Who's in Control of My Life?
"I can do it myself!" Ever said that to your parents? Sure, we all want independence, but sometimes we can be so stubborn we miss out on good help and advice. The students who wrote these devotions admit they often want to do it themselves, but they're learning they need to trust their Heavenly Father…his way is best.
Wrestling for Control
"…he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled…" (Genesis 32:22-32)
This past summer, I had a major pain in my left side. My mom thought it might be appendicitis, so she rushed me to the doctor. On the way to the doctor, I was in a lot of pain and really scared I might have to have surgery. I kept asking God, "Why is this happening to me?" There was nothing I could do to feel better, and I was frustrated that God allowed it to happen.
But then I realized the best thing I could do was pray and ask God to help me. When I got to the doctor's office, they examined me and found I didn't have appendicitis. Then they gave me some medicine for stomach pain and sent me home.
Even though I wanted to fix the situation, I couldn't. The only one who can completely control anything is God. Whenever I try to do things my own way, God usually shows me that I have to turn to him with my problems. Just like Jacob wrestled with God and realized God is always in control, it took some pain and fear for me to remember that God's in charge of everything. —Joel
What About You?
1. Have you ever felt like you were "wrestling" with God, trying to make him work things out your way? What happened?
2. Are there parts of your life you aren't willing to surrender to God? What are they?
3. Ask God to help you give him control.
God's Good Plan
"…You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives …" (Genesis 50:19-21)
When my grandpa died, I felt like the worst thing in the world had happened. I couldn't figure out why God let it happen. But slowly I began to realize that God did something great: God ended Grandpa's pain and took him to heaven. Even though I still miss my grandpa, I know he's happy spending eternity with God.
The story of Joseph is a great example of how God can take a bad situation and make it good. Joseph lost everything—his family, his friends and his freedom. But God used Joseph to help the people of Egypt survive a drought and a famine. He couldn't have done that if he'd stayed with his father and brothers. Joseph trusted God the whole time he was a slave. He never forgot God loved him and was in control of everything.
God loves us, and has a purpose for everything that happens. We can trust that, no matter how hard life may seem, God will work it out for the best. —Noah
What About You?
1. When have you experienced tough times?
2. What has God taught you through them?
3. Ask God to help you trust him when life seems confusing.
You Can Trust Him
"…Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? " (Job 38:4)
Do you ever have a hard time trusting God? I do. I sometimes think I can handle life all by myself, like I'm the only one who really knows what I need. I forget that God is the one who's really got things under control.
In Job 38-41, God goes into detail about all he can do. He's reminding Job that everything that happens in the world is in God's control. It's almost like God's saying, "Hey, who's the boss here, buddy—you or me?"
I hope I never have to suffer like Job did—his family was killed, his servants were murdered, his animals died, and he was covered with horrible sores.
But even if I do, I hope I'll remember that God will always help me through my problems in one way or another. I can trust God with everything because he is ultimately in control of the whole universe. —Catherine
What About You?
- Why is it sometimes hard to trust that God is in control?
- Find a place where you can be alone for one hour and imagine you have nothing but the clothes on your back. If your life was like this all the time, how would you feel about God? When the hour is up, read Job 38-41.
Thank God for being in control of your life and everything around you.
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