"Have Faith that God is Leading!"

Actor Gary Sinise has a new book out entitled, Grateful American: Journey from Self to Service. This autobiographical work tells the story how a reaction to a national threat and tragedy helped to shape this popular actor into an advocate for the men and women of our military who give their lives every day to protect our freedoms around the globe. In this book, Sinise reflects on his dad's health challenges and how it brought back to mind some things he had learned from attending church over the years. It was a recapitulation and paraphrase of the great promise of Romans 8:28 that "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose" (CSB).

In those near-death reflections of almost losing his dad, Gary Sinise has said, "We have a purpose in life, and if we're serving God, following him, living out God's purposes for our life, then we can have faith that God is leading us, and even difficult times can turn out all right. God can cause all things to work together for good." Don't you just love to hear that a popular figure of the entertainment industry has a worldview that affirms biblical principles? Our prejudice is that many such entertainers today from Hollywood espouse human-centered values that run counter to a biblical worldview. It is refreshing to read that this isn't always the case and Sinise proves that!

I prefer a "large view of God!" Some of you are thinking, "Is there any other kind of theological view of God?" I admit that with my propensity toward "fixing the broken things of life," that I have tried to give God a time-out on many occasions and saying in effect, to Him, "I can handle this, take the day off!" In my saner moments, I cringe at the audacity behind this view of my Lord. He is Lord over all! The Bible paints this picture of Him from Genesis to Revelation and I should know better than to think He needs me as His partner in controlling this world He has so wonderfully created. He does not need my help in this way... ever!

It is far better for you and me to see God as Sovereign Lord who so orders this life of ours that nothing we encounter is wasted. Someone said that the events of life can make us "bitter or better." I believe I have such a choice during each challenge that I face. I can either let it put some distance between God and myself knowing that the precious fellowship I enjoy with the Father will be adversely affected by that distance and I don't want to risk that. Or, I can choose to trust God by faith and know that He is working out His plan through the events, crises, and varied experiences that we encounter each day to make us better... spiritually. And I mean making us more Christlike!

In my recent perusal of the Grateful American, I was drawn into the account of how Gary Sinise was shaken by his dad's unexpected health crisis. I was also comforted by the perspective to which this esteemed actor of our time viewed that crises. He chose the lens of faith and trust in the providential work of a great and mighty God who controls everything. God will not allow the things that startle, trouble or frighten us to consume and destroy us. Rather, these challenges become opportunities for us once again, to affirm, "My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber... nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper" (Psalm 121:2-5a, ESV). "Thank you, Lord for your keeping power!"

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com


  1. Yes, accepting and allowing GOD to use us can't be viewed anything less than him blessing us, especially when it hurts.


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