few years ago, some Preaching Students and I were trying to coin the phrase “It’s like God knows what He’s doing or something!” We’d say it after every answered prayer, after everything that the world would deem coincidental, but we could see God’s hand all over, throughout the Scriptures, and throughout our ministries. We said it to draw attention to the fact that, no matter what, God’s purpose and will is being done, even if we get in the way, even if we’re feeling lost, even if we don’t know what’s happening in our lives at the moment. God knows what He’s doing.
At times, our life and circumstances are out of control. Sometimes, it’s because we put ourselves in such positions. Other times, these circumstances are well beyond anything we could have imagined happening to us and hit us out of left field. In all these things, however, looking back at my own life, I can see how Romans 8:28, that “all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose,” plays out fully. Some things we may never understand this side of Heaven, but in all things, God knows what He is doing. God is in command, and never surprised at our circumstances, and God uses each and every circumstance to grow us, if we would submit to His will. I’ve been in plenty and need, we’ve had a lot of food in that pantry, and we’ve been down to our last 5 dollars for the month with weeks left, and in all things, God has shown His hand.
Loved ones, I wish to challenge you in this: trust in God no matter what your circumstance is. He knows your frame, He knows your need, and He desires to be your sole provider: you just have to trust Him.
Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.