Tough Providence

28 Apr

Being a theological sort of person, I like to talk with others about this thing I call, “Tough Providence.” For those of you less inclined to talk about such things, it is our way of recognizing God is in control of everything that happens and yet saying that we would not have chosen the same path He did for us to arrive where we did. The whole thing gets me to thinking, “Doesn’t everything that happens in our lives fall under the category of Tough Providence?”

Those things that tend to go the way we want, we rarely focus on the providential factor anyway. Surely, we believe that God is Sovereign over all creation and that our lives cannot be excluded from this formula. While we accept this on a theological front, we are often functionally not in concert with that. We feel that we create our own good fortune.

I was having a discussion with someone just today about how the unsaved man believes that God occasionally helps him along in all the greatness he does. Now, to be sure, God does allow our inputs to have a bearing, and thankfully, He does use us to accomplish His purposes. However, I feel that much of the time even we who are spiritual think things are all working out well, because of us.

The reality is that I am often thankful when He decides to show me my own incapability. This is ultimately for our benefit, as it allows us to refocus on Him and give the proper credit and live a submissive life. God is around the world accomplishing things, and I am just glad that the things in my little corner of the globe, over which he has given me accountability, sometimes turn out well, despite my shortcomings.

While that is definitely true, it is also true that knowing this concept theoretically does not make it easier when things we don’t like, happen. This brings me back to my original point. All of these things that God does for and through us that are not what we would choose are “Tough Providence.”

If Joseph and Daniel in the Bible had difficult things, despite never committing any big wrongdoing, I am certain that there is no way I can avoid it. Now I can rest in the fact that my God has never failed me before and will never fail me. I know that things will work out according to the good of me, when I am loved of God. Nevertheless, it would be nice to have knowledge of the end of the running commentary of my life, so I can see HOW.

I guess when things like my church finally getting a Certificate of Occupancy doesn’t seem to be happening as quickly as I hope or plan, I somehow think God is failing us. What I would like to say is that God, in His Sovereignty, knew that this time would be better for His church. I don’t know why this delay is necessary, but I do know that God has known, and I will rejoice in the fact that God is continuing to build us toward the great things He has for us to accomplish in the building. I just really want to know what exactly we need to learn to make it happen!:)

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One Response to “Tough Providence”

  1. Jenni April 28, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    I have been thinking about this concept a lot lately. Appreciate that you wrote about it a year ago. PERFECT timing for me. 🙂

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