by Pastor Steven Grant
It is not always easy to make sense of the events of the world or the happenings in daily life. This fallen world can be full of experiences that are both blessings and troubles. While we enjoy and celebrate the blessings, the more distressful aspects of life can be very confusing, cause great anxiety and fear, and rob us of our joy. What is perhaps even more difficult is to be at peace with it all.
This is when the term “Providence” is most helpful. Providence is the word we use to describe God’s activity in the world as He works out His purpose. It is not always easy to understand the ways of Providence. We cannot predict what God will do or will allow to happen, or why He makes things happen differently than we would hope. However, embracing Providence assures us that much of what happens in life is not by accident. God is ever-working out His purpose in our daily lives, sometimes in ways that we may never be aware of. For instance, it is no accident when He puts people in our life’s paths, either briefly or long-term. Situations with which we must deal, both blessings and trials, are not without meaning. God has a purpose in all of this. We all have stories of events we can define as a “God thing”; this is what we mean by Providence.
Recognizing that the flow of our life includes God working out His purpose is often the only way we can make sense of it, especially when life is difficult. We wonder what God is up to, however we can be sure that God is up to something good while working out His purpose. Oftentimes His purpose is much more comprehensive in scope than the limits of a given situation or point in time. So, while acknowledging that God’s purpose helps us to make sense of life, learning to trust in that purpose is how we can eventually be at peace with it.
Jesus taught, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). The more we deepen our relationship with Jesus and the more we grow in His likeness through discipleship, the more we are enabled to clear out the clutter from our hearts that prevents us from seeing the hand of God in our lives.
Jesus promised us that He would be with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
With this truth firmly planted in our hearts, may we all look forward to the future – regardless of our circumstances – with courage.
We can gaze expectantly toward the future because we trust in His Providence. Let us all choose as our life affirmation the words from one of my favorite songs, I’ll Walk with God. The final words are, “And I’ll never walk alone while I walk with God!”