God arranges history.
Eternal God laps over on both sides of time. When time was not, God is. When time is, God is. When time is no more, God still is.
The One True Living God dooms death. In the society of God, death dies and life lives. Death is temporary. Life endures.
The Providential God, the History Arranger, Death Killer, Life Giver, is the God everyone either believes in or wants to know.
Non-believers announce their trust in providence when, in tumultuous times, the say, “I believe everything happens for a reason.”
Believers say, in stressful times, “God has a purpose in all this.”
Paul writes, “In all things God works to do good to those who love God and are called to fulfill God’s purpose. The ones God foreknew, God also predestined to be transformed into the image of His Son, so that His Son is the First Born of a large family.”
Egalitarians may recoil at words like “foreknow,” and “predestin.” In fact, these are words of liberty and fraternity. The grace of God makes this so.
Charles Stanley says, “Mercy is when God does not give us what we do deserve. Grace is when God does give us what we do not deserve.”
In grace, God applies providence, in history, to men and women, to boys and girls. Providence, misapplied, might end in deteminism or fatalism. Graciously applied, providence, even in its “wrathful” form, for some conditions allow only wrath, soothes and heals.
Consider the Prodigal Parable. The father allows the son’s self-destructive tendencies but looks for his return each day. If, as we think, the father is so intent upon the son’s restoration, why does the father allow the son to leave at all? If he wants the prodigal again in the family, why would he not go to look for him?
In point of fact, the Prodigal may return. The father even looks for his return. The father does not go to look for him because it is not the father who has erred. Where the father is is still home.
The father will not join the Prodigal in the pig-sty.
Providentially, graciously, the father will provide an avenue of return for the Prodigal.
As yesterday, love is most lovely when it appears without prior announcement. If there is a name metonymous for love, it would be the name of Jesus. In this name, there is the active intention of God (providence), applied gracously, with mercy, in apparent affection. One uses religion poorly when you use religion to impart “moral values.” In fact, religion, to be of value. must transcend morality by means of eternal, transforming love.
Love is the divine corrective for the human tendency to evil. If love conquers all, if mature love casts out fear, the first application of love ought to be to one’s habitual hatred for self and for his fellows. That is, providence applies to the individual and to the collective. God intends for me to be better. God wants us to be better. God intends for us to be better. I can do/be/behave better on my own, for myself but that is not in line with the divine intention. God brings each man to other men in order to make all men better.