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John has given us a glimpse of what to expect as we try to lead Christian lives. There will be people who are helpful to us and people who try to take us down a different path. There will be organizations that help us and organizations that try to lead us away from Christ. There will be ideas that are helpful to us and ideas that lead us to false teaching. Events will happen around the world, which make us question the character or the existence of God. There will be wars, famines, floods, droughts, violent storms, earthquakes and volcanoes. Evil will seemingly win many times and in many situations. Evil will sometimes seem like the right path to follow either because it’s easier or doesn’t seem all that bad or may even to appear to be a good thing. There will be false teachers and prophets. Sometimes they will have powers that seem to come from God. A very powerful Satan, the great deceiver, will continue to try to lead us to destruction. In the face of all these obstacles, what can we do? John tells us that we have been sealed by God and have his protection. What we have to do is trust in Him and accept that He has a plan and timeline, a time that is not for us to know, for salvation and the permanent end of evil.

   God is in control; trust in Him!!

I recently had a back problem and for about three months I couldn’t even walk without a walker. During that time even small movements would cause me tremendous back spasms, which lasted 5 to 15 minutes. For the next three months I could go short distances and would often have back spasms. Over the next three months I slowly healed and could start physical therapy to recover my strength. During these eight or nine months I had some strange conversations with God. I would sometimes whine and complaining, sometimes arguing and yes sometimes doubt. I could see no benefit to God’s kingdom by me going through this suffering. Because I couldn’t do much else I read a lot, watched TV a lot and did a lot of self-reflection. The books I read and the teachers/pastors I watched on TV gave me insights into my faith that I would never have gotten without this down time. Many of the things I learned during this time I have had the opportunity to share with people during adult bible studies at my church and the feedback I’ve gotten is tremendous. I also can do things physically that I hadn’t been able to do for years thanks to the physical therapy I’ve been doing.

So, for me yes God is in control even in the difficult times. We just don’t have the same big picture perspective God has.

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