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“The Christian belief about all that exists in creation is that it is good. That the universe exists is itself good and is the work of God who gave it existence “of His own good will.” The same God who called it into existence upholds it. He sustains it in existence. If God did not maintain all of creation in existence, moment by moment, it would instantly cease to be. The good God who gave the world its good existence and sustains it, also gave it a good order – and it is here that the faith introduces the word providence. The ordering of creation has a purpose and a direction. And this purpose and direction are good.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Divine Providence should not be confused with predestination…This teaching essentially nullifies the free will of man…Divine Providence is called good and all-perfect—that is, it always works for the good of man, guiding him to salvation. It is through the prism of God’s goodness that we must perceive, among other things, the sad and sorrowful circumstances of our lives. They are sad for us, for those who live on earth—until we see the whole picture. In the Gospel of John there are words that the Savior told His disciples in relation to the life to come: In that day ye shall ask Me nothing (Jn. 16:23). That is, when the fullness of the Divine plan for this world is revealed, everything will fall into place and what is unclear now will become clear. Therefore, the fact that many things are hidden from us today is quite normal from an earthly perspective, but we also have a Divine perspective set by Divine Revelation and the Holy Scriptures. But you need to have spiritual wisdom in order to understand the essence and significance of events that take place.” (Bishop Euthymius Moiseyev)

“Often, we do not understand the Almighty’s reason for permitting the trials that we face. Amid our struggles, it is hard to give thanks for the goodness of God. Yet when we look back at our troubles, we often see that God was working in the ordeals that seemed without explanation at the time.” (Fr. Basil)

“In the saints we see the dominance of the spirit over the flesh, because they live by the spirit and see the spirit throughout the whole world, the Wisdom, the Omnipotence, and Goodness of God; they see in every phenomenon, in every work, the impress of the spirit. In sensual men the dominance of the flesh over the spirit is shown by their only seeing that which represents itself to their senses; in fact, as the saying is, they do not see beyond their nose.” (St. John of Kronstadt)

“Sainthood grows, like a baby hidden in the womb, in the space we make for God’s goodness to fill and transform our darkness; it begins when we refuse, Job-like, to curse God, and instead prepare for His arrival amidst our anguish. Sainthood is the simple process by which the life of God so illumines and fills the empty places of our sorrowing hearts that we are filled up brimful with him: His goodness directing our actions, forming our words, quieting our anguish, driving our compassion until we begin to resemble the whole and healed creations we will fully become in the new world ahead.” (Sarah Clarkson)

“The purpose and providence of God, the good ordering of the universe, is almost never discerned by studying the twists and turns of life. The outrageous events that assault the innocent are harsh notes that disturb our ability to hear any harmony. St. Paul’s affirmation of the working of God’s good purpose is the confession of a man who was persecuted, stoned as a heretic, beaten as a criminal, imprisoned as an enemy, once tortured with hatred and envy. He knew all of the tragedy of the ancient world: infant mortality, famine, natural disasters, all of the catastrophes of our existence. And it is from within that harsh cacophony that he hears the single note of God’s goodness and its promise towards all things.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“If we understand this we can see how our prayers are considered by God, for ourselves and for others. We can understand as well how we can pray even for those who are dead, whose lives on this earth are over and done. For the Lord does not hear our prayers “after” something is finished, because for God there is no “after” at all. God knows what we ask before we even ask it, for He knows all of man’s life in one divine act of all-embracing vision and knowledge. Thus all of our prayers, even for those who are dead, are heard and considered by God before we even make them. If we fail to pray, this too is known to God, and it takes its effect in God’s plan of salvation. Therefore we have to “pray for one another” and our prayer will have “great power in its effects” through the eternal and providential action of God.” (Fr. Thomas Hopko)

“Jesus doesn’t promise us a life without struggle, nor does He promise to preserve us from struggling. What He tells us is that trials, tribulations and struggles cannot separate us from Him. Abiding in Him is what gets us through the trials of life, and even death cannot separate us from Him. It is sometimes a hard pill for us to swallow as we would prefer not being comforted in affliction, but rather completely protected from affliction.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“ ‘I hope’ has been terribly trivialized today, just as ‘I believe’ has. ‘I believe’ often means merely ‘I am of the opinion’, and ‘I hope’ often means merely ‘I wish’, or ‘I would like it if…’ However Christian hope is certain: ‘in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection’. God’s promises will come true; there is no if, and, or but about it. For God is truth itself.” (Peter Kreeft)

“ ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.’ (Rom 8:28). I would be willing to extend St. Paul’s statement to say simply: All things work together for good. And this often proves a great difficulty for many. Our minds and emotions explode at the many contradictions that arise in the face of the world’s suffering (or that of a single child) and the word “good.” But it is important to note that St. Paul does not say, “All things are good…” It is, instead, a confession about the nature of creation’s movement. Despite all that is bad, wrong and evil, creation is moving towards the good (“working together”). In theology, this “good working” of God in creation is called “providence.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Often when we go to sad events, we all say, with the best will in the world- and we’re partially right- that it’s God’s will. And, of course, if we can understand properly, those are, indeed, words of comfort, words that give us strength. Since it’s what God wants, since God decided this was to happen, we trust in his providence. But to be precise, these words aren’t strictly true. God doesn’t want these things to happen. God doesn’t bless them. He knows about them, but doesn’t want them. They can’t be identified with God, with his will or his knowledge. God knows everything. What we have to know is that God isn’t the cause of our evils. The cause of our evils is our apostasy from God. In the most profound sense, the cause of our evils is the fact that we’ve allowed corruption and death to enter our lives, from the time of the fall onwards.” (Metropolitan Athanasios of Lemessos)

“Without God’s providence, nothing could survive, but would slip back into nothingness. Without God as the source of life, we would return to dust, along with every created thing. It is by the LORD, the Spirit of Life, that all things continue to have their being. It is by the LORD that all new springs, and all renewals, including the great final resurrection, come to those whom He has made. Typically, the Scriptures distinguish between the psychē, the soul, by which God animates His creation, including mankind, and the very Pneuma, the third Person of the Trinity, by Whom He strengthens His Church. St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15, reminds us that currently we have a body animated by psychē or “soul,” but that, because of Jesus’ resurrection, we look forward to a body that will be en-Spirited, and that will never die. Pictorially, we see the contrast when we put the creation of Adam and Eve (who receive psychē or animating soul from God) alongside the empowering of the apostles (who receive the Pneuma, the very Spirit, from the mouth of Jesus).” (Edith M. Humphrey)

“God’s will qualifies every human purpose…The Almighty does not rule over all things by brute and insensitive force but by His Providence. He orders all things by His everlasting love. And He directs all that happens with care. Therefore, though we do not know what is on the horizon, we can know that the Lord is guiding our ship to a far better destination than we could devise…the Providence of God that takes us in directions that we do not choose, directions that are wiser and better for us than our own designs.” (Fr. Basil)

“And he must believe that nothing happens apart from God’s providence. In God’s providence everything is absolutely right and whatever happens is for the assistance of the soul. For whatever God does with us, He does out of his love and consideration for us because it is adapted to our needs. And we ought, as the Apostle says, in all things to give thanks for His goodness to us, and never to get let up or become weak-willed about what happens to us, but to accept calmly with lowliness of mind and hope in God whatever comes upon us, firmly convinced, as I said, that whatever God does to us, He does always out of goodness because He loves us, and what He does is always right. Nothing else could be right for us but the way in which He mercifully deals with us.” (Robin Phillips)

“Providence is the care that comes from God. Everything which is done with God’s providence is done in the best possible way, that is, Godly manner…” (Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain)

“Is your life a series of accidental occurrences? Do things happen to you by chance? The Book of Acts denies these suppositions. In today’s reading [Acts 8:26-39], we found that the Holy Spirit was the prime mover of the life and growth of the church. He was the inspiration and power that lead the church and its individual members to accomplish the will of God. Our secular age believes that life began and developed by random incidents. But for those who look at the world through the witness of Luke, there is nothing haphazard about the creation or about history. Thus, if we are to follow the Word of the scriptures, we must recover the trust in God’s sovereignty. Within all that exists and behind all that happens is the rule of God, who governs it all…St. Paul said, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).” (Fr. Basil)

“Divine providence surrounds all persons at all times, but it is not visible except to those who have purified their souls of sin and think about God at all times. To these it is luminously revealed at that time; because when they have undergone great temptations for the sake of truth, then they receive the faculty to perceive sensibly as if with eyes of flesh also when necessary, even palpably, according to the kind and cause of the temptation, as if for greater encouragement.” (St. Isaac the Syrian)

“Do not say, ‘this happened by chance, while this came to be of itself.’ In all that exists, there is nothing disorderly, nothing indefinite, nothing without purpose, nothing by chance… How many hairs are on your head? God will not forget one of them. Do you see how nothing, even the smallest thing, escapes the gaze of God?” (St. Basil the Great)

“…usually the reasons for the Lord’s work remain obscure and even confusing. Why didn’t He save Dietrich Bonhoeffer from hanging? Why didn’t He save six million Jews from the gas chambers? Why doesn’t He save us from whatever suffering we are currently experiencing that feels overwhelming and crushing? We don’t have the answers to these questions, and this often compounds our suffering. Like Mary and Martha, we feel that the Lord has let us down or even betrayed us for no apparent reason. In these times of confusion, Jesus’ response to Mary and Martha is comforting. When Martha shared her feelings with Jesus (John 11:21), and later when Mary did the same (11:32), He did not rebuke them for complaining and feeling confused. Instead, He identified with their pain, even weeping with them, while gently directing their attention to God’s presence (John 11:35, 40–41).” (Robin Phillips)

“Perhaps few things can cause interference in our relationship with God more than hypervigilance and overcontrol. Hypervigilance fixes our gaze on threats that have not materialized, and overcontrol can prevent us from seeing God’s providence. Hypervigilance prevents us from living in the present moment and from seeing the beauty and gifts God has given us. This includes our family, our loved ones, and our neighbor. Hypervigilance also disrupts our prayer life, as we find it difficult to focus completely on God for a significant period of time.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)

“Do I really and truly believe that no hardship can separate me from the love of God? Do I really and truly believe that everything that happens—however difficult it is for me—has been arranged for my benefit?” (St. Dorotheos)

“Even though God arranges all trials for our benefit, we do not always understand how. In most of the trials we face, the ultimate purpose remains hidden from view. That is where it is so stabilizing to place confidence in God’s promises rather than in our own reason. God’s promises assure us that there must be a positive purpose to even the most difficult trials, regardless of whether or not we understand it…To believe in God’s promises…does not mean you will never feel confused, lonely, vulnerable, anxious, or insecure. Rather, it means that you can turn to God in and through these difficult conditions. The more you turn to God, the more you can begin seeing all that happens to you as organized by Divine Love for your benefit. Consequently, you can believe that there must be a positive purpose to even the most challenging circumstances. You can begin to see all trials as opportunities instead of obstacles (James 1:2–3).” (Robin Phillips)

“The work of God’s providence surrounds us at all times, though our hearts are frequently out-of-tune with the eternal hymn of its working. We are deeply aware of every offense against goodness, every tragedy, every rumor of evil, while we constantly ignore how we are preserved in health, delivered from danger, and overshadowed by God’s brooding goodness. In the math of good and evil, the miracle of our very existence seems to be factored as a zero.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Is your life a series of accidental occurrences? Do things happen to you by chance? The Book of Acts denies these suppositions. In today’s reading, we found that Holy Spirit was the prime mover of the life and growth of the church. He was the inspiration and power that lead the church and its individual members to accomplish the will of God. Our secular age believes that life began and developed by random incidents. But those who look at the world through the witness of Luke, there is nothing haphazard about the creation or about history. Thus, if we are to follow the Word of the scriptures, we must recover the trust in God’s sovereignty. Within all that exists and behind all that happens is the rule of God, who governs it all.” (Fr. Basil)

“We should hope in God’s providence, and since we believe that God is watching over us, we should take courage and throw ourselves into His love, and then we will see Him constantly beside us…” (St. Porpyrios)

“We have a deep, fearful resistance to the notion of Divine providence. The fear is that nothing good will come unless we make it come, and that dependence on Divine providence is the same as doing nothing. It is a tragic circle in which we believe that only our exercise of power can order the world, coupled with the fear that it will not be enough. Any yielding in our drive for control is seen as an invitation to disaster.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…success is only found if we are all true to the purpose and work which has been “prepared in advance” for us to do; if we are content to act within providence, rather than take matters into our own hands.” (Greg Wright)

“The all-good Providence of God always arranges what is most beneficial for us, while in our ignorance, we very often strive for the very opposite.” (St. Ambrose of Optina)

“One should furthermore bear in mind that the ways of God’s providence are many, and that they can neither be explained in words nor grasped by the mind.” (St. John of Damascus)

“If the providence of God does not preside over human affairs, we have no need to busy ourselves about religion.” (St. Augustine)

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