man with blue hair sitting on hood of an old white car sad

God is Great … So You Don’t Have to Be in Control

In Daily Devotional, Life Issues, Stress, Fear & Anxiety by Tim Chester

Bible Verse: “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

Scripture Reading: Mark 4:35-5:43

Whether it is COVID-19 or other seasons of life, when things go wrong, it is easy to feel like we are losing control. However, you were never meant to carry the burden or responsibility of being in control. God alone is great enough to carry this weight. The following is an excerpt from the book You Can Change by Tim Chester.

Alan is sitting on the train. Inexplicably it’s stopped just outside the station. He’s getting angry because it looks as if he’ll miss his hospital appointment.

Beth is stressed. Replacing the family car has wiped out their savings. Now she’s worried that they won’t have enough money at the end of the month. When her husband comes home with an expensive-looking bunch of flowers to cheer her up, she just bursts into tears.

Colin’s getting very frustrated. He’s trying to get a new community project going, but everything seems to be going wrong. As a result, he’s getting irritable with his children.

In Mark 4:35–5:43 Jesus displays his control over the natural world, over the spirit world, over sickness, and even over death. The stories are told to highlight Jesus’ complete authority. All the time Mark presents the alternatives of fear and faith.

The disciples are afraid in the storm. Among them are experienced fishermen, so this is no irrational phobia. Yet Jesus rebukes them: “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (4:40). The sick woman comes before Jesus with “fear and trembling” (5:33). But Jesus speaks a word of peace to her. Jesus’ word to Jairus is the punch line of the section: “Do not fear, only believe” (5:36).

These stories don’t teach that we’ll never face sickness or death. Instead, they teach us that we needn’t fear the circumstances of life because God is in control. He works good for us in every circumstance. He’ll bring us safely home to glory. Death is not the last word: the last word is “Talitha cumi!” – “Little girl, I say to you, arise” (5:41).

We often associate the sovereignty of God with theological debates. But for all of us it’s a daily practical choice. For me, the issue is escapism. I have to choose between a fantasy in which I’m sovereign and the real world in which God is sovereign, between my false sovereignty and God’s real sovereignty.

Taken from You Can Change by Tim Chester, pages 81-82. Copyright © 2010 Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187,

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