The Providence of God

What do theologians mean by the providence of God?

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Well, when we're talking about the providence of God, what we're talking about is God's ongoing care for his creation and all his creatures. We don't just believe that God created the world and kind of wandered off to do something else. No, God continues to sustain the world by his word of power. Through his Word, through his Spirit, God continues to sustain the world, so we think about God providing what we need: food, water, air, all those things we take for granted, God's providing them. It's why it's important we say our thanks to God. We say grace at meals and offer him praise and thanksgiving. Every good gift we got from the Father above. So, we need to remember he gives us everything we need. He is the governor. He's actually overseeing all events, even historical events sometimes that seem wild, out of control, but God is omnipotent above all these things, guiding them, allowing things to happen that we may be mystified by, but we believe God is still in charge and guiding them to his own outcome. But also, particularly providing for us and for our salvation, helping us to realize our need for his gracious restorational work, our rebuilding work, and that he will one day take us to that new heavens and the new earth if we put our faith in him, repent, be baptized. We follow him to this new kingdom. What we're going to see there is the fullness of God's providential care when he does, as the great heavenly Father who loves us so much, provides us every good gift that we need to sustain us in the work he's given us to do.

Answer by The Very Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry

The Very Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry is Academic Dean of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University and was previously Dean and President of Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA.