Devotional

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” – Revelation 1:17.

The first four words of Revelation 1:17 are “When I saw him…” John must have been totally awestruck by the awesome, Lord Jesus Christ….and terrified. He falls at the feet of Christ. Jesus sees that John was overwhelmed and tells him directly “Don’t be afraid.” The grave could not hold Jesus and He now holds the keys of death and the gravel. God is in control, even though many people want to have everything under control, or at least believe they do. Having control seems more predictable and it certainly seems safer.

But reflect for a few minutes and determine if you are in control of any part of your life right now. Do you have control over your future? Your children? Your daily schedule? Can you control your daily commute to work and home from work? What do you control and more importantly, how much stress do you put on yourself by trying to achieve that control? It is a burden that most of us could probably do without.

Instead of spinning around out of control, we can choose to turn to God. We can ground ourselves in the truth that He is sovereign. He is the One who holds all things together. Nothing escapes His notice. We can rest assured that He is far more concerned with our well-being than we are. And He loves us more than we can possibly fathom.

Yes, bad things happen. We want to control everything in our life instead of merely resting in God’s presence, remembering that God sees us, God loves us, and God has us. But in the midst of crazy seasons of life and the worry that results, the Bible reminds us that we do not need to be in control of it all. One example is found in Psalm 139. “Lord, you have examined me and you know me.You know everything I do; from far away you understand all my thoughts. You see me, whether I am working or resting; you know all my actions. Even before I speak, you already know what I will say. You are all around me on every side; you protect me with your power. Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding.” (Psalm 139:1-6 GNT)

Remembering these verses doesn’t mean that my to-do list will go away, or even that my anxiety will evaporate. But they remind me that my stress is a small part of the bigger picture and that God’s reality is bigger than my own.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you handle control issues?
  2. Why should we trust in God rather than seize control of our lives?
  3. What can we do this week to put the control of our lives where it belongs, with God?