“All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes.” That is Romans 8:28, a verse that confuses me a little. On one hand this can mean that God is in continual control of all things, and He is working everything (even what looks and feels bad to us) to a good end. On the other hand this verse could mean that God will take even the pain, despair, and death of this life and bring good from it.
These two perspectives may seem nearly identical, but they are not. The first says that God is in control, the second says that He is not in control.
It may seem rather heretical to say that God is not in control, but maybe it isn’t. When we say God is in control of everything, we must follow this line of thinking to certain questions and conclusion. The “God-is-in-control” line of thinking says that God is responsible for everything. Everything . . . cancer, rape, genocide, war, Holocaust, slavery. . .
I understand that God has the vantage point of eternity, and what may seem devastating at one point in my life, may be beneficial to me (or someone else) in the great scheme of things. God can see the beginning and the end all at once.
“God-is-in-control” also means that I am not in control. Am I really not in control of anything. I know that free-will is an incredibly complex idea, but am I really not in control of anything? Has God already determined if I will eat a Big-Mac or salad for lunch?
To me, this flies in the face of an inherent human need: the need to make a difference.
If you could have your brain connected to a computer which would simulate a perfect, imaginary world in which you could live (kind of like the Matrix), would you do it? In this world you could live whatever kind of life you want, doing whatever you like. In a study that presented this situation, most people chose to live in the real world rather than the imaginary, perfect world. Why? Because in the imaginary world their life would never affect another person. They could never make a difference.
We all have the need to make a difference.