Here is an insightful quote from Eugene Peterson. It is from his book “Run with Horses.” He is addressing the 2 visions in Jeremiah of the budding almond rod (God will accomplish his word) and the boiling pot from the north (God is in control of evil):
“We cannot afford to be naive about evil– it must be faced. But we cannot be intimidated by it either. It will be used by God to bring good. For it is one of the most extraordinary aspects of the good news that God uses bad men to accomplish his good purposes. The Great paradox of judgment is that evil becomes fuel in the furnace of salvation.
“Uninstructed by this vision, or something like it, we loose our sense of proportion and are incapacitated for living in open and adventurous response to whatever comes to us through the day. If we forget that the newspapers are footnotes to scripture and not the other way around, we will finally be afraid to get out of bed in the morning. Too many of us spend far too much time with the editorial page and not nearly enough with the prophetic vision. We get our interpretation of politics and economics and morals from journalists when we should be getting only information; the meaning for the world is most accurately given to us by God’s word.”
Run with Horses, Eugene Peterson(1983) Intervarsity Press p. 54.