Is God in Control?

When pain, suffering, and natural disasters occur, how can we know that God is really in control? Is He really sovereign over all things, including evil?

  • For My Good? Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2010

    In 1993, my wife and I were involved in an historic train wreck. The crash of the Sunset Limited into an inlet from Mobile Bay killed more passengers than any Amtrak accident in history. We survived that eerie accident but not without ongoing trauma. View Resource

  • The Providence of God Teaching Series with R.C. Sproul

    Most of us have experienced disaster—or know someone who has. Conversely, most of us have experienced great blessing as well. While we are grateful for God’s kindness, we can’t help but shake our heads and wonder at the evil in this world—a world our Maker once called “very good. We are even tempted to wonder about the wisdom of God’s plan. The Providence of God is an antidote to such temptations. In this series, R.C. Sproul brilliantly shows the wisdom and power of God’s rule, clarifying how God can guide all events without initiating human wickedness or destroying human freedom. … View Resource

  • Probing the Remote Purpose Devotional

    What past or present circumstances in your life have caused you to ask “Why?” Ask God to show you how His good intentions are reflected in these situations. View Resource

  • From Suffering to Glory (Part 2) Sermon by R.C. Sproul

    Romans 8:28-29

    View Resource

  • Faith and the Power of God Article by Jerry Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2008

    The healing of the demon possessed boy (Matt. 17:14–20) at first glance seems to be only one more in a series of miraculous healings recorded by Matthew. What makes this one unique is Jesus’ emphasis on the role of faith. It is true that faith is prominent in the miracles recorded in chapter 9, but in chapter 17 it is the lack of faith that is emphasized by Jesus. That God is not dependent on human faith for accomplishing His work is clear from the accounts of other miracles recorded by Matthew. The transfiguration of Jesus immediately prior to the … View Resource

  • Looking through the Mirror Devotional

    Spend some time reflecting on the goodness of God. In what specific ways is His goodness being manifested to you right now? View Resource

  • The Sovereignty of God: 1996 National Conference Conference with Various Teachers

    Who’s in charge, man or God? From the beginning, people have wrongly answered life’s crucial question. Homo mensura, we have proudly declared. Man, not God, is the measure of all things. The Bible disagrees. According to the Scriptures, God is in charge of every aspect of His creation. Ligonier Ministries’ 1996 National Conference, “The Sovereignty of God,” explores God’s absolute and benevolent rule and how to apply it to your world. Eric Alexander, Jerry Bridges, W. Robert Godfrey, D. James Kennedy, Al Martin, and R.C. Sproul probe the doctrine of God’s sovereignty — and our responsibility to Him who upholds … View Resource

  • Trusting God's Providence Audio Message by R.C. Sproul

    The rain falls on the just and the unjust; foxes have holes and birds have nests, while lilies adorn the fields. Everything in creation is under the providing care of God. Not only does God supply all things, but He arranges them according to His plan and for His glory. For Christians, this ought to produce peace and comfort even when it appears that all is against them. Dr. Sproul begins this series by exploring many of the different aspects of the Providence of God. View Resource

  • The Decree of God Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    Joseph has just revealed his true identity to his astonished brothers. It had been a tearful moment (Gen. 46:2, 14; cf. 42:24; 43:30). He is about to engage in a discourse on predestination and the divine decree (yes, really!), but this is no abstract theological exercise; it is theology engaging the harshest of realities — betrayal, false imprisonment, and injustice! Joseph had, from one point of view, every right to think that life made no sense at all because there was no controlling power governing the course of events. He might have been tempted to think along the … View Resource

  • Israel’s Rejection & God’s Justice (Part 1) Sermon by R.C. Sproul

    Romans 9:14-16

    View Resource

  • Exposing the Permissive Will of God Devotional

    How has a false view of God’s permissive will affected your Christian walk in the past? Do you have a different view of His permissive will now? How will it affect your walk in the future? View Resource

  • Why Sovereignty Matters Devotional

    Genesis 50:20–21

    Hear these encouraging comments from John Calvin: “Let the impious busy themselves as they please, let them rage, let them mingle heaven and earth; yet they shall gain nothing by their ardor; and not only shall their impetuosity prove ineffectual, but shall be turned to an issue the reverse of that which they intended, so that they shall promote our salvation, though they do it reluctantly.” Rejoice and be glad, for our God reigns over both good and evil! View Resource

  • A War of Ideas Video Message by R.C. Sproul

    Since the entrance of sin into the world, people and nations have been killing one another. What are the root causes of war? Where do all wars ultimately begin? In this message entitled “A War of Ideas,” Dr. Sproul introduces us to the fundamental elements of different worldviews and some of the irreconcilable differences many of them have. View Resource

  • Paradise Lost Article by David VanDrunen

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2008

    In the second chapter of Hebrews, the author notes that God did not appoint angels, but human beings, to rule the world to come (v. 5), and he quotes Psalm 8 to prove it: “You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet” (Heb. 2:7–8). Then the inspired author makes a statement that is both obvious and profound: “At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him” (v. 8). This statement is obvious because everyone recognizes that we human … View Resource

  • Providence and Prayer Devotional

    James 5:16b–18

    Divine providence should not hinder prayer. Instead it should make us eager to intercede for ourselves and others, because we know God makes use of our prayers to accomplish His will. Consider this example: If my wife is ill, how do I know that God has not ordained my prayer as the secondary means to heal her? Perhaps my supplication will lead to her healing. There are some things the Lord will not do if we do not ask (James 4:2), and so we must pray. View Resource

  • Almighty Over All Audio Message by R.C. Sproul

  • Not a Chance Devotional

    Ephesians 1:11

    “When that light of divine providence has once shone upon a godly man, he is then relieved and set free not only from the extreme anxiety and fear that were pressing him before, but from every care” (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1.17.11). Knowing the Lord’s sovereignty frees us to take risks for the kingdom, because we know that our failures cannot throw God’s plan off course and that our final victory over the world, the flesh, and the Devil is guaranteed. View Resource

  • God’s Sovereignty Devotional

    Exodus 33:19B

    Arminians must admit that if God provides a mere offer for salvation, there is a chance no one would ever believe and be saved. But this contradicts Scripture, for the Bible says the Messiah will see the successful results of His labor, the justification of His people, and be satisfied (Isa. 53:11). The Calvinist position is in harmony with this truth and exalts the sovereign, almighty Lord whom we are called to worship. Honor and praise Him this day. View Resource

  • The Veracity of God Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2007

    The story of Joseph is one of the finest examples in Scripture of what Paul meant when he wrote, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28). All things? Yes, including evil things. Nor should we attempt for one moment to lessen the evil intent in men’s actions (or Satan’s for that matter, for he lurks in the background of every evil deed and thought); Joseph’s brothers meant to harm him, but God overruled their actions for good. It will be Joseph’s clear announcement at the end of the story … View Resource

  • The Sovereignty of God: 1996 National Conference Conference with Various Teachers

    Who’s in charge, man or God? From the beginning, people have wrongly answered life’s crucial question. Homo mensura, we have proudly declared. Man, not God, is the measure of all things. The Bible disagrees. According to the Scriptures, God is in charge of every aspect of His creation. Ligonier Ministries’ 1996 National Conference, “The Sovereignty of God,” explores God’s absolute and benevolent rule and how to apply it to your world. Eric Alexander, Jerry Bridges, W. Robert Godfrey, D. James Kennedy, Al Martin, and R.C. Sproul probe the doctrine of God’s sovereignty — and our responsibility to Him who upholds … View Resource

  • What Is Providence? Devotional

    1 Peter 1:1–2

    Even we who believe in God can sometimes be guilty of living our lives as if He did not exist. How often do we drive around town, work at the office, dig in our gardens, read a book, prepare our food, and so on without thinking that our Lord is watching and sustaining us? As you go about your business this week, endeavor to keep yourself aware of the Lord’s presence no matter what you are doing. Remember that He loves you and is working through you. View Resource

  • The Invisible Hand: 2004 Seattle Conference Conference with Various Teachers

    When things are going well in our lives, it is easy for us to affirm the goodness of God. However, tragedies often cause us to wonder if God has forgotten us.  In this series of lectures from Ligonier Ministries’ 2004 conference in Seattle, Washington, Drs. R.C. Sproul and Derek Thomas discuss the biblical doctrine of God’s providence. With pastoral insight and a deep concern for scriptural fidelity, they remind us that God is in control of all things — good or bad — and call us to trust in Him no matter what the circumstance.  View Resource

  • What Is Providence? Audio Message by R.C. Sproul

    Everything in creation is under the providing care of God. Not only does God supply all things, He arranges them according to His plan for His glory. For Christians, this ought to produce peace and comfort even when it appears that all is against them. In this message, Dr. Sproul explores many different aspects of the Providence of God, beginning by answering the question, “What is Providence?” View Resource

  • God or Chance? Audio Message by R.C. Sproul

    By definition, an atheist is someone who denies the existence of God. A theist on the contrary is someone who affirms that He exists. Christians, by definition are in the category of theists. So is it possible for a Christian to be an atheist and not know it? As strange as this sounds, Dr. Sproul explains in this message that many Christians’ fundamental belief about God’s sovereignty logically denies His existence, as he discusses “God or Chance.” View Resource

  • What About Human Freedom? Audio Message by R.C. Sproul

    Whatever you plan on doing for the next half hour will be your free choice. And yet, whatever you decide, it will be according to God’s sovereign plan. So which is it: your plan or God’s? Considering this in this message entitled “What About Human Freedom?” Dr. Sproul teaches us how human responsibility and freedom fit in the providence of God. View Resource

  • God Makes it All Happen Audio Message by R.C. Sproul

    Are there things that God does not or cannot control? Is there anything that God did not cause to happen? How much does God control and how much does He sit back and watch? Considering these questions in this message, Dr. Sproul explains the extent of God’s control over His creation. View Resource

  • Is God Responsible for Human Wickedness? Audio Message by R.C. Sproul

    If God is sovereign over all things, and if he is indeed a good God, then how do we fit the idea of human wickedness and evil into this picture? Does God make human beings commit evil acts? If He can stop them, then why doesn’t He? Dr. Sproul addresses these questions in this message as he gives us some guiding principles to consider as we ponder God’s sovereignty over human wickedness. View Resource

  • If God Knows Our Needs, Why Pray? Audio Message by R.C. Sproul

    We serve an all-loving, all-knowing, omnipotent God, who loves to give His children what they need. Yet we are instructed by Jesus in the Lord’s prayer to ask the Father for our daily provisions. But if God already knows what we need, what is the purpose of prayer? In this message, Dr. Sproul examines the question teaching us the place prayer has in our lives, and ultimately, the providence of God. View Resource