[Emanuel] Swedenborg explains that there are absolute spiritual laws that govern God's creation. These "laws of providence" express God's love and guidance in our lives, and his presence never ceases even when it may seem that he has turned his back or become distant. God can never go against his own laws, which are there to protect our eternal lives, not just our lives on earth.
Many of these teachings will be related to specific examples throughout this book, but four concepts are fundamental:
- God is all-powerful and in total control. He never abandons us. But he does allow things that are contrary to his will, for the sake of our freedom, because our freedom is fundamental to his love.
- What God allows but does not will is called "permission" by Swedenborg. Understanding this concept helps to answer the question, "Why?"
- If the tragedy that happens in our lives is the permission, then providence is what happens afterward. It is the way God's love heals and it always leads to good.
- What we see in this natural or material world is limited by space and time. It's temporal. God sees everything in a spiritual context not only how our lives are affected here and now, but the impact and repercussions to eternity.