Sunday Devotional: God’s Special Care for His People

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Written by David Crum | Photo: Adobe Stock

How involved is God in earthly affairs, and does human free will play a role?

If God is not active with His creation, the world’s fate is on the shoulders of mankind.

Such questions have troubled the best of philosophers and theologians. Some of the greatest politicians in American history—the original Founding Fathers wrestled with providence and humanity’s function in this fallen world.

If God is not omnipresent and omnipotent, an uncomfortable amount of power lies with humanity. Trusting in mankind has produced some of the darkest days in history, from wars to political ideologies such as communism.

The Lord providentially cares for His creation and determines the future of events. John Flavel explained, “All the people in the world always fulfill the purposes of God, even when they don’t want to do so.”[1]

The conversion story of Paul exemplifies God’s providential dealings with His people. On his way to persecute Christians in Damascus, the Lord called Paul and interrupted his evil intentions. Instead of seeking Paul’s consent to follow Him, the Lord dictated what actions he took, ultimately restoring his eyesight and converting his soul to a faithful servant. Flavel explained, “He [Paul] was turned from his purpose and was made an apostle of Jesus Christ (Acts 9:1-18).”[2]

Similarly, when approached by Jesus, the original disciples were told to “follow Him.” The disciples were ordinary men, the working class of their day, yet God showcased His grace and plan of salvation through them. Flavel added:

These were sent out, not together, but some to one country and some to another, and yet in how short a time, the gospel spread, and churches were planted by them in the different kingdoms of the world. From that time until our own day, a special providence has watched over Christians in times of danger and prevented all attempts to destroy them.[3]

Interestingly, most humanity acknowledges God’s involvement in life’s affairs even if they refuse to admit it. When disasters or other crises occur, people tend to beg for God’s involvement and helping Hand. President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed as such on June 6th, 1944 [D-Day]:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give them strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need Thy blessings…With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy.[4]

Crying out to God is precisely what He wants from His people. Granted, the Lord desires these pleas constantly, not just in times of turmoil. Embracing divine providence humbles the soul and puts future events and outcomes in God’s control. Flavel remarked, “Providence is most clearly seen in the way God turns men and women from thinking only of themselves and gives them a real knowledge of Himself.”[5]

Most Christians unknowingly submit to the idea of providence, as seen in the example of Roosevelt’s prayer. Christians acknowledge their dependence on God’s blessings and guidance, pray for His mercy and recognize their frailty as mortal beings. Providence provides the comfort that the soul desperately longs for.

“If you’re a Christian, God has promised never to leave you (Heb. 13:5).”[6] – John Flavel

[1] John Flavel, Grace Essential: God Willing Divine Conduct or the Mystery of Providence, (London: Grace Publications Trust, 2019), 14.

[2] Ibid., 11.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The American Presidency Project,” (June 6, 1944), https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/prayer-d-day (accessed June 20, 2024).

[5] Flavel, Grace Essential: God Willing Divine Conduct or the Mystery of Providence, 18.

[6] Ibid., 22.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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