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Is it correct to refer to something as a “God thing”?

God thing

God thing is an informal catchphrase made popular in current Christian culture through songs and books. People typically use the term to describe a circumstance or outcome that can only be explained as a direct intervention of God. “It was a miracle!” and “It was divine providence at work” are more formal and traditional ways of declaring something a “God thing.”

“It was a God thing” is often heard as part of a testimony, indirectly giving credit, praise, or glory to God: “There was no way I should have survived the accident. It was a God thing.” Sometimes the context emphasizes an event’s unique or unexpected nature: “I don’t know how I got the job. All I can say is it was a total God thing!” The main idea is that God was somehow working in the details to produce a remarkable result: “My niece is getting baptized today. If you had known her last year, you would know this is a God thing.”

There is nothing inherently wrong with referring to something as a “God thing.” The expression resembles another prevalent Christian saying—“God moment”—describing an extraordinary or intimate experience of God’s presence or power. Neither phrase is incorrect if understood and applied in light of biblical truth.

Divine providence is the ongoing, often unobservable activity of God, sustaining all life, upholding the universe, providing for the needs of every creature, and always working out His eternal purposes in every circumstance (see Genesis 8:22; Nehemiah 9:6; 1 Timothy 6:13; Psalm 145:15–16; Acts 17:25–28). Scripture bears overwhelming witness that everything is a “God thing,” both universally and personally. The God who “holds all creation together” (Colossians 1:17, NLT) also “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28, NLT).

The apostle Paul proclaimed, “For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36, NLT). A correct understanding of divine providence must embrace the truth that all things—the good and the bad, the miraculous and the mundane—are “God things.” Every brush stroke in the entire panorama of history comes from His hand. Nothing happens outside His control or authority (Isaiah 45:7; Psalm 135:6).

Rarely will someone refer to hardship as a “God thing,” yet the reality is undeniable. Joseph told his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). Paul testified about the trouble he and his missionary companions went through: “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8–9, NLT). Paul urged us to rejoice “when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment” (Romans 5:3–5, NLT).

James considered it a “God thing” to undergo trials and tests because these help us grow in spiritual maturity. He encouraged believers, “When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2–4, NLT).

Seldom will someone say, “I suffered a devastating loss. It was truly a God thing.” Nevertheless, the statement is profoundly anchored in truth. A person with genuine faith and trust in God’s sovereignty will recognize a “God thing” on good and bad days, in victory and tragedy, and through joy and sorrow because he knows that God controls all things. The believer who can “be still, and know that [He is] God” (Psalm 46:10) despite the circumstances or outcome is the one who wholly understands the meaning of a “God thing.”

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This page last updated: July 5, 2023