Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

Evil Predestined by God’s Hand and Plan

November 14, 2015

There is nothing new under the sun. What can be said when terror strikes yet again? I find myself deeply disturbed and yet uncomfortably familiar with the hatred and death that is ravaging our world. Another attack, another groaning. “How long, O Lord?”

Our comfort is this: the cross. In Acts 4, we read that John and Peter were praying, on behalf of all the believers, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, that they might continue to speak God’s gospel with boldness. The men had just been arrested for speaking the truth in the public sphere. Here is what they pray:

Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,

   and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth set themselves,

   and the rulers were gathered together,

   against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness… (Acts 4:24-29)

Even today, men are gathered together against Jesus. This is their proclamation when the one true God is defamed primarily through misdirected worship and then through gruesome acts against God’s creation. The Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot. The rulers are gathered together, setting themselves up against the Lord.

But all of this is in vain.

Each act of worldly evil is a mere pawn in the hand of God’s sovereign game of chess, where Christ wins the victory and his enemies are wiped out in the end. They think they are winning, that God is a matter of their own creation and not the other way around. They believe that they rule, when in reality it is God’s hand and plan that are ruling them.

Why would God do this, we ask? Why would God even plan such atrocities and ordain such pain and terror? We do not know the mind of God; his thoughts are very deep.

But we do know this: the cross makes sense of it all.

The cross was the place where evil thought it was winning, yet it was crushed by life. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? Death is swallowed up by life, the life of Jesus Christ, whose horrific execution did not end in the grave but declared that, finally, the snake crusher had come and had stamped out the enemy once for all time.

This is our hope, our comfort, our peace when the world is reeling from evil’s presence. God’s hand and his plan predestined every action and outcome, and we can trust him because we have seen the cross. We have a glimpse of what’s to come and the assurance of safety in God’s presence because of the One who achieved the victory, Jesus Christ the Righteous, who will come with a sword in his mouth to wipe out evil forever.

We need the gospel. We need the cross. O, hasten the day, Lord! And until then, we pray you would grant your servants the boldness to continue to speak your Word, despite the threats that rage around us.

The Author
Kristen Wetherell

Kristen Wetherell is a writer and Bible teacher. She has previously served as content manager of Unlocking the Bible. She is the author, along with Sarah Walton, of Hope When It Hurts: Biblical Reflections to Help You Grasp God’s Purpose in Your Suffering (The Good Book Company, April 2017). She blogs at her website, and you can follow her on Twitter. She and her husband Brad are parents to their sweet daughter and members of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Itasca, Ill.

Explore this topic further

Three Helpful Truths About Mental Illness

With the holiday season approaching, I have mixed emotions. I love the decorations, pumpkin-flavored everything, Christmas music, and candles with scents like “Frosted Snowflake” and “Fireside Flannel.” But along with the excitement comes a twinge of dread. For the roughly 20% of people affected by mental illness, namely anxiety and depressive...

Read Post

Don’t Just Follow Your Dreams

“I don’t really have any dreams.” My friend spilled this confession as we tried to piece together future possibilities and life directions one lazy Saturday. I had long been embarrassed that I was in the same place, hiding my cultural heresy of dreamlessness. “I don’t have dreams either!” I said....

Read Post

Four Keys to Living Faithfully in Exile

We have all known seasons of exile, in one form or another. Perhaps you’ve found yourself stuck in a geographical location, and every circumstance — no matter how hard you’ve tried to escape — seemed to hold you there. Maybe you’ve seen all your hopes, dreams, and plans go terribly awry....

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

Together Through the Storms

Encouragement for Your Marriage

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.

Share Your Story and Prayer Requests

If you have a testimony or story you would like to share or if you have a prayer request, please use the form below. If you would like someone from our staff to call you, please include your phone number.

We will never sell or misuse your information.

Get Unlocking the Bible’s Weekly Email

“This Week at Unlocking the Bible” features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.



Order now