Turning Points Magazine & Devotional

April 2024 Issue

Conned, Hoodwinked, Bamboozled, & Deceived

From the Current Issue

The Enemy Wants You to Believe the World Is out of Control

The Enemy Wants You to Believe the World Is out of Control

The Wall Street Journal carried a story last year saying the new world order has fallen into disorder and the planet is beyond disarray. It’s hard to imagine how global affairs could be more dangerous. Our problems are beyond our greatest statesmen and thinkers.

Board a jetliner with me, and let’s fly around the globe to see for ourselves. Looking down at America, we see a country polarized by political division, deeply in debt, riddled by crime, and sinking into the quicksand of godless worldviews.

In times like these, we need to know more about God’s Word and His power.

Before we know it, we’re flying over Europe. The Russian government has reignited the Cold War and several hot ones. Turning south, we find failed states in North Africa, a breeding ground for terrorists. In the rest of Africa, the once hoped for democracies are battling military juntas and civil wars. In Asia, China’s military resources have exceeded anything known in human history, and we worry about Taiwan. Heading homeward, we detour over South America where runaway inflation is threatening the entire continent and democratic governments are collapsing into corruption and Marxism.

As we land, we ponder the brutal fact that we flew over 32 wars that are going on now somewhere on earth. That’s the view at 35,000 feet. On the ground the world is filled with personal suffering, war zones, refugee camps, and famine zones. Sometimes it’s we who are suffering.

Where is God in all of this?

I can understand why people who aren’t familiar with the whole counsel of biblical teaching ask hard questions about God’s role in the world. If there is a God, they ask, “Why is the world in terminal crisis? Why so much individual anguish and anxiety?”

The enemy wants us to be duped and deceived so we’ll dismiss the idea of a sovereign God who has the “whole world in His hands.” But Jesus said in Matthew 22:29, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” In times like these, we need to know more about God’s Word and His power.

The Permission of God

The ultimate plan of God is bound up in the Cross of Christ—and in His Second Coming.

Let’s begin with the permission of God. When He created Adam and Eve, He didn’t make them as robots but as people with the ability to make choices. He permitted them to decide whether to love or hate Him. All the evil and suffering around us comes from humanity’s bad choices, which represents rebellion against God. Proverbs 17:11 says, “An evil man seeks only rebellion.”

The Word of God tells us how we should live, but it also warns us of the dangers of disobedience. Deuteronomy 30:19-20 says, “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life” (NIV). Much of the world has chosen otherwise.

The Plan of God

These wrong choices reverberate through millennia, but as soon as sin first occurred, God launched a plan of redemption. In Genesis 12, He called a man named Abram (whom He renamed Abraham) to establish a family, which became a nation, which produced a Messiah—Jesus Christ. Our Lord offered His life for the sins of the world, and He offers pardon and peace for all who turn from their sins and place their faith in Him. The apostle John wrote, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2, NIV). The ultimate plan of God is bound up in the Cross of Christ—and in His Second Coming.

The Patience of God

God’s plans are unfolding at the speed of prophecy.

The Lord is implementing His plan with incredible patience. He doesn’t choose to solve all the problems in a day. His purposes and plans unfold over time. Erwin Lutzer wrote, “God always acts from the standpoint of eternity rather than time, and all decisions are made with an infinite perspective.”1 Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, NIV).

When we’re tempted to wonder if God is still in control, we should look below the surface, at His millions upon millions of servants—people like you and me—seeking to minister to those in need and to extend the Gospel. Our Almighty Lord is much more active than people imagine. He’s doing something wonderful in this world. He is reaching the lost and building His Church. He is doing it on His own timetable.

The Prophecies of God

In other words, God’s plans are unfolding at the speed of prophecy. After Jesus died and rose again, He ascended to heaven to oversee His Church as it spreads the message of the Gospel to the earth. But this same Jesus will return in God’s timing to establish His Kingdom. Isaiah 11:9 speaks of a time when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Paul spoke of the day when “the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).

The Lord intends to make all things right. Evil will be abolished, evildoers will be punished, the godly will be rewarded, and all will acknowledge that the Judge of all the earth has done right (Genesis 18:25).

The Power of God

We also need to focus on God’s power to accomplish everything He intends to do. Romans 4:21 says, “What He had promised He was also able to perform.” Daniel said, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings” (Daniel 2:20-21).

Psalm 66:7 says about our God: “He rules by His power forever; His eyes observe the nations; do not let the rebellious exalt themselves.”

He can and will do all He intends. He is able!

The Protection of God

As we await the full unfolding of God’s plan, we’re not left alone to face the turmoil of the world. The Lord watches over His children and allows nothing to touch us unless He allows it. Peter wrote, “[We] are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold…may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:5-7, NIV).

The Lord doesn’t want us to live in fear and panic. Even when we’re in dark valleys, He is with us. He has a promise for every problem, a comfort for every crisis, and a blessing for every burden.

The Paradise of God

Finally, we know how the story ends. Think of the suffering thief on the cross to whom Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). The apostle Paul was on one occasion caught up to Paradise (2 Corinthians 12:4), and the book of Revelation promises a day when we’ll dwell forever in “the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).

The author of confusion, Satan, doesn’t want you thinking about that. He wants to con you into believing your world is out of control. Remember, world problems are caused because God has given permission to humans to make choices and most have chosen badly. But the Lord has a plan to deal with it—one that centers on the Cross of Jesus. He’s patiently working according to His predictions and prophecies, and He’s doing so with limitless power. Along the way, He shields His children as we serve Him. Soon we’ll be with Him in Paradise, far beyond the grip of worldly woe.

When the devil tries to tell you that God has lost control, remember:

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun doth its successive journeys run, His kingdom stretch from shore to shore, till moons shall wax and wane no more.2


1Erwin W. Lutzer, Where Was God? (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2006).

2Isaac Watts, “Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun,” 1783.

This Month's Magazine Resource


How can we prepare for spiritual warfare—the trials and tribulations and disruptions in our spiritual lives that so often affect who we are and what we do—and how can we win the battle? Victorious is designed to help you enjoy a victorious life despite what may be going on in the world or in your life at any given moment.

Learn More »

More from Turning Point Radio