Read Romans 8:28
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. (NIV)
That phrase ‘God is in control’ can too easily roll off our lips when we are facing challenging times. But just what do we mean by it? Some suggest it means that God is ordaining all that happens. Every hardship that comes our way in this sense comes from God. But that risks making God the source of evil.
If we imagine God’s control to be his micromanaging the universe, we might ‘respectfully’ suggest he is not doing a very good job of it! Holding God responsible for all that happens leads to a very blurred picture of a good God.
This text might offer us a different way of viewing his control. Good things and bad things happen in our world. God chooses not to stop the bad things happening. We can even say he voluntarily limits his power to exercise control so as to stop them happening. Having chosen to let bad things happen (not to cause them to happen), he then promises to weave his own good purposes through the bad things.
God in control does not mean all that happens is from him, and certainly doesn’t mean all that happens is good. It rather may mean that no matter what happens, God is working for good. It means he will have the final word.