Is God in Control? Yes, and Also ...

I rarely critique colleagues' sermons. And this evaluation will be de-identified. I hope it is instructional for us all, including any tempted to answer their friends’ frustrations with “God is in control”.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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What we are faced with in Human History is this –
It is MAN who has made up the Idea that God is Omnipotent, all powerful, and because It is so,
God is in Control of everything that happens.
God IS All-Powerful, but what we see is this – God is NOT taking any power at all.
God IS somehow IN the suffering, participating AS a sufferer too. God AND I are participating in
something together. Human suffering is Divine suffering. Jesus is in human suffering – my suffering.
Would any of us even learn to love at all if it was not demanded of us, taken from us, and called forth by human tears and earthly tragedy? Is suffering necessary to teach us how to love and care for one another? Observe around us.
Communion, compassion is formed by shared pain.
Jesus is only in nonstop competition with death, suffering, and the tragic sense of life itself. God hangs with me, through me, toward me. God wants to love, to be loved rather than served.
Remember – “Jesus wept!”.
“He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget, Falls drop by drop upon the heart, And in our own despair, against our own will, Comes wisdom to us, by the awful grace of God.”-- Aeschylus in Agamemnon.


Pastor Ray,
I find it difficult to believe that God is in control when this morning’s PBS/NPR
newscasts tell of a new GENOCIDE in Somalia, where STARVATION and burning of villages is the modus operandi.

I find it difficult to,believe that God is in control when hundreds of desperate migrants, including toddlers and babes in arms are drowned at sea, when flimsy overcrowded boats capsize.

I find it difficult to believe that God is in control, when on every given day, some radical Islamic suicide bomber has killed dozens/hundreds of innocent people, including women and children.

I find it difficult to believe that God is in control when Zika infected mothers deliver babies without brains, and an increasing epidemic of autism/Aspbergers
devastates families.

I find it difficult to believe God is in control when the stench of abject misery arises from thousands of African shanty towns and sordid slums in India and elsewhere.

God’s nostrils must find this stench palatable, otherwise He would expedite Christ’s Second Coming to alleviate this avalanche of anguish and agony.

His equanimity and indifference in the face of massive human suffering shows that He lacks the will to end such horrors, or He is not omnipotent and is therefore powerless to rescue humanity. Either way, why do we call Him God?


Fear breeds fear and hurt people hurt people. Our purpose is to extend whatever virtues God has to those around us. We cannot do that if we are constantly speaking our fears to others. It only breeds more fear. And if we consider ourselves to be hurt by society, or by those around us, we will most likely end up hurting others as well. This is the virtue of rejoicing in our trials - that we break the cycle of hurt breeding more hurt.


This is the virtue of rejoicing in our trials - that we break the cycle of hurt breeding more hurt.

That is not the platitude of the writer. No sensitive or sensible person will rejoice in trials unless they are so trivial that they make little difference. As the writer wrote: to lose a child, one’s family, or home is NOT a time for normal people to rejoice.

“There is a time to mourn, and a time to laugh.”


god’s nature of love, and his commitment to giving people what they choose, is his achilles heel, no question, and satan is bruising it for all it’s worth…

as i understand it, eden, before the fall, didn’t have the suffering we’re seeing now, nor will heaven or the new earth, if inspiration is to believed, which i think it is…when the original stewards of earth, adam and eve, chose disobedience, god gave them and all their descendants the consequences of that choice, even though none of it was understood at the time, and even though none of adam and eve’s descendants chose adam and eve’s sin…

what god has done, though, is to suffer the accumulation of the whole world’s load of sin himself, and give each one the choice to live forever in peace and happiness, which is a choice he will honor and develop every bit as truly as he has honored and developed adam and eve’s choice to disobey…original sin teaches us that in the same we didn’t contribute to our initial position, we don’t contribute to our promised position, except to choose it, which is more initiative than we had in our initial position…

of course, there are many who are going to believe satan’s representation, which is that there is no god, or if there is, he’s useless and uncaring…but for those who manage to scramble out of this web of deceit, eternity is what matters…what we experience now, through no choice of our own, becomes god’s tools to equip us for the consequence of our choice to believe in him…it’s a desperate irony that cannot be fully penetrated…but every thinking person with opportunity has to confront it on some level at some point…

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God is in control, but He is not controlling, and there is a big difference. In addition, God gives us choice. He told the Israelites not to have a king. He said that He (God) would always lead them towards what is best. He even told them what a king would demand of them. But no, they said they wanted a king, so He let them have a king. From that day to this, they are regretting their choice. God was in control, but He allowed them choice. He is not a controlling deity. And remember, like Job, we are part of a much bigger cosmic struggle. When it’s all over, we won’t ever want to be led by anyone but God, because we have seen how our choices have resulted in worldwide self-destruction.


We have to face the fact that it is our choices that lead to the miseries and sorrows in the world. God gives us the freedom to choose for our own selfish pleasure or to do what is right and what brings relief from horror to others. Of course, I struggle with why God doesn’t just end all suffering right now, but I believe there is a greater reason than we can see in our human finiteness. I believe I can see a slow progress over the centuries as more and more people see the world through God’s unselfish eyes. I believe in the end God will “restore the years the locusts have eaten.” (Joel 2:25)


This just shows that you don’t have a clue as to God’s ways and thoughts. Isa. 55:8, 9. Scripture addresses this by asking how the clay dare ask the Potter what He is doing. Apparently you haven’t read the book of Job recently. God’s words to Job apply to you: Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Job. 38:2.

Unless you’re an atheist, you should know better. If you’re an atheist, then it shouldn’t matter, since it’s survival of the fittest.

As to why God allows certain things, I don’t know, and don’t need to know, because everything God does is for the good of His creation, and in the bigger context of the great controversy between good and evil. What I do know is that God is love, and that He will set things right in the end.

So, you’ve fallen into the same trap as aid organizations which label every natural disaster an “act of God.” God is not responsible for evil, or disease, or disaster. They are all the results of sin, and of Satan’s manipulation of the natural world.

You’re blaming God for the delay of Christ’s coming, when the blame lies at your feet, and mine. Read what Ellen White said about it. Unbelief, and insubordination among His people are two of the main reasons for the delay. But He looks at the big picture, while we see only small specks, and are thus unable to make a fair assessment of His ways and means. This is where faith and trust in His benevolence comes in.

But you must know that your post will be deleted, since there can be no true conversation in this section. go to the Lounge if you want to converse.

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Yes there is evidence that God is removing His Holy Spirit from the earth. We are nearing the last play of the rebellion. Yet He remains in the receptive heart. TZ


I appreciate this article. It addresses an issue of irresponsibility.


  1. remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful:
  2. a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound.
  3. a trite, meaningless, or prosaic statement, generally directed at quelling social, emotional, or cognitive unease

Platitudes & clichés promote fanaticism.

“God is in control. This raises a very fundamental problem of Theodicy, which most Christians I’ve met who say this are not necessarily prepared to address. Theodicy is the dilemma between belief in an all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful God with the existence of evil and/or suffering in the world. And the other problem is that, if you believe that human beings have free will (a central tenet of most Christian thought), it needs to be recognized that that, in itself, is a concession of control by God. And like other phrases I’ve mentioned about God’s role in daily life, be careful in tossing this one around. Telling someone who was raped, abused, tortured, neglected, etc. that God was in control during that experience likely is enough to incent that person to turn from the concept of God forever.”

God is in control of WHAT?
God is in control of HOW MUCH?

About JESUS…“And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Matt 13:58

I heard Sabbath school teachers at 2 different churches use the “God is in control” cliché recently in response to the election.

Is God going to cancel the time of trouble, great tribulation, Sunday law, death decree?
Is He going to heal all SDA victims of terminal cancer and heart disease?

Q: What is the most important thing in life? A: Having a character fit for eternal life. That …God is not in control of.

He has a gospel of grace decriminalization/rehab program that one can cooperate with …if they so choose.

EDIT; The word “control” is not in the bible once (KJV)
Do a search for “God” ,"control: in EGW search…very FEW hits.

Here is one: "No place should be given to that distrust of God which leads us to make a preparation against future want the chief pursuit of life, as though our happiness consisted in these earthly things, and we could gain them while ignoring the fact that God controls all things.:"
If she was alive, I would ask her to explain, elaborate.

I couldn’t agree more, Tom.

Man is in control…of his own destiny. This has been so ever since we have been given the SUPREME GIFT of reproduction in Eden. We were once just workers reproduced by cloning, but the “snake” the elohim geneticist who was given the task of implementing the task of GEN 1:26 , and his team did the Adam’s rib experiment which enabled reproduction , with higher feelings of LOVE and ROMANCE, along with Lust (and not just mere rutting as the lower animals do. Our fore-parents were therefore on their own as they battled fierce predators , in their trek northward, adapting by Natural selection so as to survive into varied ecological niches thereby producing what are commonly called various “RACES” , a concept not recognised by modern genome scientists. Thank God and the merciful elohim we have been given GREAT help as we push towards creating a paradise on earth. The thing is nothing much will gain speed of transformation until we find a way to lengthen the human lifespan. One is born and within three decades has passed the peak of physical vigour . Within at most 8 or 9 more decades one is either dead or a bedridden cripple . TEN decades . This is a horrible joke, if not so serious. Given that compressed lifespan human try to ensure they do whatever it takes to be incharge of what they can command by force,murder, slavery, war , and so on. Some Harvard think they have found trash DNA which have been limiting our lifespanand they are working to isolate these. I wish them success./ I hope for this and other breakthroughs which can give humans some hope BEFORE the inevitable clash of emotions lead to the Armaggedon , as it were.,. We have been given the planet and have been able to destroy all predators by our superior intellect, from the microscopic to the huge, but having done that what do we expect.? we must tame the INNER predators of our violent natures, otherwise we did not deserve the freedom from the bonded labour we started with in Eden.

I believe God is omnipotent and at the same time He is not in control wherever human will is at work. Why do people forget or not acknowledge that God’s greatest gift to His children, (good and evil ones) was and is freewill? To say God is in control when the worst of human choosing has come to fruition is to dishonor Him. I don’t know about others but I am extremely grateful that God does NOT control or override my choices.


Satan and humans have far more control than Christ. Christ due to the Great Controversy scene has pulled his control away and allowed Satan and humans to make their choices. God is only in control in the sense that He can end it all at any moment and come to take us Home. But if you say God is in control of the events of Earth - I would have to reject God.

Do you acknowledge that some may have met this with a sigh of relief? Or are you not in tune with that particular segment of the church or population?

Are you aware of the bullying liberals have done with their words bigot and racist etc? Do you realize how fed up the right is with this constant badgering? You would not tolerate it if a disabled person were badgered for their disability, but you have no compunction about a fellow citizen’s pain when they are falsely accused.

You are not a deplorable racist if you think that perhaps immigration law should be enforced and a regular way should be made for citizenship, and those not following the law should face consequences. You are not a racist if you think that the police should be respected, rather than being called “Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.”

I have not noticed liberals standing for their more conservative brethren when they are in distress.

My answer to this accusation is that God is indeed in control, but has given responsibility to we humans, and expects us to use it. We almost always look for a way where we don’t have to take responsibility, and there are so many ways we can refuse. Even being honest with ourselves is a way to take responsibility.

Or we can write a scathing post about how God is responsible. That is the same as the man who hid his talent in the earth, claiming the master reaped where he did not sow. I don’t think you realize the stark and fearful responsibility we have and the great power we have to change things. Those that do will hear the “well done.”

Leave to God the things that are his and take up the duty that lies closest. You will then realize that God has put you in a place where you can work to ameliorate some of the sufferings of this dreadful place. You then discover your own utter weakness and begin to call on him who does have power, power to make his creatures change agents.for good. Such is an enlightening and empowering discovery.

May God bless you.


God is definitely always in control, but His control is different how we might interpret control. God gives man the power and freedom of choice, and will not do for man what man might have done., God does not really man to do anything to get to the result–the action is for man’s only faith growth and obedience leading toward character development. Each time God takes a risk–man might do anything. God’s control and “inchargeness” arrives through ultimate, final destination. God is ultimately using this process to lead to the ultimate desired result, which may be outside of man’s realm of time expectations. Man’s choice may deliver a temporary result, but God’s will ultimately over-rule and lead the day. finally.

Sylvan Lashley
University of the Southern Caribbean
Trinidad, West Indies

Is this the official view of the University of the Southern Caribbean?
Or why was the University mentioned?

So Groucho, you believe that the Zika virus, the malarial parasite, the bubonic plague which killed one third of Europe, are all “for the good of god’s creation?”

That you, a middle class white guy living in a nice house with flush toilet and clean drinking water, think it is “good for God’s creation” that one person in three on this planet has no access to a toilet, and that one in ten has no clean drinking water? Go tell that to the millions who live in shanty towns and sordid slums – they will be delighted to hear that GROUCHO finds their misery “good for god’s creation”.

You sound like the GROUCH that stole,Christmas!

Not all the misery of earth is due to people’s “free will” and choices.
Most babies,born in slums have no choice about their poverty, and usually, neither do their parents. And most sick people attacked by disease have no choice – certainly the babies born with no brains from Zika infected mothers have no choice! “FREE WILL” has nothing to do with most of the misery on this planet!

You and I obviously have a very different idea of what is “good for creation”.

God has COMPLETE control over the date of Christ’s coming and could stop all this misery instantly, by expediting His son’s return!

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Please,see my response to,Groucho, below concerning “free will” amd
"Human choosing" and “your choices”