In Ephesians 1:11(b), it is written that God works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. What does this really mean when we consider God’s involvement in the world process and in the acts of human beings?
This is not easily explained but briefly, when a person takes action, or an event is triggered by natural causes (like a viral outbreak or natural disaster) or when our enemy Satan attacks, God overrules. So when things are done against God’s will and command, He overrules them to fulfil HIs own will in the events. Humans may do evil – yet God overrules their actions for good (Genesis 50:20; Acts 2:23). God’s involvement in all that occurs in the world is such that He makes His will of events come to pass without violating the nature of things, the ongoing causal processes or human free agency – this is indeed a mystery to us but this is what the Bible teaches.
J.I. Packer summarises this principle clearly: “God permits evil; He punishes evil with evil; He brings good out of evil; He uses evil to test and discipline those He loves; and one day He will redeem His people from the power and presence of evil altogether”.
What this means is that Christians are never in the grip of blind forces (fortune, chance, luck, fate etc.); all that happen to believers is divinely planned, and each event comes as a new call to trust, obey and rejoice, knowing that all is for one’s spiritual and eternal good (Romans 8:28). The book of Daniel teaches us that God’s plans for His people are not hampered by any circumstances, not even death. God does not just rule the future in a general way. God rules each person’s and each nation’s future in a personal way. This is the great God we believe in; He rules; He protects; He discloses and reveals; He overrules and He cares and loves us with an exceeding love!
In the midst of this current crisis, we must look intently at the Word of God with faith and confidence. God is perfectly good and loving and He has revealed Himself to us in His Son and in His Word! Blessed are those who cling steadfastly to Him and His Word, for they shall never be disappointed!