Providence

9 posts

Disability: The Foundation of God’s Providence

All Things Are From God God’s sovereignty, his rule over all, is the bedrock certainty for a proper theology of suffering. However, his sovereignty alone is not enough: we must maintain its connection to his goodness and wisdom. If we do not maintain this connection, we lose our perspective of God as the one who intimately cares for his creation, and we thereby undermine hope. Theologians refer to this connection as providence, which is one of the most comforting doctrines in the Bible. What Is Providence? By providence we mean God employs his sovereign power and wisdom to continuously preserve every part of his creation and guide it toward his intended purpose. Sometimes people misinterpret sovereignty as a cold, sterile, […]

Disability: Two Common Temptations, Part Two

In our attempt to understand God’s ways in the midst of our suffering there are two common temptations which often fight to claim the higher ground in our mind. Second Temptation: The Temptation to Remake God in Our Image If our conception of God is that he is only, or predominantly, love, and by this we mean that he does only what we perceive as good (for example, whatever does not involve pain), then irrational suffering tempts us to change our view of God to match our experience. An example of this is found in Nancy Eiesland’s influential book The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability. The author, a college professor in Atlanta and a lifelong sufferer of […]

Disability: Two Common Temptations, Part One

In our attempt to understand God’s ways in the midst of our suffering there are two common temptations which often fight to claim the higher ground in our mind. First Temptation: The Temptation to Blame Someone Automatically connecting personal suffering to personal sin is a typical human response. “Since God is good,” we reason, “he cannot be behind this accident, tragedy, or evil. Therefore, it must be the fault of the one who suffers or someone connected to him or her.” Thankfully, the Holy Spirit wrote the Old Testament book of Job at least in part to correct that response. The book of Job is essential to our understanding of suffering because it destroys the credibility of the notion that […]

Disability: Whose Fault Is It?

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36) Fifteen years ago, my wife and I were standing in the kitchen of the old farmhouse we had planned to renovate. She said, with tears streaming down her face, “What did I do wrong? Was it something I ate during my pregnancy? Or was it something I failed to eat? Is God punishing our daughter for something I’ve done? Am I the cause of our precious little Kayte being born deaf?” As I held my wife, her heart did not agonize alone. I was also asking questions, though only inwardly: “Lord, I’ve given my whole life to your service, and […]

Three Important Realities

It was 5:36pm on March 27, 1964. Good Friday. At that moment, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake, the second largest ever recorded, struck the coast of Alaska near Anchorage. The shaking lasted for four minutes. The geological disruption was huge and devastating. 131 people died as a result. If an earthquake of that magnitude had struck Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles, the number of lives lost would have likely been in the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. This quake is a reminder that life can indeed turn upside down in the relative blink of an eye. It is naïve to think such an event could not happen again anywhere along the west coast of the United States. […]

The Living God Knows About Tomorrow

The Living God knows about tomorrow and exactly what tomorrow will bring. His understanding is not limited by boundaries of human thought. In practice, this means that a virus or an earthquake is not a random event. His acts are not random. He is not playing catch-up. Something like the Corona Virus Pandemic did not catch God by surprise. He was not on coffee break. If he is a God who keeps his word, then he knows all about tomorrow. As the psalmist says: All my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began. (Psalm 139:16b) The Bible teaches about a loving, faithful, committed, honest God who controls tomorrow. Whether you are facing […]

When Life Turns Upside Down: Now Available

Our new book, When Life Turns Upside Down: Finding Stability Through God’s Comforting Peace by John A. Younts, is now available with special introductory pricing and generous bulk discount options. Ebooks are available now, and paperbacks will be shipping soon. When Life Turns Upside Down is a small book for ordinary people, and those who help them, facing new and challenging circumstances such as the coronavirus. Mankind is not in control of the world. Throughout history there have been moments when God has made this powerfully clear in the space of a heartbeat. These are the times when life seems to turn upside down. This small book applies the truth of the Holy Spirit through his word so that each […]

Life is about Control

Humans like to think that we are in control.  Whether you want to control your own life or believe that another person is in control of your life, the conclusion remains: life is about control. The human quest for control always ends in tyranny or depression. The simple truth is that humans were not designed to be in control. Humans labor mightily for control. Some will continue to fight to be in control. For others, once that battle appears to be lost despair, depression, disillusionment and discouragement settle in. And then there are those in the middle — fighting for control and feeling it slip away. The quest for control starts at birth. Babies naturally want to be fed, dry […]

The Promise of Daybreak

The monochrome of daybreak is warming to the touch of the sun. The air is still. The quiet of night is fading. Soon engines, birds, wind in the trees and the sounds of the morning will mark the new day. While there is wonder in how this day will unfold, there is no doubt that the steady hand of God will bring about what he has planned.  It is true, there is no promise this day will bring what I want, that I will be shielded from my deepest fears. There is only the promise that the One who gave his life for me will do what honors his great name. I pray that God will grant that this will […]