“God’s plan this year includes a cultivation of our character to make us more like His beloved Son.” —Charles R. Swindoll
As we anticipate the days, months, and years to come, we have to admit we remain clueless as to what will happen on any given day.
In God’s Hands on Human Clay, Chuck Swindoll explains the treasured truth that most Christians overlook as the unknown future approaches: God is sovereign. As we encounter life’s trials, we can remain confident that the Potter, who causes all things to work for our good, kneads and reshapes us to fashion something beautiful, useful, and practical. Even though the future remains unclear, we can be certain nothing touches our lives unless it has first flowed through the “moulding” fingers of our loving God.
Providence is God’s timely provision for the needs of His people; His purposeful interventions in our lives; and His loving care over us, making certain that everything that happens fits into His plan for our good and His glory.
But trusting in God’s providence is hard. When pain and suffering come crashing in, we wrestle with whether or not God really cares. We struggle in two primary areas:
First, we tend to focus on the immediate, but God focuses on the ultimate. Our human existence within space and time confines our perspective. We want answers, clarity, and relief now! God’s eternal perspective, on the other hand, keeps Him focused on what will ultimately be best for us.
Second, we forget that our knowledge is limited, but God’s is unlimited. We can only understand what God enables us to understand. Only the Lord has perfect knowledge of the edges of the universe and every moment in time. But we know Him and His love for us.
When we latch on to the truth of God’s providential care and make it the foundation stone upon which we build our lives, it will completely transform our attitude. God’s providence, once understood, can calm our fears and bring great comfort in even the most trying times. And when circumstances tempt us to doubt, we can release our white-knuckle grip on our lives and claim the unconditional promise in Romans 8:28.