Tag Archives: providence

Providence: The Promise of Good

Providence, refers to God’s seeing what we need before we need it—and then providing for that need.
Romans 8:28 is the key verse today.

Certainly God Loves Us
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
God has granted us “precious and very great promises” 2 Peter 1:4
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.”

We Know” Romans 8:28
Many of us have experiences that validate this promise.
Romans 8:28 does not say that God made me get sick, be in a car accident, or lose that job. Bad things happen for a variety of reasons.
“Time and chance happen to them all” Ecclesiastes 9:11

For Those Who Love God
God has “saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” 2 Timothy 1:9
Romans 8:28 is not a promise, therefore, that everything always works out great for everybody. It is a specific promise of something God does for His faithful children.

All Things
These words immediately precede a panoramic description of redemption from God’s perspective: Read verses 28-30
Nothing that can happen to a faithful child of God is beyond the power of God to cause or to produce a blessing. So I believe that we can apply “all things” to “all things.”

Work Together
It may take a comprehensive view of many events over several years to see clearly how things have worked together for good.
Patience is great, it is a virtue. We need to learn to wait and see what the Lord has in store for us. Certainly it will all work together for us.

For Good
What we might define as good and what God might define as good may not always be the same. We might be thinking of what is good in the short run, whereas God might be working toward our eternal good.
Romans 8:28 is a promise made by a God “who never lies” (Titus 1:2). He will fulfill it.
This verse makes sense, but only to those who are called according to His purpose.
Summary:
When calamity somehow turns out to bring unexpected blessing, we can “perhaps” attribute it to the providence of God. But whatever may be true in an individual instance, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good” Romans 8:28

This verse makes sense, but ONLY to those who are called according to His purpose.  While all are called, not everyone will receive the free gift of Grace.  When we answer the call, we become one who receives this great Promise of Good.

 

Freewill and Providence

The Silent Sovereignty of God Part 2

Freewill and Providence

Defining Providence

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.”

God’s Intentional Will

(Example) “So it is not the will of my Father who is in  heaven that not one of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:14).  God’s “intentional will” is what He specifically desires and wills, therefore, works to accomplish.

Job suffered many losses and cruelties, but unlike some people today, “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong” (Job 1:22).  Let us be careful not to charge God foolishly by speaking of the will of God in ways that imply God intentionally wills calamity or hurtful evil.

God’s Circumstantial Will

One result of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden was a curse on woman, on man and on the ground.  It was not God’s intentional will that sin enter the world, but it was His circumstantial will that sinful humanity not live forever in a world infected with sin and its consequences.  So disease, calamity and death entered the world as God’s circumstantial will.

Circumstances changed with the introduction of sin into the world, a change not in accord with God’s intentional will but brought about by the rebellion of His freewill creatures.

God’s Ultimate Will

God’s omnipotence does not mean that everything that happens is His will in the sense of His intention. It does mean that neither we nor all the powers of hell can ultimately defeat Him.

The Freedom to Choose

God created us male, female and with the right to choose (Genesis 1:27).  It is logical to conclude that He gave us freedom to choose good or evil so that we may love and have fellowship with Him because we want to, not because we have to.  He did not impose His will on us.  Although omnipotent, He chose to limit Himself in that way.  We are not robots.  Our lives are not predetermined by fate or karma–or even by God.

God’s Plan For YOU

He plans for you to be saved from sin. Consider I Timothy 2:3,4 and 2 Peter 3:9

He plans for you to glorify Him.  Consider I Corinthians 6:19, 20.

He plans for all the redeemed to be “holy and blameless” before Him.  Consider Ephesians 1:4

Many are looking for some sort of nudge or feeling today.  However, supernatural guidance was not the norm even for the Apostles

Consider I Thessalonians 3:1-2. “We were willing.” “We thought it best” (NASB).  “We decided” (ERV).  How was their decision made?  They thought it best.  They had good reasons for that thought.  They were concerned about their converts’ endurance under persecution.  They decided sending Timothy was the best means for meeting their concerns.

Consider also Philippians 2:25-26

More Than ONE Right Choice

Even in regard to marriage, while there are certainly moral choices to be made and immoral choices to be avoided, within the range of Christians eligible to be married, Paul made it clear that we are free to decide even whether to marry as well as whom to marry. Under certain conditions, one choice is “good”; under different conditions, the other “is better” (I Corinthians 7:8, 9)

Making Wise Choices

Wisdom is not the same as specific information.  James (1:5) did not promise that God will whisper in our ears or give us an unmistakable emotional nudge to tell us which job offer to take or which of diverging paths to follow.

Wisdom may be defined as the ability to make good use of the knowledge we possess.  “Common sense” is another good name for it.

Summary

In those areas where there is no divine command or moral principle involved, the Christian is free and responsible for his or her personal choices.  Any decision made within the moral will of God is acceptable to God.

When we love and obey God, it will be because we want to rather than because we have to or are pre-programmed to do so.

 

 

Providence

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.

Summary:
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”