Providence is about the fact, as it applies to stewardship, we have the comfort that Christ is in charge. All we are and have is for His glory and we are His steward.
At the same time, we have free choice, and also determination. This is where we can excel or get ourselves into trouble!
Somehow, beyond our capacity to reason, these two seemingly conflicting sets of reason, free will and providence, come together as friends (St. Augustine and Spurgeon). In theological terms, this is called Concurrence. This is the coterminous relationship between God’s decree and our free choice that somehow are shared in our journey through life, that our free will and choices work into His foreordained degrees without assault to our decisions.
Thus, if we do not receive His Grace and Salvation, even though His election exists, it is because we choose to not accept Him, which He sees by His foreknowledge, and applied to His purpose. To what extent this occurs is a matter of hot debate amongst theologians. But, is safe to say, He is ultimately in charge. (Yes, this will “blow out mind:” i.e. your thinking ability!) Even Calvin spent more time defending and explaining human responsibility and our duty to prayer more than any other subject in his writings. So, it is all in His hands, and it is up to us to get to work, trusting and obeying Him.
Providence refers to God’s foreknowledge. That means that God sees beforehand, and provides. It is a word we do not see much of today, but it has a rich history amongst the Puritans and Reformers as the great comfort that God is God and LORD over all.
God is no clockmaker who made the world, set it in motion, then left it, as the Deists proclaimed. God has ultimate authority and sovereignty over all the affairs of humanity. He is directing, involved, and working through it all, giving us mercy and guidance. He creates, He sustains. The universe is dependent upon His involvement, moment upon moment.
Ultimately, we do not have control over life or death. We make decisions, and we are called to seek Him first (Matt. 6:33). He is our ultimate safety net and security, both in life and eternity. Worry should not even come to our minds, because He is in charge (Matt. 6:25-34). We are in God’s provision, and nobody else has ultimate control. All power and authority is His by both direct and indirect means.
So, what does this have to do with stewardship? A lot!
We need to see our life as being in His hands of love and comfort, that He does have a wonderful plan for our lives, and everything happens for a reason and a purpose. So, we can manage, lead and be wise stewards of all He gives to us, because our comfort is that it is all His, we are His and all we do is for Him, Christ’s glory. So, yes we can excel and do our best!
As we manage God’s stuff and our lives, we need to look for logic, reason, and biblical precepts.
Because, His truth remains the same. We have to see all that happens in our life—form sufferings, tragedies, good times, what we have, what we can do, and all–as opportunities to learn, grow, develop character, and mature. If not, we miss out on what is important in life, causing it to be meaningless!