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When Life is Out of Control

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It’s not a good feeling to be out of control. However, we all find ourselves there in several situations throughout life. Read on to be reminded of how scripture can help us through those times.


“…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content…in any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” 

Philippians 4:11-13


Control is a funny thing.  It’s easy to think we are always in control of our day-to-day lives.  Yet when it comes down to it, we can surely think of many times we’ve felt helpless to do anything about our circumstances.  This is not just true for grown-ups. Many times as a kid, no matter how hard I tried, there were a lot of things I couldn’t change: others’ actions and their consequences, sicknesses and injuries, outcomes of competitions, on and on. 

It’s a very frustrating and sometimes scary place to be…but how can we handle it?  Charles Swindoll said, “I am convinced life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”  In a relationship with Christ, we can absolutely live like this.  Let’s take a look at a few ways to do this.

  • Know what we can control, and start there.  We may not be able to control our circumstances, but we can certainly control the perspective through which we see them (not to mention our attitude and actions).  Hebrews 12 tells us to “fix our eyes upon Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”  Jesus founded our faith upon His sacrifice on the Cross – our sins are paid for and our relationship with God established.  So then, we look to Jesus and only Jesus, and we live as He calls us to live in the Bible.  Paul knew this when he said in Philippians 4, “In any and every circumstance…I can do (more literally “endure”) all things through Him who strengthens me.” (v. 11-13)
  • Win the battle in our minds by filling it with truth.  Read the Bible alone and with family.  We can preach God’s Word to ourself over and over again until it resonates in our hearts.  Here are two I preach to myself constantly:  Psalm 33:4 – “For the word of the LORD is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness.” Psalm 56:9 – “This I know, that God is for me.”  This is why memorizing Scripture is so important – not to win Bible Trivia, but to fight to think rightly about God and His goodness.
  • Remember God’s past provision.  Think about other times in life when God came through.  Dwell on them, relive them…and then realize that He doesn’t change.  Drop that anchor down to help you stay strong when it’s tough to have faith.

People will see how we respond to tough situations out of our control.  Because we know a sovereign God whose love for us is constant and true, and because our relationship with God is sealed eternally in Christ we can walk confidently as we trust Him.  And it will be a powerful message about the joy, peace and hope found only in Jesus.  Isn’t that what the world’s looking for?

Camper Corner

What are some situations in your life out of your control?  Can you find a couple Bible verses showing God’s faithfulness and love?  Write them down and memorize them so they can help you.

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