St. Paul's Lutheran Church

St. Paul's Evangelical Free Lutheran Church

21513 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road

Hagerstown, MD 21742

301-739-5442

Evangelical - Confessional - Faithful

The Pastor's Thoughts

"Who has spoken and it came to pass unless the Lord commanded it?  Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?"   Lamentations 3

"What shall we say then?  Is there injustice on God's part?  By no means!  For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion" Romans 9

I'm writing this during the snow storm that started on the first day of Spring. It strikes me that we so often have expectations about life that events overwhelm. Here we expected it to be warmer and the daffodils to be coming up out of the sun bathed soil, and what we got was a lot of white, wet stuff.

Our lives are filled with moments of surprise, things often do not work out the way we want or expect. We are often changing our plans or altering our goals to meet unexpected problems or to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. Flexibility is necessary in this life.

God, on the other hand, never has to confront the unexpected or to change or alter His plans for the life of the world. That's because He, unlike you and I, is in control of things — in fact He is in control of everything. Nothing that happens is unexpected, indeed, nothing that happens is unplanned, nor does any event cause God to alter what He has foreordained to be.

That's hard for us to understand and pondering it can lead our small minds to think such things as "God must be responsible for evil", or "well, since God saved me I can do whatever I want", or "God mustn't control everything because a good God wouldn't let bad things happen." In fact, such ideas simply fly in the face of the fact that the God who is the living embodiment of love and justice does what He wills and only does what is true and right. He is, after all, God and we are, after all, not God.

If God was not in control of all things we could not have an assurance of our salvation because we would never know if He could keep all of His promises, given events outside His control. So we thank and praise Him, we exalt His holy Name, for He is indeed the God who is in control and the God whose love knows no limits for His people.

Pr. Culler