Even in the most terrifying times, God always provides a safety net: “Never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). His hand is on the steering wheel of the cosmos, with “everything under his control” (Phil.3:21). Our response to his wise and loving control is simply accepting for God whatever comes from God–and that is everything, every event of life, good or bad, helpful or hurtful, whether arising from forces of nature or from human malice. Both scripture and theology prove that absolutely every activity in the created universe is a definitive expression of either God’s positive will or his permissive will.
Circumstances appear to wreck our lives, but God is not helpless among the ruins; he uses calamity victoriously, by his loving providence, for his glory and for the holiness and peace of those precious souls who allow themselves to be “trained” by hardship (Heb. 12:11). This “training” is a matter of faith-focus, but it is not attained by a violent striving to rejoice in hardships. Rather, it’s an imperturbable, tranquil “faith expressing itself in love” (Gal. 5:6); it’s a secure, imperturbable trust, a gladsome surrender to the loving protective embrace of our faithful God of love. That “training program” is what this talk is all about.