1 Chronicles 16:25 tells us that “For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised”. Jeremiah 10:6 reminds us “There is none like you Lord, You are great, and great is your name in might.” It’s easy to praise God for being great when life is going well. A happy marriage, a good job and a fat wallet can make us feel like we have a great life. But what happens when life begins to fall apart?
When we lose these things, it is easy to slip into a state of depression or anger, neither of which bring us closer to God, but rather makes us feel distant.
Whatever state of life we are in, God is with us. God is still great and good through the ugly and painful parts, where it’s hard to remember what a “good life” felt like.
Here are some ways God is great even when life is far from good:
1. He has everything under control.
When life seems to be falling apart, we can be assured God has it all under control:
“I brought you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners. I said, “You are My servant.” I have chosen and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you; I will uphold you with My right hand of righteousness.”(Isaiah 41:9)
Scripture can shift our perspective when we realize we are one small person in a big world. That God can hold us in his hand tells us just how small we are in this great big world. This should give us peace in knowing God can fix our problems even when we think it is impossible.
2. God is great in His grace that is sufficient for us.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”(2 Corinthians 12:9)
God loves it when we are weak, because that is when His strength shines through.
But in this verse, it is important to note God has given us His power so we can continue to do His work here on earth. Even when we fall into sin, we can know for certain God’s grace is sufficient. When we have some sort of illness or injury derailing our plans, God’s grace is sufficient. When the world around us tries to silence our message, we can know God is good and will bestow upon us His grace.
3. He works in ways we cannot understand.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
I’m notorious for trying to rush God. Because of my impatience, I try to do things in my own strength rather than leaning into His.
Even in the silence, God is working on our behalf. The key to figuring out what He is doing, however, is to be silent and wait on God. While that is a hard lesson for me to learn, God works in ways that are not always revealed to me. The best thing I can do is believe and trust God is working behind the scenes in ways I may not understand but are in my best interest.
4. He does everything in his timing, not mine.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”While I would love to know God’s plan right now, I have to trust God will make something beautiful out of my crummy circumstances.
Although I may pray and ask God for something to happen right now, it is easy to get discouraged when my prayer requests don’tget answered when I expect them to. God still wants me to pray and present my requests to Him. However, he does want me to trust Him and believe that even when things don’t go the way I want them to, God has heard my prayers and is faithful to answer them based on what He knows is best for me.
5. God is great in His faithfulness, even when we are not.
2 Timothy 2:13 says, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” God embodies faithfulness; it is a part of who God is. Even when we fall away on account of our wandering hearts, God never wavers.
This is good news! He is the constant even when our lives are thrown into chaos. When my life is falling apart around me, I can know God will still be with me. Even when I fall away and put other parts of my life ahead of Him.
6. He is slow to anger.
James 1:9 says, “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” As soon as circumstances in my life go awry, my default is to get angry at God. After all, if I am busy serving God and making sacrifices for Him—couldn’t the least God do be to give me what I want? Fortunately, it does not work that way.
When my life becomes difficult, my default should not be one of anger but one of contentment. Contentment is the enemy of anger. Contentment helps me to accept circumstances as they are; not wishing for them to be something else. When we are content, we can see God for the good God He is.
7. He turns our pain into His glory.
God does not waste pain. His nature is all goodness. Even though God didn’t create pain, He allows us to experience pain so we can cling to Him and cry out to Him when we are hurting.
When we cry out to Him, He is glorified, because when we are in pain, God moves in ways we can never imagine. We just have to let Him.
8. God is great in strength when we are weak.
1 Corinthians 12:9 says, “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
We are weak anytime life doesn’t go our way. When we surrender our lives to God, He can do the impossible. Exodus 13:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” It is when we are silent, not trying to control our outcomes, when God acts in great ways we don’t expect.
Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean a life of blue skies and perfect circumstances. Sometimes we go through trials that test every fabric of our lives. Yet God is still a good God even when things aren’t so good. By adopting an attitude of trust and obedience, God can do the impossible in our lives.