It is almost unfair to try and write a discourse on the providence of God in so short a space, seeing that His providence touches every facet of our lives–from here to eternity.
The term has been damaged by misuse and misapplications of various sorts. If it can be viewed in our lives, it has to be done mostly retrospectively and not prospectively, seeing that we don’t always know if a certain happening is God’s providence or a “time and chance happens to them all” occurrence. However, some things happen in life–whether they be positive or negative–which speak rather clearly that the providence of God had to do with them. There are some things relative to the providence of God of which we can be sure–and for which we should ever be grateful.
Simply stated, the providence of God is what He has provided. His provisions are not what we have in some way or the other deserved, but what He has given us in spite of our unworthiness. How thankful we should be!
Be thankful for the life He has provided. (Acts 17: 25-28) The very life you live is a gift from God–for “He giveth to all life and breath and all things.” Further, who and what you are is a gift of His loving care, for “in Him we live, and move, and have our every being.” No two of us are exactly alike, but He has given to each of us as He sees fit. It is but ours to mold and fashion a character that is worthy of His providence by becoming all He expects us to be. Whatever you do, wherever you go, whatever you become, it all comes of the life provided by your Heavenly Father. Rejoice and be glad!
Be thankful for the information He has provided. (II Pet. 1:3-4; Heb. 1:1-2) God didn’t give us life then leave us without a reason why. By his providential revelation we have been told from whence we are come, what we’re to do while here, and where we’re going when this life is ended. In that connection, He “has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness,” or all that we need to emulate our Creator so as to “be holy, even as I am holy.” Where do we go for such a high provision for life? In these last days “He has spoken unto us by His Son.” He has provided answers for our questions, information for how to please Him, assurances that our faithfulness to Him is not only necessary, but, by His grace, entirely possible. We should be grateful, for He has told us what we need to know.
Be thankful for the Son He has provided (His forgiveness). (Eph. 1:3-7) Without the forgiveness of God, freely provided by His grace, we are lost and flounder in sin and putridity. He has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” What love He showed in the provision of His beloved Son, who gave Himself freely for the forgiveness of our sins, having “predestined us” (that’s providence, folks) to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ. And all of it, “according to the good pleasure” of His will. What we never could have done for ourselves, no matter the effort, He in His loving kindness, has freely provided. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” What matchless love!
Be thankful for the assurances He has provided. (Heb. 6:17; 10:22-25; I Cor. 10:13). God’s word is immutable. He is changeless. You can rest assured that what He has assured, He will provide. That strengthens hope, magnifies expectation, enlarges confidence, for “it is impossible for God to lie.” He has given His word: “he that believes and his baptized shall be saved.” He has given His word: we can “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” It is certain that “no temptation has overtaken you, but such as is common,” and that “He is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” What wonderful provisions!
Be thankful for the resurrection He has provided. (I Cor. 15:50-58; II Cor. 5:1-4; Phil. 3:20-21) This world is not home. We are living in a probationary period–one in which we are provided with the opportunity of equipping ourselves for divine association–one with a new body. “Our citizenship is in heaven” where “we eagerly wait for the Savior, who will transform lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body.” The resurrection of Jesus is the predicate on which our own hope of resurrection rests. Because He was, we can. “For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.” When that happens, death “is swallowed up in victory,” and “thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ‘Tis the provision of all provisions, the resurrection is. He who assured it is the greatest of all provisions by our Heavenly Father. Praise God for the resurrected Jesus!
Stop what you’re doing–right now–and give thanks for the providence of God, for He has provided for all our needs.