The Bible tells us that God is at work in the world. But how? Most of us want to think about God working in miraculous ways, or extraordinary displays of his power. But is that the only way, or even the primary way God is at work? Let’s find the answer as we discuss the concept of providence.
The term “providence” refers to God’s continuing work and involvement in His creation. In some ways, providence is best understood as the ways in which God works through ordinary means as he preserves, governs over, and provides for His creation.
So what that means is that the entire universe depends on Him for its existence. God did not simply make the world, then leave it to run on its own. Instead, the Bible tells us that all of the cosmos is held together by the work of Christ and would be undone without Him.
But providence also extends to His governance as Lord and King. God reigns over His creation presently, which is most clearly seen in His loving rule over the church, and in the future, He will manifest His kingdom in fullness.
Finally, God’s providence is seen in His provision and care for all of humanity, and His personal and direct intervention in the world.
It is God who causes the sun to shine and the rains to fall on both the righteous and unrighteous. It is the Lord who determines a person’s steps, as Proverbs 16:9 says. And it is God who has orchestrated the events of human history to bring about one end: the redemption of sinners through the person and work of Jesus Christ.