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August 16, 2021 - Providence?

In his stunning biography of Adolph Hitler, German historian Ulrich Volker (Downfall [p. 79]. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.), told about another assassination attempt against Hitler that, like all of them, failed.

“ ‘The Führer and all of us have miraculously escaped death,’ Goebbels noted in his diary. ‘Had the ceremony been conducted as it had all the years before, none of us would be alive any more. But the Führer…stands under the protection of the Almighty. He will only die when his mission has been fulfilled.’ Not only the propaganda minister but Hitler himself was convinced that ‘providence’ had been at work.”

Providence? God providentially spared Hitler so that the madman could, live until “his mission has been fulfilled”?

How do we, as Christians, who believe not only in God’s existence, but in His love and even in His providence—how do we deal with things like this? Hitler was “miraculously’ spared death, more than once actually, while many faithful Christians, real Christians, died, often terribly, in the war that Hitler started?

How do we make sense of this?

We don’t, because we can’t, because a lot of things don’t make sense, at least to us now. We are promised, however, the following: “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts.” (1 Corinthians. 4:5). And this, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

There’s a lot in this life that just doesn’t make sense. That just doesn’t seem understandable. That just baffles and perplexes us all. And if we try and make sense of them, if we try to understand the reason for them—we will tie our minds into knots and drive ourselves crazy.

Instead, we must focus on what we do understand, especially the love of God as revealed in the creation (which despite thousands of years of sin, can still speak to us) and especially in the cross. The God who would die for us, at Calvary, bearing in Himself the sins of the world, all so that each one of us could have salvation—that’s a God we can trust, even amid a world where “providentially” Adolf Hitler survived numerous assassination attempts.

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