Dr. Llanes is a native of El Salvador and fulltime faculty in the College of Theology at Grand Canyon University. He served as pastor, completed a M.Div. and earned a Ph.D. in church history before becoming an online instructor. His interests relate to historical theology and philosophy, history of Christianity and biblical studies. He and his wife of 30 years, Margarita, have four children.
God’s providence is God’s caring provision for his people as he guides them in their journey of faith through life, accomplishing his purpose in them. God’s mission is to save people and shape them to be more like Jesus.
God’s Provision in Jesus
God has provided Jesus as the way to be reconciled with God. Jesus’ life revealed the heart of the heavenly Father and Jesus’ death was the sacrifice for our sins. He took upon himself our sins and the penalty we deserve. Jesus’ resurrection was God’s victory over death and his victory is also our victory.
By faith in Jesus, we are justified before God, as Jesus takes our sins and gives us his righteousness before God. We have then peace with God and enter to live in God’s reign of grace. Here, by God’s grace, we experience living by faith, hope, and love. We experienced God’s caring provision and guidance and strengthening. Here, even suffering becomes a reason for joy, for we know that God is always at work in our lives and God can use even suffering to bring about good. “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4, NIV).
The transformation of the believer is the mission of the Holy Spirit. He dwells in the life of the believer. The Holy Spirit makes real the presence of Jesus in our lives and teaches us the truths of God by opening our minds to the understanding of the Bible. The Holy Spirit equips us to serve God, slowly produces in us the character of Jesus and guides the believer through life.
Why is God’s Providence Important?
Believers experience the everyday trials of human life as well as trials that come from following and serving God. When suffering, the believer’s faith can suffer. One can be overcome with fear, doubt and despair. In those times, we question God. Knowing that God is providentially at work even in our suffering is a source of hope and strength.
We can be sure that God is with us always and that the Holy Spirit dwells in us and is working out God’s purpose in our lives. Even when we suffer and do not understand the reason why we can trust God and his purpose for our lives.
Our Response to God’s Providence
What should be our response to God’s providential care and guidance for our lives?
Praise and thanksgiving. We praise God for his gift of Jesus Christ and the salvation he has provided for us, for the Holy Spirit and the way that he guides us through life.
Trust. We can trust God with our lives. Jesus taught us that God supplies for the birds and the flowers of the field and that our lives are much more important to God. As Jesus trusted his heavenly Father, we also can trust him.
Joy. We can rejoice in our God, who is with us always, caring for us, guiding us and shaping us. As Jesus delighted in his heavenly Father and lived a life of joy, we too can live with the joy of the Lord.
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