You, Lord, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation….Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return. Renew our days. (Lamentations 5:19-21)
What is Certain?
Benjamin Franklin said that nothing is certain except death and taxes. Pessimism is high right now in the U.S in light of current events. Will the economy recover? Will we still have our jobs? Will we get Covid-19 under control? Is there another disaster around the corner?
Albert Einstein (1879–1955) said: “God does not play dice with the universe.” Einstein was not a Christ-follower, and he trusted in science and natural laws, not the Lord of the Bible (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). But Einstein’s statement is still correct. God is not a gambler and doesn’t leave His world to chance. He is steadfast and His eternal plan for His universe is unshakable. Jesus’ kingdom has come, it is now advancing day by day, and it will be consummated when He returns for us soon. God is in control and we are not. That’s comforting.
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments teach that God upholds and rules heaven, and earth, and all creatures by His almighty power. Nothing happens by chance. The Lord rules over rains and droughts, good and hard times, health and sickness, success and disappointment. Jesus says that not even a sparrow falls to the ground outside God our Father’s care. And even the very hairs of our heads are all numbered. So we shouldn’t be afraid. We are precious to God, created in His image and likeness.1
How Does Knowing of God’s Creation and Providence Help Us?
1. We can be patient when bad things happen. After Job suffered devastating hardship, he said by faith: “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.”2 God, help us hang on to you like that in our hard times.
If your path had been smooth, you would have depended upon your own sure-footedness; but God roughened the path, so you have to take hold of His hand. If the weather had been mild, you would have loitered along the watercourses, but at the first howl of the storm you ran heavenward and God wrapped around you the warm robe of our Savior’s righteousness. (Thomas De Witt Talmage)
2. We can be thankful when God provides for us. Scripture says: “When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good things He has given you….Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Jesus.”3
3. We can be thankful for the future Christ has prepared for His followers. Job said: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God….How my heart yearns within me!”4
4. We can be confident that our faithful God and Father cares for us. And that nothing in all creation will separate us from His love. Scripture says: “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never let Jesus’ believers be shaken.”5
The Bible is a warm letter of affection from a Father to a child; and yet many people focus on the more severe passages. As there may be sixty nights of gentle dews in one summer that will not cause as much comment as one hailstorm of half an hour. So some people are more struck by those Bible passages that announce God’s indignation than by those that announce His affection. (Thomas De Witt Talmage)
5. We can be confident that all creatures are so completely in God’s hand that none can live or move or have their being outside of His lordship. Scripture teaches: The Almighty is in charge of the whole world. If it were His intention and He withdrew His Spirit and breath, all humanity would perish together and humankind would return to the dust.6
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is faithful to all His promises
and loving toward all He has made. (Psalm 145:13)
God is Reliable
Because our God (the Father, Son, and Spirit) is trustworthy, our trust in Him is not guesswork or blind. It’s safer to be confident that Jesus will make all His enemies His footstool than to make plans for tomorrow.7 For Christ’s followers, the promise of new life now and resurrection life with the Lord forever is more certain than death’s inevitability.
Jesus has all authority, glory, and sovereign power; All nations and peoples of every language will worship Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14)
We can bank on Christ our King and His Scriptures!
Notes (various translations): 1 Matt 10:29-31; Gen 1:26-28. 2 Job 1:21-22. 3 Deut 8:10; 1 Thess 5:16-18. 4 Job 19:25-27. 5 Psalm 55:22; Rom 5:3-5; 8:38-39. 6 Acts 17:24-28; Job 34:12-15. 7 Psalm 110:1; Luke 20:43; Acts 2:35; Hebrews 1:13; 10:13.
I am indebted to The Heidelberg Catechism written in 1563 and the 2011 version by the Christian Reformed Church for this post. My pastor Gerald P. Vander Hart taught me these truths years ago and I’ve used them again recently to help others.
Some of these thoughts are adapted and expanded from: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Worthy Publishing (2011).