Wednesday, July 30, 2014

God's Promises and the Mystery of His Providence

Do you, like me, find the purpose of God's promises, providence, and our prayers to be PERPLEXING? (If you read this out loud, you may want to cover your mouth...with all these "P's". We don't want anyone spitting.- LOL) Often, questions start bombarding my mind, left and right...questions, like
- If God is sovereign and His plans fixed, why pray? 

- Does prayer change what God has purposed to do?

- If not, what is the point in praying?

-On the other hand, if prayer has any effect on what happens, then wouldn't it seem that God’s  plans are not fixed?

First, let's define providence:
Providence is the act of seeing and providing or preparing for the future. Biblically, it refers to God’s foresight and power to watch over and protect and provide for His creatures 
Other definitions have been presented, as well:
  • Providence is the care of God over created being; divine superintendence. (Johnson)
  • Providence is the divine superintendence over all created beings; the care of God over his creatures. (Worcester) 
  • The doctrine of divine Providence is that all things are sustained, directed, and controlled by God. (Leonard Woods) 

 Providence is God bringing to pass in time (sovereignly, absolutely, and perfectly) what he purposed in eternity. 
Predestination is God's purpose. 
Providence is God's execution of his purpose.

To better understand providence:

“Nothing in the universe happens by luck, chance, fortune, or accident, or by blind fate. Everything that comes to pass in time was purposed by our God in eternity, and is brought to pass by his wise, adorable, good Providence.

“God's Providence is as 'minute' as it is 'mysterious' (Matt. 10:30). Our God has ordained the number of hairs on the heads of all. Not even a worthless sparrow falls to the ground without his decree.”

 “His Providence is wisely designed and sovereignly sent for our good! Let him therefore send and do what he will. By his grace, if we are his, we will face it, bow to it, accept it, and give thanks for it.” 

“God's Providence is always executed in the 'wisest manner' possible. We are often unable to see and understand the reasons and causes for specific events in our lives, in the lives of others, or in the history of the world. But our lack of understanding does not prevent us from believing God. We bow to his will, which is evident in his works of Providence, and say, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" 

God’s providence is really a combination of four attributes:
  • Sovereignty—He is in control.
  • Predestination—He is in charge of how everything turns out.
  • Wisdom—He makes no mistakes.
  • Goodness—He has our best interests at heart.

In all the setbacks of your life as a believer,
God is plotting for your joy.

·         -The prophet Jeremiah sang of it: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). 

      - Paul gave it this cherished expression: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28-note).

  - Because of God’s providence we can keep believing in God even in the face of many unanswered questions. He can bear the burden of all our unanswered questions.

In every event of Providence, God has a purpose. The calamities of earthquake, the devastations of storm, the destructions of war, and all the terrible catastrophes of plague

"In 1937 Walt Disney released the first full-length animated movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Producing an animated movie was a gargantuan task. Disney artists drew over one million pictures. Each picture flashed onto the screen for a mere one-twenty-fourth of a second. As we watch the movie run at regular speed, it seems so simple. We have no idea all that goes into it. Our lives are like that movie. God puts infinite thought, skill, and careful attention into every detail. Yet as our lives run at “regular speed,” we have no idea how much God’s providence fills every single second." - Craig Brian Larson -

So, how does prayer work, if all this is true about God's providence? 

What we know about God will affect how we pray.

While God’s ultimate purposes are unchangeable, His immediate will is flexible and open to change through the prayers of His people. A personal God, who loves and cares, can be reached in prayer. When God wills the end, He also wills the means. God makes Himself available to be reached, which allows Him to work miracles. Therefore, prayer does not change what God has purposed to do; it is simply the means by which He carries out His final objective. 

But, if He wants something done for which no one  prays, He will do them without anyone praying. If we pray for things contrary to His will, He refuses to grant them. 

Thus, there is a perfect harmony between His purpose and providence, and man’s freedom. If we truly understand providence, then we will be desperate and unrelenting in our prayer. 

Revelation 8 says that the prayers of the saints are being stored up and fueling the fire of inscence. So do not ever underestimate the power of your prayers. Plead! Plead! Plead! and Plead some more until the day when we see his glory and his face and all of his unchanging perfections.
We also must realize that the end of prayer is to know Him and to to see His glory.


"Things don't just happen to those who love God,
They're planned by His own dear hand,
Then molded and shaped, and timed by His clock;
Things don't just happen--
they're planned."

"I know who holds the future,
And I know who holds my hand;
With God things don’t just happen—
Everything by Him is planned. "

If our circumstances find us in God, we shall find God in our circumstances. - George Muller

I used to listen to Twila Paris' music when I was in 

college...yes, I'm getting older! This song that she sings 

speaks of how God is in control and that He can be 


Another song touched my heart deeply, as I have always loved looking at stained glass windows. I love how this musician compares each unique experience of our lives to a piece of broken glass...that put together by God forms a beautiful window! (the story of why singer, Daniel Doss, wrote this  song, on video can be watched by clicking on the  words below)

Stained Glass Windows: A Story of God’s Providence from Daniel Doss

You can listen to the song here.

Trust God today to provide all your needs and to answer 

your prayer, according to His will. 

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 

that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears 

us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—

we know that we have what we asked of him."

(1 John 5:14,15)


  1. Prayer does change things in the spirit world and we may not see the battle, only the result. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” At:

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Hazel and for hosting the link-up party!

  2. Trying to wrap my brain around "We have no idea how much God’s providence fills every single second" - I'm trying - and so glad He fills in and He knows!

    1. I agree...we can only imagine how much He is involved in our daily lives. It is beyond our limited thoughts or comprehension.

  3. I think you've tackled a really difficult subject with so much love and wisdom. I love that we can approach God with big and small things and I appreciate how He walks with us, really listening to our hearts. And I love that I can trust Him to not give me what I want all of the time.


I would love to hear from you! Feel free to leave me a comment.