God is the one who saved and called us with a holy calling. This wasn’t based on what we have done, but it was based on his own purpose and grace that he gave us in Christ Jesus before time began. – 2 Timothy 1:9
This is a spectacular morning! 32-degress and sunny at 7:00 when I walked Max, with the promise of 68-degrees this afternoon. All that stands between me and one of the best “promise of Spring” days ever is that pesky root-canal surgery at noon!
This is one more reason I appreciate the “big picture” perspective offered by scriptures such as the 1 Timothy passage quoted above. It’s the idea that God’s purpose and grace have always been in play, and that Christ has been “for us” since before time even began.
We tend to think of time as a linear, constant, unerring march of inevitability, moving in one direction. Yet there is much evidence to suggest that God is already active and present in what we understand as the “future” – even something so specific and personal as the office of my endodontist later today.
Providence vs fatalism:
So I approach this particular day – and every day – with a sense of confidence that has a lot more to do with the idea of providence than inevitability. Inevitability is a lot like fatalism, whereas providence recognizes the hand of God, the purposes of God, my relationship with God, and my walk with God.
Providence involves an ongoing interaction between:
- the hand of God,
- the purposes of God,
- my relationship with God,
- and my walk with God.
Providence, then, understands the impact of my decision to follow Jesus, and directs this ongoing dance between my day to day decisions and what the writer of 1 Timothy calls, “God’s own purpose and grace.”
I know that our times are in God’s hands (Psalm 31:15). I also know that my doctor is brilliant, qualified, and compassionate.
So I have confidence, not because of anything I have done, but “based on God’s own purpose and grace that God gave us in Christ Jesus before time began.”