31 Notable Bible Verses About Control (with Explanations)

Control is a theme that resonates deeply within the human experience, and it’s a topic that the Bible addresses with profound insight and wisdom.

The Scriptures guide understanding the balance between human efforts and divine sovereignty, the importance of self-control as a virtue, and the peace that comes from entrusting our lives to God’s capable hands. These verses offer comfort and direction in times of uncertainty and change, reminding us that while we may make plans, it is ultimately God who directs our paths.

In exploring these verses, we find encouragement to let go of our anxieties and fears, to trust in a higher plan, and to embrace the freedom that comes from understanding our place in God’s world.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Friendship and Sisterhood (With Explanation)

Bible Verses About Control

Proverbs 16:9

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

This verse from Proverbs emphasizes the fundamental belief that while humans have the freedom to make plans and decisions, it is ultimately God who guides and determines the course of events.

The verse serves as a reminder of the balance between free will and divine providence. It encourages humility and trust in God’s greater plan, suggesting that while we can and should make plans, we must also be open to the direction and control that God may have over the ultimate outcome of our lives.

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

These verses from Philippians advise against excessive worry and encourage the believer to trust in God’s control. By advising us to bring our concerns to God through prayer and with a grateful heart, it teaches that surrendering control to God is a pathway to peace.

The ‘peace of God’ is described as something beyond human understanding, suggesting that letting go of our need to control every aspect of our lives and trusting in God’s plan can bring profound emotional and mental tranquility.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

This well-known verse from Jeremiah speaks directly to God’s control over our lives, offering comfort and hope. It assures believers that God has a plan for each person, a plan designed for their welfare and not for harm.

This verse is often cited in times of uncertainty or hardship as a reminder that even when things seem out of control, God has a purpose and direction for each life, which is ultimately for good.

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

In these verses, the wisdom of Proverbs highlights the importance of trusting in God rather than solely relying on one’s own understanding or judgment. It’s a call to acknowledge God’s control and sovereignty in all aspects of life.

By doing so, it promises that God will guide and provide a clear path forward. This is particularly relevant in situations where human wisdom is limited or the way ahead seems unclear.

Matthew 6:34

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Jesus’ words in Matthew speak to the concept of relinquishing the illusion of control over the future and focusing on the present. This verse addresses the human tendency to be anxious about future events, suggesting that such worries are unnecessary.

It encourages a daily reliance on God, implying that by focusing on the present and trusting in God’s control, one can find a more peaceful and manageable approach to life’s challenges.


Isaiah 26:3

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

This verse from Isaiah highlights the peace that comes from trusting in God. It suggests that a steady, unwavering mind, focused on God, results in a sense of profound peace. This peace is described as ‘perfect,’ indicating a completeness or wholeness that comes from a relationship of trust with the divine.

It’s a reassurance that amidst life’s uncertainties and chaos, maintaining faith and trust in God provides a stabilizing force, keeping individuals anchored in a state of tranquility.

Romans 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 conveys the comforting notion that God orchestrates every aspect of life for a greater purpose. It’s an affirmation that, regardless of circumstances, everything that happens is part of a divine plan designed for the ultimate good of those who love and follow God.

This verse serves to reassure believers during challenging times, encouraging them to see beyond the immediate difficulties and trust in God’s overarching plan and benevolent control.

James 4:7

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

In James 4:7, there is a clear call to action for believers to willingly place themselves under God’s authority. It underscores the concept of yielding control to God as a means of spiritual strength and protection.

The verse also contains a promise – that resisting evil (symbolized by the devil) will result in it fleeing. This implies a level of control and power given to believers when they align themselves with God’s will and authority.

1 Peter 5:7

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

This verse from 1 Peter offers a profound solution to human anxiety: entrusting all worries to God. The rationale for this is rooted in God’s love and care for individuals.

It suggests that believers do not need to bear the weight of their anxieties alone, as God is willing and able to carry this burden. This teaching fosters a sense of comfort and security, knowing that one is cared for by a higher power that is capable of managing all concerns.

Psalm 37:5

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:”

Psalm 37:5 emphasizes the act of committing one’s life path to the Lord and trusting in His guidance. This verse implies that by dedicating one’s plans, hopes, and efforts to God and relying on His wisdom and control, God will actively intervene and assist.

It’s a message of surrendering personal control and relying on divine direction, with the promise that such trust will not be in vain but will lead to divine action in one’s life.

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

This verse from 2 Timothy speaks to the empowering nature of the spirit that God gives to believers. It contrasts fear with the qualities of power, love, and sound-mindedness. The emphasis is on the control and strength provided by God, rather than succumbing to fear and uncertainty.

This verse encourages believers to embrace the spirit given by God, which enables them to face challenges with confidence, love, and clear judgment, rather than being overwhelmed by fear or anxiety.

Galatians 5:22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

These verses from Galatians describe the qualities that are produced in a person’s life by the Holy Spirit. Significantly, ‘self-control’ is listed as one of these qualities, indicating that it is a divine attribute.

This suggests that true self-control is a result of spiritual growth and reliance on God, rather than purely a human effort. The verse implies that living in alignment with the Spirit leads to a balanced and controlled life, rich in virtues that positively impact both the individual and those around them.

Psalm 23:1-3

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”

Psalm 23 beautifully illustrates the care and guidance of God, likened to a shepherd. The imagery of a shepherd indicates a relationship of guidance, provision, and protection. This Psalm expresses a profound sense of trust and contentment in God’s control and direction.

The metaphor of leading to green pastures and quiet waters symbolizes a life of peace and fulfillment under God’s guidance. It reassures believers that with God as their shepherd, their needs are met, and their souls are nurtured.

Proverbs 19:21

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

This Proverb acknowledges the human tendency to make numerous plans and have many ambitions. However, it contrasts this with the ultimate reality that it is God’s purpose that triumphs. This verse teaches the concept of divine sovereignty over human intention and planning.

It encourages individuals to align their plans with God’s will, acknowledging that while human plans may vary and change, God’s purpose is steady and prevailing, and aligning with it brings the best outcome.

Colossians 3:15

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:15 emphasizes the importance of allowing Christ’s peace to dominate in believers’ lives. This peace is not just a feeling but is described as something that should ‘rule’ in the heart, suggesting a governing or controlling influence.

It is linked to the unity of believers as one body, indicating that peace is not only personal but also communal. This verse encourages gratitude and a collective embrace of peace, fostering harmony and control over discord and unrest in the community of faith.

Psalm 55:22

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

This verse from Psalm 55 offers a profound perspective on dealing with burdens and worries. It encourages believers to transfer their concerns to God, trusting in His ability to sustain and support them.

The promise that God will not let the righteous be shaken implies a sense of security and stability that comes from relying on God. It suggests that even when faced with trials and uncertainties, those who trust in God will find a steadfastness and strength that prevents them from being overwhelmed.

Hebrews 13:8

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Hebrews 13:8 emphasizes the unchanging nature of Jesus Christ, highlighting His consistency and reliability. In a world of constant change and uncertainty, this verse offers reassurance that Jesus is a stable and enduring presence.

This constancy implies a level of control and certainty in the character of Christ that believers can depend on. It serves as a reminder that regardless of the changing circumstances in life, Jesus remains a steadfast source of strength, guidance, and comfort.

Ephesians 4:2-3

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

These verses from Ephesians focus on the virtues essential for maintaining unity and harmony within the Christian community. The call to humility, gentleness, patience, and love is foundational in exercising self-control and fostering peaceful relationships.

The emphasis on making an effort to maintain unity suggests that such harmony requires active participation and a conscious relinquishing of personal ego and desires. This guidance encourages believers to prioritize communal well-being and peace, reflecting a controlled and considerate approach to interactions with others.

Luke 12:25-26

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

In these verses from Luke, Jesus addresses the futility of worry. He points out that worrying is ineffective, unable to add anything of value to our lives. This rhetorical question emphasizes the limits of human control and the ineffectiveness of anxiety over life’s uncertainties.

The verse encourages a shift in perspective, advocating for a reliance on God rather than succumbing to worry, and highlights the importance of trusting in God’s care and providence over our own efforts to control outcomes.

Proverbs 14:29

“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.”

This Proverb contrasts patience with a quick temper, associating patience with wisdom and a lack of control with foolishness. It implies that self-control, particularly in managing one’s temper, is a sign of deep understanding and maturity.

The verse suggests that patience allows for thoughtful and wise responses, whereas a quick temper is often reactionary and imprudent. It serves as a reminder of the value of self-control in decision-making and interactions, promoting a thoughtful and composed demeanor as a virtue.

1 Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

This verse from 1 Corinthians provides reassurance about the nature of temptation and God’s role in it. It emphasizes that while temptations are a universal human experience, God’s faithfulness ensures that no temptation will be insurmountable.

The promise of a ‘way out’ suggests that God provides the means to resist or escape temptation, thereby exercising control over the situation. This verse encourages believers to recognize and rely on God’s provision in times of temptation, understanding that they are not left alone to face these challenges.

Psalm 34:4

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”

In Psalm 34, the psalmist recounts a personal experience of seeking God’s help and receiving deliverance from fears. This verse highlights the responsiveness of God to those who seek Him and His power to alleviate fears.

It’s a testament to God’s active role in providing comfort and control over situations that cause anxiety. This verse encourages believers to actively seek God in times of fear, reassuring them that God is attentive to their needs and capable of delivering them from their anxieties.

Isaiah 40:31

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:31 offers a powerful metaphor of strength and endurance for those who place their hope in God. The imagery of soaring eagles symbolizes freedom and power, suggesting that trust in God results in a renewed and elevated perspective.

The promise of running without weariness and walking without fainting speaks to the enduring nature of the strength that comes from God. This verse is a source of encouragement, emphasizing that reliance on God brings not just momentary relief but a sustained source of strength and vitality.

Philippians 2:13

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

Philippians 2:13 highlights the concept that it is God’s power at work within individuals that enables them to desire and do what aligns with His purpose. This verse suggests a divine influence on both the intentions and actions of believers, indicating that God is actively involved in shaping the will and guiding the actions of those who follow Him.

It’s a reminder that personal achievements and good deeds are not solely the result of human effort but are also manifestations of God’s work within.

Proverbs 16:3

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

This verse from Proverbs emphasizes the importance of dedicating one’s actions and plans to the Lord. It suggests that when endeavors are aligned with God’s will and committed to Him, He will ensure their successful establishment and completion.

The verse conveys a sense of partnership between the divine and human will, where human effort is coupled with divine guidance and blessing. It encourages believers to start their endeavors with God in mind, promising that such an approach leads to stability and success in their plans.

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

In this verse, Jesus distinguishes the peace He offers from the peace the world provides. This peace is deeper and more enduring, not subject to changing circumstances. It’s a peace that calms the heart and mind, alleviating fear and anxiety.

Jesus’ words encourage believers to accept this unique gift of peace, a peace that implies a sense of divine control and presence in the midst of life’s uncertainties. It reassures that in Him, one can find tranquility and security even when the world offers neither.

Micah 6:8

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8 outlines the fundamental principles that God desires from individuals: justice, mercy, and humility in walking with God. These principles reflect a balanced approach to life, combining ethical action, compassionate treatment of others, and a humble relationship with God.

This verse emphasizes that a life pleasing to God is not about excessive ritual or sacrifice but about living in a way that reflects His character and purposes. It calls for a conscious effort to integrate these values into everyday life, signifying a form of spiritual control and discipline.

Matthew 11:28

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus extends an invitation to those feeling overwhelmed and burdened. This verse speaks of the rest and relief that Jesus offers, contrasting the weariness of life with the comfort found in Him.

It suggests that true rest and rejuvenation are found not in worldly solutions but through a relationship with Christ. This rest is both a physical and spiritual relief, implying a release from the burdens of life through divine support and comfort.

Romans 12:2

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2 challenges believers to resist conforming to worldly values and instead transform through the renewal of the mind. This transformation is key to understanding and embracing God’s will.

The verse implies that discernment of God’s will is achieved not by external adherence to worldly standards but through an internal change in perspective and values. It speaks to the control one has over personal choices and attitudes, encouraging a deliberate shift towards a mindset that seeks to align with God’s purposes and desires.

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What does the Bible say about Control?

Divine Sovereignty and Human Control: The Bible frequently discusses the supremacy of God’s control and plan over human affairs. This is often contrasted with the limits of human understanding and control Proverbs 19:21.

Self-Control as a Fruit of the Spirit: Self-control is listed as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, indicating its importance in Christian life Galatians 5:22-23.

Relinquishing Control to God: Many passages encourage believers to trust in God rather than their understanding and to surrender their worries and plans to Him Proverbs 3:5-6.

God’s Control in Providing and Protecting: The Bible reassures that God is in control and works for the good of those who love Him, providing and protecting them Romans 8:28.

Prayer on Surrendering Control to God

Heavenly Father,

I come before You today recognizing my need to surrender control to Your wise and loving hands. In a world that often feels chaotic and uncertain, I confess that I sometimes strive to maintain control, forgetting that ultimate authority rests with You.

Lord, teach me to trust in Your sovereignty over every aspect of my life. Help me to remember that Your plans are higher than mine, and Your ways are beyond my understanding. In moments of worry and planning, remind me that You are in control, and Your purpose will prevail.

Grant me the grace of self-control, one of the fruits of Your Spirit. May I exercise restraint and wisdom in my actions, words, and thoughts, reflecting Your character in all that I do.

I lay down my anxieties, fears, and plans at Your feet, Lord. Give me the strength to resist the temptation to take back control, trusting instead in Your perfect will. In moments of uncertainty, guide me to seek Your will in prayer and through Your Word.

Thank You for the assurance that You work all things for the good of those who love You. In every situation, whether challenging or joyful, help me to see Your hand at work, molding and shaping my life according to Your great plan.

Lord, I ask for the peace that comes from knowing You are in control—a peace that transcends all understanding. May this peace guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus, especially when the world around me feels out of control.

In all things, I surrender to Your will, knowing that You are good, You are faithful, and You are in control. Thank You for Your constant presence and unchanging love.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.