God is in Control

I like puns.
Two boll weevils grew up in South Carolina. One went to Hollywood and became a famous actor. The other stayed behind in the cotton fields and never amounted to much. The second one, naturally, became known as the lesser of two weevils.
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, but when they lit a fire, it sank. Proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it, too.
Bloopers can be particularly fun to watch. There’s something very funny about watching other people mess up.
But real-life problems are nothing to laugh at, especially when they happen to you. If you’re not going through a hard time right now, just wait — you will. That’s the nature of living in a world like ours.
The world is out of control. We can see this in the news reports on a daily basis. Have you ever thought,
“My God! What are you doing?” “My God, what is going on?” “God, what did I do to deserve this?” “God, are you still in heaven?”
Why do bad things happen to good people? We see it every day. If God is in control, why do these horrible things happen? “Why is there pain and suffering in the world?”
Clifford Johnson was injured at the deadliest nightclub fire in history, at the famous Cocoanut Grove in 1942. He suffered third-degree burns over more than half his body but survived, and was seen as a medical marvel. After hundreds of operations and nearly two years in the hospital, he married his nurse. He burned to death in a car crash in 1958.
American TV host, actress, producer, and public figure Oprah Winfrey has been named one of the most influential celebrities on the planet many times. She is also the first black woman who became a billionaire. But Oprah’s childhood looks like a terrible movie. Her mother was a housemaid and she had no time to raise her daughter. This is why Winfrey spent her first 6 years living with her grandmother. Later, her mother took her back and they moved to an old ghetto in Milwaukee.
When Oprah was 9 years old, she was molested by her cousins, her uncle, and his friend. At the age of 14, she ran away from home because she had problems with her mother. Then, she got pregnant and had a premature baby that died soon after. After that, her mother sent Oprah to live with her father. He was ready to pay for her education, so at the age of 17 she had already won a competition on eloquence and became a student at Tennessee State University where she studied communication. At the same age, she became a CBS reporter and her career as the most famous TV host began.
God did not create evil. Rather, He created the possibility of evil when He created human beings. God told Adam and Eve what they could and could not do. But they chose to disobey. Ever since that day, every one of us have been born with that same ability to make choices and with the same rebellious sin nature.
Luke 13:1 tells us about a group of people who came up to Jesus and asked Him why Pilate murdered some men and women while they were worshipping in the Temple. After killing them, he took their blood and mixed it with the blood of their sacrifices. 13 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
The Charleston church shooting was a mass shooting on June 17, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina, in which nine African Americans were killed during a Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Among those people who were killed was the senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney; three victims survived. This church is one of the oldest black churches in the United States, and it has long been a center for organizing events which are related to civil rights.
The morning after the attack, police arrested Dylann Roof in Shelby, North Carolina; the 21-year-old white supremacist had attended the Bible study before he committed the shooting. He was found to have targeted members of this church because of its history and stature.
You may wonder why God doesn’t step in and prevent people from doing bad things to others. He could have made Timothy McVeigh have an accident before he arrived at the Mura Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Except then we’d be robots. You see, our freedom gives us the ability to hurt others. When sinful people make decisions, God allows it and sometimes those consequences result in some bad things happening to you, and to others.
Not all things happen because of an individual’s sin. We live in a disease and death environment. Before Adam and Eve exercised their free will and rebelled against God, there were no earthquakes, hurricanes, natural disasters or diseases. They came on the scene after Adam and Eve sinned against God. The earth was cursed. Pain and death became a part of life.
Genesis 3 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
Things are out of whack. Accidents happen. Rivers flood. Tornadoes touch down. Satan is ultimately behind all the hatred, war, oppression, and evil in the world. He works behind the scenes to inflame our passions and to prompt us to make bad choices. He’s out to spoil God’s world in every possible way he can. Jesus referred to him as the murderer in John 8:44. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 
God is in control. He allows suffering. And, He’s a good God even when bad things happen. It’s all part of His plan somehow. Isaiah 55:9: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Good things can come out of bad things. As pitiful as it is, we can only learn things like patience and endurance if we go through some difficult times. If we always get what we want, and cruise through life with no problems, we don’t grow.  James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. #3, Hard
Hebrews 12:10 “God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness.” When God wants to teach us something He allows us to go through some tough times.
Lamentations 3:33: “He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.” Hebrews 12:11“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
The main point of the book of Job is that life is unfair, that bad things do happen. The question really is not, “Where is God when it hurts?” Instead, the question is, “Where are you when it hurts? Where am I?” Our responsibility in all this is our response to life’s challenges. We can’t change our circumstances but we can change how we deal with it. You have a choice.
The Columbine High School Massacre was a school shooting and attempted bombing occurred on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, United States. The perpetrators, twelfth grade (senior) students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered 12 students and one teacher. Ten students were killed in the school library, where the pair subsequently committed suicide. Twenty-one additional people were injured by gunshots, and gunfire was also exchanged with the police. Another three people were injured trying to escape the carnage.
One of the students who was murdered that day was Cassie Bernall. When she was asked if she believed in Christ, she replied, “Yes, I believe.” And then she was killed.
You and I might not ever face a gunman who asks us a question about our faith but we will face difficulty and struggle and pain and heartache. What will you say?
Cassie’s martyrdom was remarkable when you consider that just a few years earlier she had dabbled in the occult, including witchcraft. She had embraced the same darkness that drove her killers. But, several months before she was killed, Cassie had dedicated her life to Jesus. Cassie’s brother Chris, found this poem that Cassie had written just two days prior to her death.
Now I have given up on everything else I have found it to be the only way To really know Christ And to experience the mighty power That brought Him back to life again, And to find out what it means to suffer And to die with him. So, whatever it takes I will be one who lives In the fresh newness of life Of those who are alive from the dead.
Have Thine own way Lord (Adelaide Addison Pollard)
Have Thine own way Lord
Have Thine own way
Thou art the potter I am the clay
Mold me and make me after Thy will
While I am waiting yielded and still
Have Thine own way Lord
Have Thine own way
Search me and try me Master today
Whiter than snow Lord wash me just now
As in Thy presence humbly I bow
Have Thine own way Lord
Have Thine own way
Hold over my being absolute sway
Filled with Thy spirit till all can see
Christ only always living in me

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