It was a total “God thing!”
If you’ve spent much time around church people, you’ve probably heard (and maybe said) this statement hundreds of times.
“It’s a God thing” is used in Christian culture when things unexpectedly work out the way we wanted them to. We raised the total amount of money for our mission trip, the chips fell our way, we were totally surprised by an event that popped up from out of the blue.
But, inevitably this statement always follows something good that has happened to us—a story of healing, a rare coincidence that worked out well for us, finding a parking space, getting a job or when our child stops warming the bench in time to hit the game-winning shot.
Who’s in Control?
Should this statement be a part of our vernacular? Well, first, let’s see if the phrase is even biblically accurate:
“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” (1 Chronicles 16:31).
“Our God is in the heavens; He does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3).
“Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” (Psalm 135:6).
“The heart of man plans His way, but the Lord establishes His steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
“Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose” (Isaiah 46:10).
These five compelling verses tell us one clear thing: God is sovereign. And, there are literally dozens upon dozens of other verses that say the exact same thing.
God has supreme authority, control and power over all that has happened, is happening and will happen in the future in all times across all history. God has the right, the authority and the power to govern all that happens in accordance to His divine will. He has the right and the power to achieve His purposes. He is in control of circumstances that dictate whatever He wills to come to pass. He has complete control of everything and there is nothing that happens that is not done by or allowed through His will.
So, is the statement “It’s a God thing” accurate? Yes, of course, it is.
The great things that happen in our life—it’s a God thing! When things go our way—it’s God thing! We get that promotion we’ve been wanting—it’s a God thing!
All Things for Good
However, there is a flip side to that coin. When things don’t go our way—it’s still a God thing. When we don’t get the promotion that we’ve been wanting—it’s a God thing. Times of suffering, times of tribulation, times of loss—God thing, God thing. It’s all within God’s sovereign plans.
If God is truly sovereign, then He is in control of the “bad” days just as much as He is in control of the “good” days. Sometimes His plan is not what we may want or would plan for ourselves. Sometimes it’s hard to see where He is during the hard times. But we can trust that He’s there, that He cares, that this world is fallen, but He’s in control.
True faith is being able to say, “It’s a God thing” even in the midst of suffering, difficulty and heartache. When something doesn’t go my way, I can still know, trust and believe that God is working out all things for His glory and my good.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Maybe, the best way to look at the statement, “It’s a God thing” is to really understand that everything that is and occurs are all “God’s things” and not mine. And He can do what He wants with His things, including me.
An earlier version of this article was posted on alreadyam.com.