I find that the Bible speaks about both God’s providence and God’s passion. Yes, it speaks about both. When we say ‘providence’ we mean that God controls all things. And when we say ‘passion’ we mean what God greatly desires to see. But immediately, one might think how can God be in control of everything (providence), yet greatly desires to see people choose what is right (passion). But he is and he does—even though it might be a little puzzling for our minds to comprehend.
An article sent to me this week, got me thinking on this even more. It was an article dealing with the very touchy topic of ‘Does God hate Africans’? After all, as the person raising this question basically said: Look at what keeps happening to Africans! The person replying to this question quoted someone else, and said the following:
“This past Sunday more Anglicans attended church in each of Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda than did Anglicans in Britain and Canada and Episcopalians in the United States combined.” Kenya has more people in Christian churches on Sunday than all of Canada. “This past Sunday more Presbyterians were in Ghana than in Scotland.” We’re talking Presbyterians because it was born in Scotland, and there were more Presbyterians in church in Ghana than Scotland.
The point of the above is to say that perhaps God now hates Europeans, if one uses such a logic. The bottom line, and rightly so, by the replier, is that God’s providence is not easily read, and his work of salvation is not yet complete.
But I would also add to that that we are told in 2 Peter 3:9 how God is very patient with everyone and doesn’t want people to perish but come to repentance (passion!). And so, we are not only repeatedly told throughout the Scriptures how God is providential, but he is also very passionate (rich in mercy).
I am so glad that in his providence he was so patient with me.