The knowledge of the providence of God takes care most of our worries and problems.
Providence of God means God is in control and He is the ruler of all. Psalm 103:19 says, The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.” Did you notice it says the Lord’s throne is in heaven, His kingdom rules over all? It means the Lord God rules all – the universe, nations, rulers of the nations, all people everywhere. Nothing happens in this world by chance, fate or luck. If something happens to you God knows about it and He is powerful and able to deal with it.
First of all, understand this truth – God is the one who keeps the planets spinning with no issues. He is the one gives us days and nights. God takes care his universe in all of its details. Does any man control this massive machine that is running every day? No. However, God does. He takes care of the stars and planets, feeds the birds, animals, and people. He provides the seasons. The whole aspect of maintaining, caring and providing for the entire universe He created is in His hand. This is called the general providence of God. He rules over all the aspects of this gigantic machine called the universe every single day.
The Lord God is the ruler of all nations. Bible says, “For dominion belongs to the LORD and He rules over the nations.” (Psalms 22:28). He is the ruler over all rulers and kings of the earth. Daniel 2:21 says, “He deposes kings and raises up others.” We think we voted for our leaders, but it is the Lord who raise them up according to His plans and purposes.
The Lord God is the one who judges all people correctly. Psalms 75:7 says, “It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.”
Secondly, God has special providence. This means God cares not only about the whole universe; He cares about the lives of people, especially His own people. His own people means those who came to His son Jesus Christ for salvation and eternal life. He especially cares for them because He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to this world that the people would be saved through Him. Those who come to Jesus Christ and accept Him as their Lord and Savior, God gave the privilege to become the children of God. As children of God, He has special providence and care in their lives. However, God gives providential care for all people in this world. Matthew 5:45 says, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” That is how we get sunlight, days for work and nights for rest, different seasons, rain and air for breathing, energy to work and take care of our needs. He gives gifts to all of his creation. However, the Bible says He especially has providential care for His own because they came to His Son, Jesus Christ, for salvation. This is because He sent His only Son for our sins to die in our place. He died and victoriously rose again to give us fellowship and friendship with God the Father.
Providence of God is recently a forgotten concept. But this is what helps us to be out of anxieties and worries when we face trials and tribulations.
Providence was a topic frequently taught from the Church pulpit in the past centuries. However, in recent years, we do not hear about this topic of God’s providence. You see, when we understand God is in control of our lives and nothing happens without His knowledge and permissive will, then we can be patient and rest in the overall plan and purpose of God for our lives. When the topic of God’s providence receded to the background in pulpit’s preaching, then worries, anxieties, mental diseases and other human problems increased dramatically in recent decades. The knowledge that nothing happens without passing through God’s hand and approval first, would make us calm and quiet in trials and tribulations.
Providence comes out of “provide,’ but it is more than just ‘provide.’ I would say this – ‘Providence’ is the sovereign power and act of God by which He sustains and provides for the universe as a whole including planets, stars, nations, peoples and all His creation and it has a special aspect of caring and providing for His own. God as the creator and sustainer of this gigantic machine of the universe has the responsibility to run it smooth and ongoing every single minute, hour and days. At the same time, Jesus said He has the minute and intricate attention on the details. He said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” (Matthew 10:29). Such is the detailed knowledge and care about His creation. He also said, “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7). You see God is in control of the universe, nations, all of his creation including nature, animals, birds, and humankind. However, God’s providence over His own people is another mind-blogging aspect for all of us. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” No matter what happens to us, no matter what the devil does, God always thwarts his plans and something good would arrive at the end for His dear children. What a beautiful verse- Read slowly and think deeply. God causes all things – good and bad – to work together for good at the end for the children of God. Think back to your own life if you are a child of God and is this not right? Yes, God promises that no matter what happens he will cause all to make it good for us at the end. People may stand against you and devil may try to swift you. God comes along, and He disappoints their plans, and He will make something good out of it.
God directs and establishes our steps even when we are not aware of it.
David knew about this providential care of God in his life. He said in Psalms 37:23, “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” David learned this from his own life experiences. The Lord is the one who directs the steps of the Godly. We think we took that step. However, we would look back later in life and figure out it was God who directed our steps. He directs our steps even you and I are not aware of it. He constantly directs our steps. Why He does it? It says there, “He delights in every detail of their lives.” You may not be aware of this, but the truth is this – He delights in every detail of our lives. Every detail – small and big. If the matter is important to you, certainly it is important to Him. Bible says in Proverbs16:9, “In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Sometimes we think we took that step or we had that idea or vision. Of course, it came to our heart to take that step and think that unique idea. However, it was the Lord who directs and establishes it. Even our meeting with other people is in not accidental or chance. God directs all our steps and establishes it. Such is the detailed providence of God in our lives as children of God. Therefore we can be excited about God’s providence in our lives every single day of our lives.
You see the knowledge that David had about God’s providence in small and big things was the reason for his success in life. He experienced severe setbacks, valley, and painful circumstances, didn’t he? However, he knew such occasions were also passed through the knowledge and permissive approval of God. Nothing happens by chance in a believer’s life.
The providence of God challenge us by exercising our faith. But it all works together for good at the end.
One another important thing we can learn from the life of David, Joseph and other Bible characters is this. God stretch and pull our faith through His providence. God’s providence takes us to the places where we would never go by ourselves. God’s providence challenges us to go farther and more in-depth. This is how stretches and exercises our faith. We normally want a quiet and lazy life. However, God has a much bigger plan for those who love Him.
Joseph never wanted or liked his severe and painful experiences. His own brothers hated him, betrayed him, tried to kill him and sold him to Egypt. There in Egypt, he was placed in prison for something he never did. One after another only bad thing happened to this young man for an extended period in his life. God stretched Him. God challenged Him. God wanted Joseph to go farther and farther in trials. However, there was a providential purpose of God behind it all. Later God raised him to be the prime minister of Egypt. He was instrumental in saving many people around the world from severe famine and death. Moreover, God raised him later to become the ruler of Egypt to save Abraham’s descendants from destruction so that God can fulfill His promise He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God in His foreknowledge knew what was going to happen and the potential of destroying Abraham’s line of offspring. He providentially intervened in and through Joseph’s life. That was the reason for Joseph’s sufferings. Joseph said to his brother who did nothing but evil to Him these words, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20). Joseph understood the providence of God.
In the providence of God, He made a promise to Abraham when he was 75 years old. He had to wait patiently for 25 years for its fulfillment. God stretched and challenged his and Sarah’s faith through the occasions of doubts. Then very late at the age of 99 (almost 100) when he knew that his body was as good as dead and Sarah’s womb was also dead (per Paul’s language in Romans 4) God appeared to him in Genesis 17 and said he would “be the father of many nations.” It was tough even to believe he would have a son at this late age then how about he would He believe to become the father of many nations? Impossible for human minds. However, He did not weaken in his faith in the Lord who promised him. Romans 4 says, He did not waver through unbelief but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God because he was fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He had promised. It says “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him.” Humanly there is no hope, but against all human hope, He believed and hoped in the word of God. Abraham knew the providence of God well, and this knowledge helped him to be patient and restful in the midst of impossibilities.
God stretched and re-challenged the faith of Abraham when God asked him to sacrifice His promised son in the mount of Moriah. Abraham answered and said to his son Issac when he asked: “where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” It means in Hebrew; the Lord will see for Himself the lamb”. At the perfect time, God provided a ram caught in the thicket. Do you think ram was caught in the thicket was an accident? No, the providence of God was at work and acted right there to save Isaac from death. Ram caught in the thicket was sacrificed in place of Isaac. God saw the need and provided for it. The same is the meaning of God’s providence in our lives. He delights in us, and he sees the need, and he sovereignly provides.
The doctrine of deism says God the supreme being and creator does not intervene in the daily affairs of His creation. This is wrong. Bible says God continually intervenes and intricately involved in the affairs of the whole creation and especially in the lives of His people.
The knowledge of the providence of God in our lives helps us to be patient in adversities and troubles. Nothing happens without the knowledge and approval of God in our lives. If it happened, God has a plan behind it and has a way out from it. He continuously watches and remindful of us because He delights in us. If the devil shifted Peter and he failed and denied Jesus three times, the loving Lord had a pre-plan for it and a way out of it. Peter’s faith became stronger than at any time in the past, and he was instrumental in opening the door of the Church first time on this world on the day of Pentecost.
Beloved, nothing happens without God’s foreknowledge and his approval. Devil and people cannot touch us without God’s knowledge and approval. If He approves, He has a good plan behind if for His glory and our good. Is this not the incident of Joab teach us as well? Refer the book of Job in the Bible. The sovereignty and providences of God are illustrated well in the book.
The big incident of the providence of God for all human kind is the provision of reconciliation and salvation available through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.
This incident of the burnt offering of Issac and God provided a ram caught in the thicket was the shadow of another major event of God’s providence down on the road on the same Mount of Moriah. Abraham said God would provide (or see) for Himself the lamb for the offering. This was fulfilled when Jesus Christ, the perfect lamb of God was sacrificed for all of our sins there on the cross of Calvary. Jesus was the ram caught in the thicket who would be sacrificed in place of all humanity for their sins and wrongdoings. He was caught up in the thicket because it was the eternal covenant within the triune God- God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In the eternal counsel of Godhead, Son of God voluntarily accepted the task to come down to this earth, live in this sin bound-earth, die on the cross and rise from the dead to pay of our sins and iniquities and reconcile us to God. The empty tomb attests to the amazing truth of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins. Anyone can visit Jerusalem and see the open grave even today. He is not there because He is risen from the dead, conquering devil and death.
God loves you and has a beautiful plan of providence for your life.
Beloved, God loves you, and He has a beautiful plan of Providence for your life. The providence of the living God is calling you today to come to His Son, Jesus Christ, the savior of the world and accept Him as your savior and Lord. He died, buried and risen again for all of our sins.” God’s plan for your life and his wonderful providence begins at the foot of the cross of Christ. Then God takes over your life in His powerful, wonder-working and eternal hands and directs and establishes your steps marvelously. It all begins with the first step of walking toward His Son, Jesus Christ. In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” (Ephesians 1:7).
Prayer time: Father in heaven, I believe in the providence of God. I believe you run this universe and all in it. I believe you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for my sins with His blood. I accept Him as my savior and Lord. I surrender my life to you today. Use the rest of my life for your glory. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.”