This video will help you better understand Providence. To see more video’s on Providence check out www.video.wvbs.org/access and search for Providence.
Providence Part One
The Concept of providence presumes that God is still at work in the world He created. The word “provide” is at the root of the word “providence.” God does provide good things for His people, and His loving care is always behind His every action.
I Peter 5:7 “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”
Matthew 10:29-31 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? and not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore: you are of more value than may sparrows”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
I Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Hebrews 13:5-6 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
The Miracles of God
The Apostle John’s favorite word for miracle is his gospel was “sign.” Biblical miracles were events that could not have occurred naturally: a withered arm immediately restored, a man born blind given immediate sight, a dead person raised. John’s word “sign” reminds us that miracles had significance. They signified something. Specifically, they demonstrated conclusively that the person working the miracle had the approval of God in what he said or taught.
Providence: Beyond Miracles
Now here is where it gets tricky. Providence cannot be as certainly known to be God’s work as is restoring a withered arm. Providence, therefore, cannot be a sign of God’s approval as in raising someone from the dead. Miracles are a “sign” of God’s endorsement. God’s providential working is not obvious enough to serve as such a sign.
God is Always Good
God’s providential care does not always work in ways we think best. Sometimes circumstances we might never think of as providential may actually serve a providential purpose.
God is always good, but we may not always understand His ways. Consider the death of a child; Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego; or consider Job. God is good.
Read Hebrews 11:32-35 (1284)
God is good. But what about verses 36-38?
Keep reading…verses 39-40
Even in death, torture and seeming defeat, God was providing and blessing. Some providential actions of God are not apparent until the after-life.
We can confidently say today: “Our God whom we serve is able. But if not, by the providence of God, we will be victors either way.”
Providence is “Perhaps”
“Glad to see you. Will you be at church Sunday?” “Yes, if I’m not providentially hindered.”
Personal choices and Satan hinder us. But could it be providence also? James 4:13-16 (pew Bible page 1291)
Can I not also be hindered by God through His providence?
God is in Control
Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps”
Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”
Proverbs 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”
We have to realize that we are not in control. And what James says in 4:13-16 is not so much something that we have to say all of the time, but we do need to be reminded that God is in control; not us.
The Principle of “Perhaps”
When Paul learned that Onesimus had run away from Philemon, a brother in Christ whom Paul had converted during his stay in Ephesus, Paul wrote to Philemon that he was sending Onesimus back, no longer as a slave but “as a beloved brother”. Paul told Philemon, “For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever”. It seemed God’s hand was behind it all. Paul, at least, thought that likely. But the most he would say about it was “perhaps” (15)
To escape the command to kill all male Hebrew babies, Moses’ mother put him in a reed basket at the edge of the river. His sister Miriam, was charged to stay nearby. Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter, who accepted Miriam’s offer to find a woman of the Hebrews to nurse him. So Moses was nourished by his mother and evidently taught by her about the Lord. Providence? Undoubtedly? At least, perhaps.
Ephesians 5:15, 16 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
As you do that, God’s providential care will be with you, regardless of whether you recognize it in particular instances.
More soon; “Perhaps”