Providence - God's Pervasive Sovereignty
The Apostle Paul tells us that "from Him and through Him and to Him are all things..." (Romans 11:36). All things. Every single thing that is, is made by Him and He is the source of all being ("from Him"). All things that are, are governed in their function "through Him". And, everything that is, is "to Him" (or "for Him" - that is, it exists for his purposes).
This is a glorious text, and a staggering reality to meditate on. It should cause us to bow in adoration and worship and praise, as we consider God's "pervasive sovereignty".
That phrase, "pervasive sovereignty" is a term used by John Piper in his new book on the meticulous sovereignty of God; specifically his "providence" - the title of his new book that can be downloaded FREE here.
Take a look at this snapshot of the book, and this Biblical concept of "providence", from the blurb from the inside cover:
"The providence of God is his purposeful sovereignty by which he will be completely successful in the achievement of his ultimate goal for the universe.
God’s providence carries his plans into action, guides all things toward his ultimate goal, and leads to the final consummation.
John Piper draws on a lifetime of theological reflection, biblical study, and practical ministry to lead readers on a stunning tour of the sightings of God’s providence — from Genesis to Revelation — to discover the all-encompassing reality of God’s purposeful sovereignty over all of creation and all of history
Piper invites us to experience the profound effects of knowing the God of all-pervasive providence: the intensifying of true worship, the solidifying of wavering conviction, the strengthening of embattled faith, the toughening of joyful courage, and the advance of God’s mission in this world."
One of my favorite features of this 700 page book (I know, I know, it's a big book!) is the 3,000 Scripture references in the back Scripture index. Reading Job for your time in the Word? Take a glance at the places Piper references Job in the book. Studying the life of Joseph, look up his name in the "general index" and read over 15 pages of Piper's encouraging, and easily accessible exposition of his life and the meticulous sovereignty of God in Joseph (and the nation of Israel's) life.
The Scripture index alone makes this book a blessing, and I would highly encourage you to download the free version of it, or buy it for $19.99 through the end of March.
Additionally, John Piper has written on the topic and issues of sin and suffering and the sovereignty of God, and his writing and preaching on what the Bible teaches about these issues, have shaped my thoughts and heart on these topics like no one else.