How can I trust that God is in control when it seems like everything is out of control and nothing makes sense?
There are five biblical truths that we need to understand, believe, and weave together to answer this question.
First, God is all-powerful. “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns (Revelation 19:6 NIV). “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
Second the Scriptures assert that our all-powerful God is in control. Psalm 115:3 declares, “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” That’s why we make our human plans but the Lord determines the outcomes (Proverbs 16:9). And His control extends to everything: “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:11).
A third truth to consider is God exercises His control according to ways and purposes we don’t know or understand. He tells us, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8). “The LORD works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster” (Proverbs 16:4). He can do this because He is God and it is His right. As Paul wrote, “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:21).
These first three truths might seem to portray God as distant and impersonal. But Scripture teaches two more truths about God we must also weave into our understanding of His control over the events in our lives if we are to fully trust Him.
The fourth truth is God is infinitely loving. The Psalmist writes, “Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him” (Psalm 32:10), and “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him” (Psalm 103:11). From Jeremiah, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,’” (Jeremiah 29:11). And the Apostle Paul sums this point up well in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
God will never do anything or allow anything that is not consistent with His infinite love for us. Whatever events transpire must first be planned and allowed by God who has the best interests of His children in mind.
The fifth and final important truth is God is infinitely wise and knowing. Therefore, His ways are the wisest and best. In Christ “…are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). And, “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding” (Job 12:13). The Psalmist says, “To Him who made the heavens with skill, For His lovingkindness is everlasting” (Psalm 136:5 NASB). God knows the past, present, and future and not only what was, is, and will be, but also what might have been. We are finite. With our limited knowledge, wisdom, and vapour-length existence, it’s only natural that the ways and purposes of an infinite God don’t always make sense to us.
When it seems like things are out of control, choose to believe they’re not. Everything is in God’s omnipotent, wise, and loving control for our good. Surrender yourself to His purposes and His will and you’ll find you can relax and rejoice in His work.
I hope this helps.