Whatever my view of “chaos” was prior to 2020 was severely flawed. My, oh my, how far I had underrated chaos! There is a saying that “change is the only constant”, but again I never understood what that meant until this year. I thought I did, but boy, was I wrong! Change, upheaval, unrest, chaos, discontentment, and anxiety appear to be the authors of this wild ride we are on. We cling to hope of consistency and we have a deep desire for some semblance of control. While I cannot bring order to this crazy world, I can try to keep us anchored on a few truths.
First, Paul clearly states in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that “...God is not a God of disorder but of peace…” While Paul here is talking about order in our worship services, the truth that this passage holds is true beyond the realm of a worship service. Where we see chaos and disorder and confusion, God is not writing that book. This does not imply that God is not in control. Not at all. God allows these things so that His glory might be best displayed and we are thankful for that, but we should never presume that the enemy is not active and at work in the chaos and disorder of this world. We must be careful not to ascribe to God what Satan is penning, but we also must acknowledge that it is God who allows Satan to hold the pen. Why then is God allowing the author of confusion to have a field day? For God’s glory. We may not see it and we certainly do not understand it, but Romans 8:28 says “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,”. The truth in this is that I know that God is not causing the chaos, but I know that He is using it for my good. Not “my good” in that good temporary things may happen, but “my good” in that God’s grace would be poured out on me in exceeding measure so that I may know His goodness and know my salvation and hope that He provides. The chaos of these days have already been redeemed for God’s glory and my eternal benefit.
Second, God is in the details. My good friend and fellow elder, Dave Bolender, recently surprised me by telling me that the phrase “the devil is in the details” is actually a recent phrase and the original, much older version is “God is in the details.” Dr. Bolender told me “God is in the details of our life, but the devil is also there trying to mess with them. Who else but the great counterfeiter would try something that sneaky?” We have a God of infinite worth and power and yet He is engaged in the details of your life. Yet, we prefer to think that the devil is in the details. Satan might pretend to be and he might even do a good job of convincing you, but we need to look a little deeper into the details of the details. The details of 2020 would declare chaos and confusion, yet look deeper. God has been bringing us back to Him through repentance and prayer and study and focus. He has been softening our hearts and minds and causing us to lean on Him even more. God is certainly in the details. Every detail.
Lastly, God is unchanging. The theological term is that God is immutable. We do not change God, He changes us. When we pray, we do not change His mind, He changes our hearts. This immutability brings great hope and peace to believers in Christ. Romans 11:29 says that “the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Irrevocable. When God calls us to Himself, He changes us forever. Regardless of what happens here, we are His children. Forever. In fact, Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:13 that “if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” God’s faithfulness is not dependent upon my faithfulness. What a blessing! I belong to God and He is unchanging no matter what my situation and circumstance appears to be. I now live my life in response to the overwhelming faithfulness of my God.
My prayer is that in the confusion and chaos of the present situation, you would take these three truths to heart. God is the author of peace. God is in the details. God is unchanging. I have a God who loved me so much, He gave His own son in my place so that I might have eternal life with Him as His child. He does not change His love for me and He does not change His mind. In fact, He cares for me so much that He is in every detail of my life, bringing me the peace that only He provides. I pray you know these truths and they are honey to your soul. When all may seem lost or irreparable, may you know that God is still on the throne and that we are confident in His love for us. If you are not sure of these truths, I pray that you would come to know your only Savior, Jesus Christ, so that you may know the fullness of the goodness of God. The world is full of chaos, but God is unchanging in the love and hope that He brings.