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Christians doctrine teaches about God’s providence to the believers as a source of great comfort as well as the reasons why thing happen to people. God’s providence illustrates that our Lord is not passive, not distant or unconcerned with people’s daily events. We all learn that our heavenly father governs regular events behind the scenes without robbing Christians the duty of making a responsible choice.
However, when catastrophic events occur in our lives as both personal and collective, the initial question that arises is about the divine providence. We find ourselves asking why God allow evilness to put the divine goodness in doubt. Many people will want to believe fate plays a major role in the lives of people, but the Christian teachings insist on having hope in Christ in the midst of despair.
This paper will define what is Gods providence and explain how God works through divine providence in our lives. As the scripture says in Isaiah 64: 8 that the Lord our Father is the potter and we are the clay therefore, we are the work of his mighty hand. Thus Christians understand from the metaphor that God is an excellent curator because he cares and has a purpose for each and everyone one. We are often mesmerized when we see how potters create beautiful plates, cups, bowls, and other artworks from a simple lump of clay. Occasionally, some models may take a longer time to make, or the clay may be of poor quality, but the potter will work with the current situation to produce the intended shape of the item. Therefore, God care for the people living on earth this is known as the providence of God. Besides, God providence is concerned with all factors of creation, human existentialism, the end, fruition and goals/purpose for creation.
Understanding God’s providence
As Christians, we learn that providence illustrates God’s sovereign care for his creation. In Genesis chapter one, Gods care included the beautiful creation of the earth as well as the people as shown in (Gen 1:31 NIV) when God observes his creation and he finds it to be perfect. We see God’s given care during the creation of the world because God had already known the consequences of creating the world as well as the people who will inherit the world. People will want to harm one another, but Gods intention is geared on good accomplishments such as the saving of many Christian lives. With all this understood the scripture encourages us to fear nothing as God I will provide for all including the children (Gen 50:20-22 NIV). Throughout the creation period, God orders certain events that show man that indeed God’s ultimate reason for creation must be achieved. “With my great power and outstretched arm, I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please” (Jeremiah 27:5 NIV).
Moreover, God is the sole preserve, sustainer and upholder of creation. The heavens declare his glory and his testimony is evident everywhere. God demonstrate his kindness by soaking the earth from heaven and crops grow in their seasons. Additionally, God provides plenty of food for the people and fills their heart with joy and happiness (Acts 14:17 NIV). Thus, God will never allow things to happen without any ultimate purpose because when God was creating the universe, he wanted it to work in cooperation with his creation. The nature of God’s extent needs to work in harmony, but often some events occur that raise question to divine providence of God.
Creation and Providence
Typically, nature is part of God’s creation, and only God has the power to control and protect it. Christians believe that God is the supreme being responsible for the existence of the universe. Therefore, he has the ultimate control of all events that nature has. In this way, God created the world with certain natural laws which are functional. These natural laws are part of God’s providence that makes the universe function independently. Such laws include the law of gravity which is scientifically proven. Natural laws tend to show actions and events that take place in the physical universe. Thus the law of gravity makes sense here.
Rainfall occurs at random, but one cannot predict the exact time when the rain will occur. Therefore, the world functions out of randomness as well as a necessity which are compatible with God’s governance of nature. God sometimes intervenes in forces of nature by acting in an extraordinary manner which is often contrary to the laws of nature. Such actions of special providence include miracles, signs, wonders, visions, resurrection and many more. For instance, the resurrection of Christ is found in the Bible, and every Christian believes in this story as a true testimony to the truth of believers. Nevertheless, special providence such as miracles is less common in the Bible.
God works through nature to guide, protect, and care for his creation. People depend on God to provide for them because he created them, he promises to be their provider. God has a better plan for humanity as well as the universe. “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. Then you will call on me, and I come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV). However, God collaborate with other people to bring his purposes to everyone.
God providence debates
There are several Biblical arguments brought forward on issues of God providence. The two major groups arguing about this topic are the Calvinist and Arminian. The Calvinist argue that all things in the world happen according to the Lord’s sovereign will. According to the Calvinist, the Bible portrays God as the true omnipotent creator of everything that exists. Therefore, God is indeed the supreme Lord of all events. “From him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36 NIV). However, they note that not all things except evil things and human free will. They insist that all things exist through him, come from him and ultimately exist from his glory. Christians can learn from the scripture that God possesses infinite glory and power that is beyond human comprehension thus he deserves all glory, worship and praise for this very reason.
(Psalm 135:6 NIV) God says he can do whatever he pleases. During the tribulation of Job, he confessed to God that he understands that God is capable of doing anything and none of his plan can be can impeded. Additionally, Daniel the prophet of God acknowledges that God can do whatever he wishes to anybody with his host from heaven as well as the inhabitants of the earth. Therefore, God does whatever he plans to do. God determines a specific time as well as boundaries of all nationalities.
Furthermore, he determines the number of months, and days as well as the boundaries of every man he created. God “achieves all according to his guidance and determination” (Ephesians 1:11 NIV). When terrible things such as an accident occur, it is because he willed it to happen. The dices land according to the will of God. According to (Proverbs 16:33 NIV) God cast the lot into the lap, but the Lord makes all decision. As all Christians acknowledge that everything happens for a reason so does the scripture in (Romans 11:36 NIV) explains that through him and for him everything is for his glory forever! Amen.
God guides everyone in the decisions they make people will step in and devise their own plan. Since the final decision rest in Gods hands and he determines what shall be and what shall not be. Therefore, God controls the heart of kings, and he has the power to turn them whenever he wants. “The Kings’ heart is in the hands of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases” (Proverbs 21:1 NIV). Undoubtedly, Christians realize only the Lord has the will to make people accept the gospel of Christ. For instance, we read in the scripture how God opened the heart of Lydia to listen to what Paul was saying. She finally becomes a believer through God’s will (Acts 16:14 NIV).
On the other hand, the Arminian believe that God limits control of providence by granting freedom. They use Bible scriptures to defend their arguments such as God controls whatever he wishes to control, and he also predestined whatever he wants to predestine. These readings can be found in (Acts 2:23; 4:28 and Isaiah 46: 10-11 NIV). However, the Lord does not to control all and gives people the choice of accepting him and therefore, he limits the scope of supreme control. For instance, God gave the Israelites an opportunity to follow him when he said to the children of Israel that if they follow his commandments then they shall be saved and receive heavenly blessing. However, if they disobey God they would die in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 30:15-19 NIV). From the time of creation in the Garden of Eden, God has been giving people the ability to make a moral decision. Meaning that people are free to make any decision, thus the reason why the Bible holds them responsible for their action. God does not control everything that’s why God gets frustrated and disappointed when humans make the wrong choices. God is sometimes saddened and even amazed at how people resist him.
God providence to the poor
God sent his only son Jesus Christ to be crucified raised from the dead on the third day and ascended to heaven. Through Christ, God established justice and righteousness. He often takes the side of the afflicted ones because we learn that He is the Lord of the poor and little ones. He demonstrates a special love towards the poor because Christ suffered injustice and death while on earth. Therefore, God is the providence of the poor as the scripture announced that the poor will reign in God’s kingdom. (Matthew 5:3 NIV) states that blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven because the heavenly kingdom belongs to them. Blessed are mourners, because they will be comforted. Moreover, blessed are the meek in Christ because they will inherit the earth. God’s providence comes to the poor, and they appear to be privileged to receive God’s providence.
God divine presence has always been manifested through the poor as his presence will continue to be utopic. Christians understand that the God is a transcendent being who allow life to exist in an abundance beyond the boundaries of oppression or death. God liberated the children of Israel from Egypt where they were held captive for many years, and he walked with them throughout the wilderness. God provided for them while in the desert and also perverse them across the desert. God said unto Moses that the grumbling of the Israelites has been heard. Therefore, they will eat meat in the evening and bread in the morning. Then they will acknowledge the Lords mighty work (Exodus 16:11 NIV). God provided food to them throughout the Exodus. God made a covenant with the Israelites and promised to walk before them to prepare the way.
God is life and his providence ensure that his people live a life of fulfillment and abundance. He provides material means that helps to make life possible. God gives life and guarantees people with life’s richness and beauty. “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV). According to Philippians 4:19 the scripture state that the Lord who takes care of everyone will provide the needy from his glorious richness, offered to all in Christ Jesus.
God’s providence gives Christians strength, hope, and joy. The presence of Christ in our hearts brings joy and hope in the struggle for righteousness. Additionally, knowing that God recognizes our struggles brings overwhelming joy in the hearts of Christians this encourages and nourish the Christian believer. Christians get the assurance of divine victory through the love of Christ and his death on the cross.
God Providence Reign
The understanding of “reign of God” signifies that the Lord is the sole author and finisher of the world. The Bible documents God’s reign on the world as the ruler of his kingdom and he protect, liberate his people from oppression, pain, and injustice. God has always been there before time as the sole providence, and he is still the one who protect us all. However, there has been sporadic anti-life forces that allow evilness to reign in the world. In the process, God’s social justice, healing, fulfillment, freedom, restoration, communality, reconciliation, and life have changed. Currently, the world is full of injustices, corruption, oppression, warfare, sickness, deceit, betrayal and so much wickedness exist. Some people think that God’s reign is over and now the devil’s reign is in place.
However, God’s providence is assured through salvation. “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is your heart that you believe and is justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Roman 10: 9-10 NIV). The reign of God will be achieved at the end of our present generation. God’s sovereignty has always kept him in control. God has predestined how everything turns out because he is always in charge. There are no mistakes with God because he is wisdom and his goodness is because he always has our best interest at heart.
- Boyd, Gregory A., and Paul R. Eddy. Across the spectrum: understanding issues in evangelical theology. Baker Academic, 2009.
- Fabella, Virginia, and Rasiah S. Sugirtharajah, eds. Dictionary of Third World Theologies. Orbis Books, 2000.
- Knabb, Joshua J., Thomas V. Frederick, and George Cumming III. “Surrendering to god’s providence: A three-part study on providence-focused therapy for recurrent worry (PFT-RW).” Psychology of Religion and Spirituality 9, no. 2 (2017): 180.
- Thorsen, Don. An exploration of Christian theology. Baker Books, 2007.
- White, Adam. A Collection of Documents on Spitzbergen and Greenland: Comprising a translation from F. Martens’ Voyage to Spitzbergen: a Translation from Isaac de la Peyrère’s Histoire du Groenland: and God’s Power and Providence in the Preservation of Eight Men in Greenland Nine Months and Twelve Days. Routledge, 2017.
 Thorsen, Don. An exploration of Christian theology. Baker Books, 2007
 Knabb, Joshua J., Thomas V. Frederick, and George Cumming III. “Surrendering to god’s providence: A three-part study on providence-focused therapy for recurrent worry (PFT-RW).” Psychology of Religion and Spirituality 9, no. 2 (2017): 180.
 Fabella, Virginia, and Rasiah S. Sugirtharajah, eds. Dictionary of Third World Theologies. Orbis Books, 2000.
 Boyd, Gregory A., and Paul R. Eddy. Across the spectrum: understanding issues in evangelical theology. Baker Academic, 2009.
 White, Adam. A Collection of Documents on Spitzbergen and Greenland: Comprising a translation from F. Martens’ Voyage to Spitzbergen: a Translation from Isaac de la Peyrère’s Histoire du Groenland: and God’s Power and Providence in the Preservation of Eight Men in Greenland Nine Months and Twelve Days. Routledge, 2017.
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