Psalm 31:15a (ESV) – My times are in your hand
Everything we do in life matters. God is sovereign over it all, but our actions matter. We should be mindful about how we eat and take care of our bodies. Why? Because if we don’t, it will eventually catch up with us in bad health. We should make wise decisions about what we do and who we hang out with. Why? Because if we find ourselves around the wrong people doing the wrong things, bad things happen.
Does this mean that God isn’t in total control of everything? Not at all. Just the opposite. God is totally in control of all things. Yet we should still live and act with wisdom concerning our lives. We read in Psalm 31:15a, “My times are in your hand.” Our passage today is simple, yet profound.
Our lives, including the length of our days and what we experience in them, belong to God. We shouldn’t abdicate personal responsibility in our lives, but we also shouldn’t think that we autonomously control our future. We don’t.
This is a difficult theological concept for many people to hold in balance. Some believe that their actions alone control their future. They think if they eat healthy and take care of themselves, they’ll live a long time. They might, but it’s not guaranteed. They could be the healthiest person in the world and die in a tornado or car accident at a young age. There are unhealthy people who live to a long old age. There isn’t a perfect framework that is always true. Yet it is also true that in most cases, the cause and effect of how we live is almost always true. People who take care of their bodies tend to live longer than those who don’t.
But some people believe God is in control and arrive at the conclusion that it doesn’t matter what you do and how you live. “If God is in control, why not eat Big Macs every day of your life? If God is in control, why should you ever make any efforts to do certain things? After all, if it’s your time, it’s your time.” This is how some people reason about these things. But this isn’t wise or biblical. We must hold the tension of remembering God is in control yet act with wisdom and prudence, that the Bible teaches about, for what leads to flourishing.
Find hope and peace today in the truth that your times are in God’s hand. He holds your life. Your days are in His hands. Act and live with wisdom, trusting that what you do and how you live matters. It makes a difference. But all of those things still fall under the sovereign hand of God because your times are in His hands.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why do some people ignore this passage and put their confidence in their own actions?
- What should a passage like today’s encourage us with and how does it provide us with comfort?
- How do we hold the tension of God’s sovereignty and our actions?
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