“It’s in God’s hands.”

Yes, it is. In fact, “He’s got the whole world in His hands!” He’s got the “little tiny baby,” “you and me, brother,” and “everybody” in His hands. That gospel song is right. And I’m so grateful that He does!

But where does that leave us? It would be fruitless to try and do something that only God can do. But are we supposed to just sit back and wait?

I remember as a teenager being frustrated by this Scripture: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed– not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence– continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12,13)

So which is it? I’m supposed to work. “It is God who works.” Who’s working? Me? God? Both? If both, how am I supposed to know what I’m supposed to do, and what God is supposed to do? Is it God’s job or my job?

I now understand a lot more about what it means to cooperate with God. And it’s not nearly as mysterious as some try and make it out to be.

There has even been scientific research indicating that people who see themselves as working together with God to solve their big problems generally do better than those who try and do it on their own, or those who sit back and wait for God to do it all.

Here’s what that might look like in a few specific situations.

If you’re physically sick or unhealthy:

Your job:

  • Learn what you can about your illness or dysfunction
  • Make any lifestyle changes you need to make
  • Get appropriate professional help (physician, nutritionist, psychologist, etc)
  • Diligently follow any treatment plans available to help you get well
  • Pray for healing, and ask others to pray for you

God’s job:

  • Direct you to the most appropriate help
  • Provide you wisdom and strength to make any necessary lifestyle changes
  • Provide you courage to persevere when the going gets tough
  • Provide comfort and love all the time
  • Provide healing – in His way

If you’re out of work and looking for a job:

Your job:

  • Be wise and diligent in conserving your resources
  • Be wise and diligent in looking for or creating a job
  • Network with anyone and everyone
  • Work hard at developing any skills necessary to be financially productive, including a right attitude
  • Pray – for God to bring you resources, ideas, and connections, as well as income

God’s job:

  • Provide insight and ideas regarding income
  • Bring people or resources into your life that can help
  • Provide courage and wisdom if you need to create rather than find a job
  • Remind you that you are not defined by your income, but by your standing as His child

If you’re struggling in a bad marriage:

Your job:

  • Honestly look at your own attitudes and behavior
  • Work diligently on such behaviors as communication, forgiveness, patience, and love
  • Allow God to change anything in you that is contributing to the dysfunction
  • Take full advantage of any resources or help to improve your marriage
  • Pray – for yourself, for your spouse, and for your marriage

God’s job:

  • Soften and transform your own heart and life to be a good partner
  • Work in your spouse’s life to do the same
  • Forgive you and your spouse for past wrongs
  • Provide wisdom, courage, strength, and resources to help your marriage grow

Do you get an idea of how that works?

Sometimes there are situations where there is nothing in our power to do that will change anything. The good news is, God’s still got those situations in His hands as well. But for most of us, there is a lot we can do to cooperate with Him.

God won’t take the fork out of your hand if you need to lose weight, or vaporize your credit cards if you need to get out of debt.

But He WILL:

  • Take control of any area of your life you allow Him to
  • Be there for you, whether you are aware of it or not
  • Forgive you when you ask
  • Provide a ready supply of courage, wisdom, resources, wisdom – and LOVE!

Yes, you’re in Good Hands!

Your Turn: What’s your biggest challenge right now? What’s your job? What’s God’s job in this challenge? Leave a comment below. 

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