1. Agreement in opinion.
2. Cooperation, as of agents, circumstances, or events.
3. Simultaneous occurrence; coincidence.
Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now–life for many people.
Genesis 50:20 (The Message)
In our lesson, we learn the one of the elements of God’s Providence is concurrence. Concurrence means “agreement, cooperation, or consent”. It gives the idea that no activity of matter or the mind can take place without God’s consent, and that His power cooperates with the powers that are under Him. Essentially, God’s power has a strong influence on man’s power without destroying it or robbing man of his freedom.
Recently in the news, we heard that a man named Brian Nichols went on a killing spree in a courthouse and in the process of trying to get away. He happened upon a woman named Ashley Smith. She had been struggling with her own problems and had recently started reading “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren.
While we don’t know how the story will ultimately end, we can see signs that God’s hand was in the story.
- First, Nichols came upon Ashley Smith. Here was a woman who was just starting to learn something about her own relationship to God and she wanted to share what she learned.
- Second, she told Nicols that possibly, God’s hand was in this. That because of what he had done, Nichols would have to go to prison but that he could be a witness behind bars. Like I said, we don’t know ultimately how this will end. I’m praying that Nichols will have a conversion experience and be a great witness to God’s awesome power of forgiveness and redemption.
- Third, the news media covered the story and because the book was such a prominent part of the story, they couldn’t ignore it. It renewed interest in the book. How many lives were changed as a result of people seeing news stories that mentioned Ashley reading the book to Nichols.
Shortly after this happened, Larry King interviewed Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life”. Here are some quotes from the interview:
KING: Rick, why do bad things happen to good people?
WARREN: Well, Larry, it’s because we live in a broken world. This is not (a) perfect world. This is not heaven and that’s why we’re depraved. ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is heaven.’ Why? Because in heaven, everything’s done perfectly. Things are not done perfectly on this earth.
“God gave us a freedom to choose. As a result of choices, we make mistakes, we blow it — and whenever I make mistakes, whenever I sin, it always causes damage and causes hurt.
“The Bible teaches that since sin entered the world, way back with the very first human beings, we have lived in an imperfect, broken planet, and that causes hurricanes and tornadoes, and all kinds of things. This is not a perfect planet. So, we should not be surprised that it’s not paradise. And also, life is not fair. In fact, the Bible says life is not fair. It’s just not fair.”
## and then later ##
…I’m creating ways to simply share the message, that God loves you, he has a plan and purpose for your life, Jesus Christ died for you, there is a reason for the things that happen in your life. And even the bad things, God can bring good out of bad.
“That’s what Easter’s all about, and — the message isn’t really anything new, Larry. It’s been taught for 2,000 years in churches. If somebody wants to hear it, they don’t have to read my book, just go to church on Easter and hear it.”
(Read the whole interview here: http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0503/22/lkl.01.html