The second aspect of God's providence is His activity referred to as governing. Not only does God create what exists and then actively maintain or preserve it, He also actively plans and controls everything that happens. As we already observed, Ephesians 1:11 teaches us that God works "all things" after the counsel of His own will. This confirms that everything happening around us is being orchestrated by God. The classic biblical example of this truth is the mistreatment of Joseph by his elder brothers. Although entirely responsible for the evil they committed against both God and their brother, Joseph realized God was ultimately responsible for everything that happened. Amazingly, rather than being angry and bitter toward God, the realization that God was in control of these actions gave Joseph great hope because He knew that God is good and faithful to His promises. He was able to say truthfully to his brothers, "what you intended for evil, God intended for good." God utilized the evil activity of these brothers to accomplish His good purposes for all of Jacob's family. Whatever you are experiencing, no matter how difficult, is being actively governed by a kind and gracious God. Rather than causing us to question His goodness, as His children, this reminds us that our loving Father knows what is best. We can endure and we can trust Him.
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