Five Principles of Providence

Our faith should be strengthened as we consider God's providence—how our loving father carefully governs our lives. As you study providence, there are five principles that you should keep in mind:

  1. The doctrine of providence reminds us that God is the sovereign Lord of history. It is important to remember that God is the creator and judge of the world, moving it toward an ultimate goal that we cannot fully grasp. For this reason we must remember not to align our faith with any particular political movement or institution.

  2. We often see the pattern of providence only in retrospect. We are often so overcome by grief or anger about our circumstances that we struggle to see how these experiences fit into God’s plan for us. Remember the story of Joseph? Surely Joseph wondered about the goodness of a God who allowed all of those things to happen to him. And yet through those trials, God raised up Joseph and saved the entire nation of Israel.

  3. God uses suffering and tragedy as occasions to display his glory. It is easy to doubt God’s love during times of tragedy. But behind the suffering, we are able to experience the love of a wise father who has promised never to leave or forsake us.

  4. God’s grace is sufficient when the answer is no. When we are denied requests or experience afflictions, like Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, we come to know more deeply the sufficiency of God’s grace.

  5. The cross is the place where grace and providence embrace. No other place can confirm the truth of Romans 8:28 like the cross of Jesus. Tortured and abandoned, Jesus experienced the ultimate betrayal and sacrifice. Yet we look back on the event as a triumph, for God was reconciling the world to himself through Christ that day. We can be sure that he will also take the broken pieces of our lives and piece them together into a beautiful, whole mosaic.

Modified content from Amazing Grace by Timothy George.

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