Who Is Your Provider?

close up photograph of white throated sparrows

What is God’s providence? “Although this word itself is not found in Scripture, the over-arching concept is evident in biblical synonyms such as “preserving” (Nehemiah 9:6), “upholding” (Hebrews 1:3), and
“directing” (Jeremiah 10:23). God himself acts to sustain the created order, working in, with, and through it. He guides and governs his creation according to his will and purpose. This, in fact, is the explicit declaration of St. Paul, who notes that divine providence extends even over God’s human creation: “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13)” (Mueller, Introduction, 119).

We use the word providence to describe the loving application of God’s eternal purpose. Providence is the work of God as he provides for his creation in the process of bringing about his purpose for his own glory.

We see God’s providence in creation as God had supplied everything necessary for a “very good” life in Eden. Even as Adam and Eve rebelled against the divine Provider, God provided a way of salvation for his people (Gen. 3:15). Abraham demonstrated his faith as he told Isaac “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:8). Abraham then called the place “the Lord will provide” (Gen. 22:14). Confidence in the providence of God was own full display when Jesus himself said not one sparrow “falls to the ground without your Father’s consent” (Matt. 10:29).

God’s providential care shone brightest as the sun refused to shine at Calvary. Without forcing anyone, God provided for the world the Savior through the world’s own sinful choices. Peter preached Jesus was “delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge” (Acts 2:23). Just as with Joseph’s life, we see here how some events may be intended as evil by men, but God can use them for good (Gen. 50:20). How blessed we are to know God loves us and provides for us! “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt. 6:33-34).

“The Church of Christ must ask herself whether she still has the courage, in profound and unshakable faith, in boundless confidence, to proclaim the Providence of God” (Berkower, Providence, 10). Remember our Lord said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31).

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