God’s Providence is always good.
God’s Providence is always good.
As we continue with our topic God’s Providence. Another important thing we need to note when studying God’s Providence is: God’s Providence is always good.
What is the definition of Providence?
Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary: Providence: 1:a often capitalized : divine guidance or care b capitalized : God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny. 2: the quality or state of being provident Providence: forethought or foresight Provident: making provision for the future
The word providence does not appear in most modern-day translations. Out of my 60 plus translations that I have on my computer it only appears in 2 passages in 5 translations: NASB 95, NIV, KJV, Cambridge Authorized Version, and ASV – In Acts 24:2, and Job 10:12. This does not mean that the concept of God’s Providence is not important, take a look at the last 26 chapters of the book of Isaiah, and all of the book of Job. There are many other places in God’s word where God makes it very clear that He provides us with providential care.
In Job 10:12 – Job is making his case before God as he declares: Job 10:12 (ESV) 12 You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.
Job 10:12 (NIV) 12 You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.
God’s providential care does not always work the way we think it should. In some circumstances we might never think that’s God’s Providence may actually serve a providential purpose.
One situation; One of God’s children has an automobile accident; their car is totaled, but they come out without a scratch. We state that the Lord was with them.
Another situation; One of God’s children has an automobile accident and is crippled for life we state: We state that the Lord was with them.
Another situation; The only survivor of a shipwreck finds himself on a small uninhabited island.
He cried out to God to save him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but never sees any help coming.
Frustrated, he eventually manages to build a hut and put his few possessions in it.
Then one day while hunting for food, he arrived back at the hut to find it in flames, the smoke rolling up into the sky. The worst had happened; he was devastated with grief.
He prayed to God “Why Lord was my shelter destroyed? It took me so long and so much hard work to gather enough materials to provide shelter”.
Early the next day, a ship drew near the island and rescued him.
How did you know I was here? He asked the crew.
We saw your smoke signal, they replied.
It may not seem so now; your present difficulties may be instrumental to your future happiness.
All of us at various times in our lives had experienced adversity to varying degrees. Job 5:7 (ESV) 7 but man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. Learning to trust God in times of difficulty is a slow and difficult process. It is a continuing process of growth. Life is a series of speed bumps. One of my favorites is: Psalm 119:67 (ESV) 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. The psalmist is telling us that experiencing difficulties in our life promotes an obedient life. It makes us realize that we must depend upon God. It promotes teachable spirit.
In that same: Psalm 119:71–72 (ESV) 71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. 72 The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. The psalmist is telling us that difficulties in our life provides a teachable moment.
I have heard over the years many questions:
Does God actually control the circumstances of our lives?
Do bad things just happen to us because we live in a sin-cursed world?
If God really does control the circumstances of our lives why did he allow my friend to die of cancer?
Can I truly trust God when the going gets tough in all areas of my life?
The answers to these questions are found in God’s word. God intended Scripture to encourage us during our adversity. If we look at the people of the Bible that experienced adversity in their life: Paul, Abraham, Joseph, Jeremiah, and Job just to name a few. Elijah ran and hid from God. Moses tried to hurry God’s plan. All of these people are just like you and me. They have the same emotions that you and I have. Paul experienced anger, discouragement, fatigue, anxiety and he suffered as we suffer.