Is God in Complete Control of Everything?

Is God in Complete Control of Everything?

One of the areas Christians often struggle with has to do with trusting God’s hand in every situation. When things do not happen the way we want them to, we immediately assume that God is silent. But the Bible assures us that God is in complete control of everything.

In theology, this doctrine is called “Divine Providence.” It is the means by which God directs all things – seen and unseen, good and evil, animate and inanimate – toward a worthy purpose. We may not always understand the reason behind every event that transpires in the world and in our lives personally and individually, but God wants us to trust Him because He always works things out for our good.

In just about every book in the Bible, we see God’s Providence at work. God has a hand in everything and He is never OUT OF CONTROL. We also see this taught in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

The verse says, “all things,” which means ALL things – whether good or bad. It may seem to us like evil is tearing the world apart, but if we look at it from God’s perspective, we realize that it is actually playing a secondary role for God to carry out His greater purpose. God allows things for a reason and His plan is always good.

God’s Providence in the Life of Joseph

The Joseph Narrative contained in Genesis chapters 37 and 39-50 is one of the best illustrations of God’s providence. When we read through these chapters, we see that Joseph is the central human character at nearly every point.

Who is Joseph? And how did God use every detail in his life to fulfill His plan? Joseph was the 11th among the 12 sons of Jacob, he was the first son of Jacob with Rachel, he had a younger brother named Benjamin and he was Jacob’s favorite and most loved among all his sons.

A. Joseph Sold by His brothers

Out of hatred, Joseph’s brothers conspired to kill him when he followed them to Shechem and into Dothan pasturing their flocks (Genesis 37:18-20). They hated Joseph for three reasons: 1) he reported to his father the bad things that they were doing (Genesis 37:2), 2) he was their father’s favorite son and made him a coat of many colors (Genesis 37:3-4), and 3) he told them his dreams of arrogant superiority (Genesis 37:6-8, 9-10).

“Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph – a beautiful robe.” – Genesis 37:3

God's Greater Purpose in the Life of Joseph
Photo Credits: Fox On Green

But God used Reuben, their eldest brother, to deliver him out of their hands (Genesis 37:21-22). Eventually, they sold him to the Ishmaelite traders for 20 shekels of silver (Genesis 37:28), who in turn sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard (Genesis 37:36).

B. Joseph Becomes Administrator 

While in Egypt, Joseph worked for his master Potiphar and became a successful administrator. Why? Was it because he was smart and possessed extraordinary administrative skills? Not really!

The Bible clearly identifies the reason. Joseph succeeded in everything he did because the Lord was with himthe Lord was with Joseph (Genesis 39:2-3) and for Joseph’s sake, the Lord blessed Potiphar’s household and all that he had (Genesis 39:5).

Unfairly jailed, Joseph rose to inmate administrator (Genesis 39:19-20). Why? Again, the Bible leaves no doubt as to who is responsible for Joseph’s success. The Lord was with Joseph in the prison; He showed him mercy and gave him favor in the sight of the warden, who put him in charge of all the other prisoners and everything that happened in the prison (Genesis 39:21-23).

“But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison … the Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.” – Genesis 39:21, 23

The inspired narrator pointed to God as the One working things out for Joseph. It’s all God. God is in complete control of everything that‘s happening in the life of Joseph. Whatever managerial skills Joseph might have had clearly played a secondary role in God’s intervention in his life.

C. Joseph Interprets Two Dreams

When we read that Joseph was thrown into prison, we would think that it’s the end of the narrative. But God isn’t finished yet, not by a long shot. When Pharaoh’s chief cup bearer and chief baker who were put in prison by their master each had a dream, Joseph interpreted it for them. However, the chief cup bearer who was restored to his former position as Joseph predicted forgot all about him (Genesis 40:23).

D. Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams

Two full years had passed when Pharaoh had two dreams that no one could interpret; not even the magicians and wise men of Egypt. And that was when the chief cup bearer remembered Joseph who was still in prison. He told Pharaoh about Joseph who interpreted his and the chief baker’s dreams.

Pharaoh sent for Joseph and asked for the interpretation of his two dreams, which are about the 7 years of plenty that are about to come followed by 7 years of famine. Because of the wisdom that God gave Joseph to interpret his dreams, Pharaoh made Joseph ruler over all Egypt, second in rank to him.

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” – Genesis 41:41

God's Divine Providence in the Life of Joseph

During the 7 years of prosperity, Joseph gathered and stored an immeasurable amount of grain in Egypt. So when the 7 years of famine began, people all around the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph.

E. Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt

While in Canaan, Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt. So he sent his sons, except Benjamin, to Egypt to buy grain. After 13 years, Joseph came face to face with his brothers once again. But they did not recognize him.

After several trips to Egypt, Joseph’s brothers settled there. Their father Jacob also went to Egypt, along with all his descendants, livestock and goods, and they all settled in Goshen.

God’s Greater Purpose in the Life of Joseph

The entire process of Joseph’s fall and rise to power was God’s doing. His release from prison because of his God-given interpretation skills, his exaltation to power and the opportunity to help his family during the famine all point to God’s providence.

The focus in the narrative was on God, and He can accomplish what He wills. Even the evil intent of Joseph’s brothers toward him was used by God to fulfill His purpose. As he said to his brothers, “Am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:19-20).

The chain of events that took place was part of God’s bigger plan for Israel as a nation. God sent Joseph to Egypt ahead of his family in order to make way for the preservation of the Canaanites and Egyptians together with them during the time of famine. How did God get Joseph to Egypt? By allowing his brothers the freedom to sin.

As it turned out, Egypt was where God built up and multiplied His people. God prepared them there for the exodus and conquest that He would use to give them the land that He promised to Abraham – the land that’s flowing with milk and honey: Canaan.


God is in control of everything. In the same way that God worked in the life of Joseph, and used even his mistakes and allowed him to experience misfortunes in order to accomplish His purpose, God is also working in the life of every believer who loves Him to carry out His will.

Whatever you’re going through, know that God will use them all for your own good. He can even turn the bad things into blessings for you. God called all believers for a purpose and He will accomplish it. We can make many plans but in the end, it’s the Lord’s purpose that will prevail (Proverbs 19:21).

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Recommended Resource: Joseph the Dreamer: Insights from the Life of a Favorite Son by John Eckhardt

See the life of Joseph in a different light!

In this character study, John Eckhardt examines the uplifting life of Joseph, the dreamer. Many know of his plight and coat of many colors, but few know how his life shares multiple similarities with Jacob and Jesus.

Jealousy, betrayal and lies put Joseph in the lowest of all places before favor brought him to rule over Egypt. Through slavery and prison his story emphasizes how forgiveness & integrity will lead you to your destiny.

Joseph’s story is one of the most compelling in scripture and we can all learn from this great man!

20 Replies to “Is God in Complete Control of Everything?”

  1. God Is in control of everything?

    Did He control Herod killing all the children 2 years and under? Did he control Hitler to kill six million Jews. I could go on a on, but you get the point.

    God is the pantokrator, that is the ruler of all, the Almighty, and He is all-powerful, but He is not in control of everything!

    1. Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Indeed, God is the Pantokrator! But He’s not only that; He is also sovereign and in control of everything.

      However, we must understand that having control over everything does not mean God will stop bad things from happening. Did God see how the six million Jews were murdered? Of course! So, why didn’t He stop Hitler? It would have been easy for God to intervene because He’s all-powerful, right?

      You see, evil happens as a result of man’s free will. God gave that free will and cannot and will not violate that.

      When I said in the article that God is in control of everything, it means nothing happens without God’s permission. Had God not allowed Hitler to carry out his evil acts, it would have never happened.

      Bad things happen not because God cannot stop them. God is in control of everything. Otherwise, He’s not God.

      1. So God is not in control of everything, you just showed that man’s will is outside His control. Why would God lament the sin of Israel in Isaiah and Jeremiah if He controls the sin in His people? God has an eternal plan and of that He is in full control of.

        1. It’s about FREEWILL!

          When God created man, He created him with the freedom to choose between right and wrong. God sees the heart (which the Bible describes as wicked or deceptive).

          Thus, God knows what you’re about to do even before you do them.

          God is sovereign and in control of everything. But He will not violate the freedom that He has given you and me.

  2. Thank so much.

    This inspire me and strengthen my faith to trust God more. Now I believe that once God shaken me in a difficult situation, God wants me to see that there’s a rainbow that I have to follow to receive the blessings that God is about to give.

    1. Hello Amely,

      Glad to hear that this post has strengthened your faith in God. Let us remember that God always wants what’s best for us. The Lord may sometimes allow us to go through tough times but in the end, His good purpose will prevail.

      Blessings indeed!

  3. I still cannot see the way out of my difficult situation in my life.

    Really gloomy future …

    But thanks for your article and very well said.

    1. Hi and thanks for dropping by.

      I do not know your present situation and you may think there’s no way out. But I do encourage you to surrender it completely to the Lord. Often times we do not see how things will turn out but God knows and God sees.

      Trust in the Lord with all your heart and believe that God will work all things for your good. Hang in there.

    1. Hi Elijah,

      It’s truly my joy to be able to serve the Lord through this platform. Let’s continue to occupy while we wait for the Lord’s coming.

      God is on the throne and He is in control. We just need to trust Him in everything.


        1. Nothing is out of God’s reach, Timothy.

          Even when it seems like everything is out of control, God still has the final say because He is in full control. We need to trust God because He always has our best interest at heart.

          God bless!

  4. Hello Alice,

    This article is so appropriate to me at present!

    At work we are 2 christian ladies, and when working with women there is a lot of gossiping, but today as I prayed and asked God to lead me, I asked that – NO WEAPON FORMED SHALL COME AGAINST ME…AND NO NEGATIVE TONGUE RISE UP…

    And now I read this? I really do believe what Romans 8:28 says.

    My daily prayer is that God will expose the person causing problems in our department and remove them out!!!!

    Please keep me and my family in prayer also for a FINANCIAL breakthrough and that my brother finds employment, God bless.

    1. Hi Tracy,

      God is sovereign and He knows everything. More importantly, He allows things for a reason, even difficult ones, but in the end, He will work things out for our good and for the glory of His name.

      I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. It is sad that Christians at times are singled out and are subject to hate and bigotry. But take courage and you do not have to do anything besides giving it to the Lord in prayer because He will surely get them out of the way. I am confident of this because this happened to me twice at my workplace.

      I had two colleagues who used to make things difficult for me that I had thought of resigning. But a friend and sister in the Lord told me to take a deep breath and to just be still because God will surely get them out of my way. True enough He did. The company did not fire them, they resigned. But that was all I needed to work peacefully.

      Thank God, they were replaced with nicer and kinder people. Like I said, God will work things out for our good.

      I pray that whatever financial difficulties you may be having, that God will open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessings for you and your family, also your brother.

  5. One thing I struggle with is control, it’s really hard to let go. Even though I know God has a plan and he is always good, I struggle to let go of the things in my life that worry me or otherwise consume me. When I don’t see the results that I think should happen, or what I want to have happen, yes, I feel like God is silent. It is really hard to let go and realize that He is in control and I am not. Thanks for sharing, this is a great article.

    1. I can relate with you Steve because I often find myself in the same exact situation too. We still worry a lot even after surrendering our situation to God and knowing that He’s in control and we’re not.

      It’s also hard for us to understand how God allows us and the people we care about to go through certain misfortunes but we just need to trust God because He knows what He’s doing.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Steve, God bless you more!

  6. I believe that God is all around us and in everything, but I also believe we have free will and that free will is choice which can be in favour of God or against God. God would never be in control of people doing things against God would he?

    That said, I also believe that God is always there for us, we just need to ask and be open to his involvement.

    1. Hey Dave,

      Thanks for visiting. I am in complete agreement with you that God has given us freewill to either obey or disobey Him. When I said that God is in complete control of everything, I did not mean that we are not free to do whatever we want.

      God being in complete control of everything means nothing happens without His permission. In other words, all the things that are happening in our personal lives as individuals and in the world as a whole, happen because God allows them to happen. But that does not necessarily mean they are in line with the will of God.

      But for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose, every detail in their lives, God will use them for good. Even the bad things, God will turn them into blessings.

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