people think that they can live their life anyway they please because they don’t believe in God or because they think that God isn’t concerned, or that God condones or approves their lifestyle. King Saul deceived himself into thinking he could fulfill the role of a priest, but it cost him his kingship and his life (1 Samuel 13:7-14, 31:4-6). Sennacherib thought he could reproach and blaspheme God, but his army was destroyed and he was killed by his own sons (Isaiah 37:8-38). King David deceived himself into thinking he could get away with adultery and murder, but trouble come to him from within his own family for the rest of his life. Ananias and Sapphira thought they could deceive God, but both of them died because they lied to God (Acts 5:1-11). God knows everything about every human, and ultimately we’ll answer to Him for our thoughts, motives, words and actions in our earthly life.
The apostle Paul wrote, “O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” (Romans 9:20-21). God has every right to do things according to His good pleasure of His will, and what right do we have to say to God, “Why have You made me like this; or why have you done this or that?” Jesus prayed that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His…He removes kings and raises up kings…He reveals deep and secret things…Those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Daniel 2:20-22, 4:37).