God’s Providence Introduction
God’s Providence Introduction
We want to consider God’s Providence, there is a wide range of teachings or beliefs in the world today about God’s Providence. Not much is written about the Providence of God. Most of the commentators don’t comment much on it. I’m not sure why that is, but those that do comment, usually don’t have anything of much value to say. There are a couple of writers that are well worth your time: CS Lewis has a lot to say about God’s Providence, as does Adam Clarke.
When I was growing up in western Oklahoma, there were three churches, the Baptist, the Methodist, and the church of Christ. The superintendent of our school was a member of the church of Christ the principle was a member of the Baptist Church.
I grew up in a sheltered environment having never encountered anyone that did not believe in God. As I began my work at White Sands Missile Range to continued my education at New Mexico State University. I began to encounter a number of individuals that were skeptical about God and in one instance I encounter an atheist.
My study of God’s providence began in the early 60s. While I was attending New Mexico State and working at White Sands with an individual that was an atheist, (probably the only individual that I have ever met that I would classified as an atheist). He believed that the Bible was a great piece of literature and a good source for historical events. This individual was studying nuclear physics and the last I heard he was working at Los Alamos, New Mexico. He had received his PhD.
During our 8 years at White Sands, we had many discussions about theology. He forced me to do some deep study about God. As a result, I developed a better understanding of God and God’s Providence. I tell you this so that you will understand that this study of God’s Providence has basically been a lifelong study. I am not telling you that I fully understand everything at the very best the information that I will present in the next four blogs should cause you to think about how God’s Providence works in your life today.
Is it possible that God’s Providence actually brought me into contact with this individual so that I would develop a closer relationship with God?
The main thing I want to accomplish in these blogs is to provide you with some comfort during the difficult and troubling times that we are going through. Each of us will remember the year 2020.
How do you know if you trust God? As we answer this question let’s look at the attitude that Paul had during his imprisonment in Rome. Paul’s attitude during his imprisonment was to seek God’s glory. This also should be our attitude. Not only was Paul in prison but there were men supposedly followers of Christ and ministers of the gospel who were actually trying to add to Paul’s trouble by what they were preaching. Paul reports this event in: Philippians 1:14–17 (ESV) 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
What was Paul’s response to their actions? We read Paul’s response in: Philippians 1:18 (ESV) 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice. In effect Paul was stating that it really doesn’t matter what happens to me or how I am affected by all of this. The important thing is that God is glorified.
Most of us have not progressed as far as Paul had in our Christian maturity. We have not attained that degree of selflessness that Paul had acquired in his life. We still have the attitude that it does matter what happens. We need to continue to reach and watch for opportunities to grow in the pursuit of the glorification of God.
This should be our attitude to grow as we pursue the attitude of selflessness – being concerned only for God’s glory.
If you will respond to God with this attitude and humble yourself under his mighty hand you will experience his grace enabling you to be concerned primarily, if not entirely, for his glory. One of the commands that we have is to become like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This was the attitude that Jesus had while he was on this earth. He glorified God in all that he did.