In Depth

What in the world is God doing?

Tim Costello wants to know how we can see light in a dark world

It seems our planet has reached a cosmic crossroad. Geopolitical unrest instead of peace has become the order of the day.

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Nuclear annihilation now seems to be a possibility with the likes of US President Trump, Russian President Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seemingly poised to push the buttons for the world’s destruction.

No wonder we want to cry.

Civil war and tribal conflict rages unabated in South Sudan with thousands of people – mainly children – crossing the border into Uganda every day. Meanwhile, 20 million Africans – our brothers and sisters – are facing starvation at this very hour.

The fragmentary nature of our experience shatters us into fragments. One minute the world is full of light, then suddenly it is full of dark.

No wonder we want to cry. Yet God’s providence overrules all things. In Acts chapter 17, Paul says, “It is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything … In Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:25-28)

When we see through God’s eyes, we view a world that he asks us never to give up on.

God is not “out there.” He is, in the words of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the “beyond” in the midst of our life – a depth of reality reached not on the borders of life but at its centre.

The way we view the world influences our thoughts, our choices and our actions. Providence means that God has not abandoned the world that he created, but instead works within that creation to manage all things.

When we see through God’s eyes, we view a world that he asks us never to give up on. It is sometimes the assertion of possibility over all probabilities; evidence of things yet unseen.

We are to take part in God’s divine plan.

The world may seem full of evildoers opposed to God’s purposes. We could be tempted to think that evil in the universe might derail God’s plans. Yet, all things are under God’s control.

We can believe in God’s promises and then act to fulfil and embrace the purpose for which we were created – to carry out his will, to love our neighbour, to fight for justice. We are to take part in God’s divine plan.

No matter how difficult today seems, hope and faith always offer the chance for a new beginning. When we truly hope and trust, breakthroughs happen. The Bible is an account of miracle after miracle — of God’s continual working in creation to redeem and restore humanity.

The call today is for Christians to reboot the imagination that will enable them to live in the world in the light of God’s divine and unfailing providence.

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