Yeilding to God's Providence

Status
Not open for further replies.

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
God's providence is something every Christian deals with on a daily basis - from how much money he has, to where he works (and whether he likes it or not) to the people and circumstacnes that are ordained in his life.

I. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold,[1] direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things,[2] from the greatest even to the least,[3] by his most wise and holy providence,[4] according to his infallible foreknowledge,[5] and the free and immutable counsel of his own will,[6] to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.[7]

1. Neh. 9:6; Psa. 145:14-16; Heb. 1:3
2. Dan. 4:34-35; Psa. 135:6; Acts 17:25-28; Job 34:1-41:34
3. Matt. 6:26-32; 10:29-31
4. Prov. 15:3; I Chr. 16:9; Psa. 104:24; 145;17
5. Acts 15:18; Isa. 42:9; Ezek. 11:5
6. Eph. 1:11; Psa. 33:10-11
7. Isa. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 917; Gen. 45:7; Psa. 145:7

God Has a Right to Do Anything He Wills

The first principle is this: God has a right to do anything He wills. And the corollary of that is He always does everything He wills. That's foundational to our faith.

God has a right to do as He will because of His relationship to His creatures.

God's the potter; we're the clay. He has created us. Now which of us had any part in how He made us? The only way we are ever going to be able to deal with life and death right and righteously, honestly and helpfully is to face the fact that we're looking on something that's dependent on God. Part of the pain of sanctification is the helplessness that we behold when we experience things we would rather not. It forces us to look into the face of dependence, and we don't want to be dependent.

Everything God Does is Right

If He has a right to do it, it must be right when He does it.

God Acts Beyond Our Comprehension

Some people even want to know everything God is thinking. The Bible says in Isaiah 55:8-9: "My thoughts are not your thoughts. Your ways aren't my ways. As high as the heaven is above the earth, so high are my thoughts above your thoughts." If He doesn't reveal it, we not only have no right to know it, there's no way we're going to know it. And it's very foolish and presumptuous for us to attempt to know it. What a relief. What a relief not to have to be responsible for all the things God knows.

Our Lord God Acts from A Gracious Heart

It's important for us to understand that when our God does something He acts from a gracious heart. What happens when God does something that hurts you so bad you can hardly lift your eyes? You can hardly function? When the grief is so deep you can't even express it? When God produces that kind of grief in His people, He wants it to flow into worship. If your grief does not flow into worship, it is not righteous grief. The mark of the saint of God is that even though his soul is cast down he hopes in God. The very casting down stirs him to hope more in God. And at his darkest hour he loves the light all the more. And when he fails, even in his grief he looks to God.

And here's one of the tricks of the Devil. You get sad and depressed and down, and you lose your faith. And you see how unbelieving you are, and it makes you want to give up. And the Devil says, "See. You can't even handle problems." But you know what it ought to do, and what it can do as you grow? It'll make you say, "You're right, I can't." It's all the more reason to admire Him who does not grow weary. My flesh and my heart do perennially fail and will continue to, but God. . .

Grief tenderizes the heart. You are obstinate if you don't let grief tenderize you. It reveals the truth of our own condition. Sometimes God can speak to us when we're hurting in a way that we could never hear Him at any other time. How good God is to hurt us. "O Lord, it is good that I have been afflicted. I've learned your law in a way I never would have known it if I hadn't been afflicted."

And God sometimes breaks our heart in order to break our wills and our pride. God has a way of shutting us up. God has a way of stopping our flippancy. God has a way of making us realize we don't have control of anything.

God has a right to do as He will. He does everything right. He acts beyond our comprehension. And He always acts from a gracious heart, not just when we see it, but it's gracious whether we see it or not. What is our response to be then? When we behold God working, how do we respond?

Avoid questioning the wisdom and the grace of God. On the contrary, rejoice in it. The wisdom and the grace of God are to be admired and praised and rejoiced in, not to be questioned. God has the last word, doesn't He?

Recognize gladly the righteousness of all that God does, the power of God to do all He pleases, and the fact that God does it in such a way that often we can't comprehend it. But He always does it out of a gracious heart.

V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave, for a season, his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled;[19] and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.[20]

19. II Chr. 32:25-26, 31; Deut. 8:2-3, 5; Luke 22:31-32; see II Sam. 24:1, 25
20. II Cor. 12:7-9; see Psa. 73:1-28; 77:1-12; Mark 14: 66-72; John 21:15-19
 

crhoades

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by wsw201
Considering the doctrine of Providence, can autonomy really exist in any form?

Sinful men will always repress the thought of God's Providence in unrighteousness and rationalize things away. True autonomy does not exist but pretended autonomy does. In fact that was what happened in the Garden. The devil promised autonomy. You shall be as gods knowing good and evil...God's revelation and commands and life were not good enough for them.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
The above is not be argued. It is clear. Believers should rejoice in all things. However, one should not just sit there scraping our sores with a potsherd.

If God see's fit to afflict one with blisters or even a cancer, it would be as irresonsible for the believer to disregard his options, i.e. chemotherapy.

If God wills that I lose everything, it would be irresponsible for me to sit down and sulk, not consider an option so I can feed my family.

Many times God uses these situation to clarify His will for us. The believer is left with the deciphering of the above. With any cause, there is effect. God command Jonah to go to Nineveh and instead he heads to Tarshish. Lesson learned.

The key is, can anyone really know what God is doing? Maybe I should just sit down and wait? Maybe I should do what I believe God would want me to do? Maybe that's wrong as well???

How is one to know? Practically speaking, it comes down to a level of trial and error. Ultimately, God will use it all to our good.
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by crhoades
Originally posted by wsw201
Considering the doctrine of Providence, can autonomy really exist in any form?

Sinful men will always repress the thought of God's Providence in unrighteousness and rationalize things away. True autonomy does not exist but pretended autonomy does. In fact that was what happened in the Garden. The devil promised autonomy. You shall be as gods knowing good and evil...God's revelation and commands and life were not good enough for them.

So there is no real autonomy but pretend autonomy or self inflicted delusion. But isn't this delusion directed by God for His purpose and His glory?
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by wsw201
Originally posted by crhoades
Originally posted by wsw201
Considering the doctrine of Providence, can autonomy really exist in any form?

Sinful men will always repress the thought of God's Providence in unrighteousness and rationalize things away. True autonomy does not exist but pretended autonomy does. In fact that was what happened in the Garden. The devil promised autonomy. You shall be as gods knowing good and evil...God's revelation and commands and life were not good enough for them.

So there is no real autonomy but pretend autonomy or self inflicted delusion. But isn't this delusion directed by God for His purpose and His glory?

Now my head is spinning :lol:
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by crhoades
Originally posted by wsw201
Considering the doctrine of Providence, can autonomy really exist in any form?

Sinful men will always repress the thought of God's Providence in unrighteousness and rationalize things away. True autonomy does not exist but pretended autonomy does. In fact that was what happened in the Garden. The devil promised autonomy. You shall be as gods knowing good and evil...God's revelation and commands and life were not good enough for them.

The Serpent: "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5).

God: "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" (Genesis 3:22).

The serpent promised that man would be like God, knowing good and evil.

God's response was that man had become like Him, knowing good and evil.

:detective:
 

tdowns

Puritan Board Junior
Awesome!

Thanks Rev., I can always use words of wisdom in this area, I love it, it is like music to my ears, the list someone put up months ago of scripture supporting our Soveriegn God, your words here, the Standards, It brings me such peace in a crazy world of sin, and the crazy mind and body of sin that I live in, that God has it all under control...I flee to this doctrine in times of trouble and find peace.

Thanks for the great words.
:up::up::amen:
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I learned much from my recent study in Job. Its in my head. Now, I'm more than a little worried that God will test me to force the knowledge down into my heart!

Whate'er my God ordains is right:
His holy will abideth;
I will be still whate'er he doth,
And follow where he guideth.
He is my God;
Though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
And so to him I leave it all.

Whate'er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path;
I know he will not leave me.
I take, content,
What he hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait his day.

Whate'er my God ordains is right;
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking.
My God is true;
Each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate'er my God ordains is right:
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken.
My Father's care
Is round me there;
He hold me that I shall not fall:
And so to him I leave it all.

Samuel Rodigast, 1675
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by wsw201
Originally posted by crhoades
Originally posted by wsw201
Considering the doctrine of Providence, can autonomy really exist in any form?

Sinful men will always repress the thought of God's Providence in unrighteousness and rationalize things away. True autonomy does not exist but pretended autonomy does. In fact that was what happened in the Garden. The devil promised autonomy. You shall be as gods knowing good and evil...God's revelation and commands and life were not good enough for them.

So there is no real autonomy but pretend autonomy or self inflicted delusion. But isn't this delusion directed by God for His purpose and His glory?

I would say yes, all of it will bring God glory and is directed by him. However, how will/can we ever know what is illusion or what is actual truth. I would say that is one of the secret things of God. At this point in my life, aside from direct positive commands, I am totally flying on the seat of my pants in many ways.


[Edited on 10-21-2005 by Scott Bushey]
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
"Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to Thee? I lay my hand on my mouth. Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; Even twice, and I will add no more."

[Edited on 10-21-2005 by BaptistInCrisis]
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Originally posted by Scott Bushey
The above is not be argued. It is clear. Believers should rejoice in all things. However, one should not just sit there scraping our sores with a potsherd.

If God see's fit to afflict one with blisters or even a cancer, it would be as irresonsible for the believer to disregard his options, i.e. chemotherapy.

If God wills that I lose everything, it would be irresponsible for me to sit down and sulk, not consider an option so I can feed my family.

Many times God uses these situation to clarify His will for us. The believer is left with the deciphering of the above. With any cause, there is effect. God command Jonah to go to Nineveh and instead he heads to Tarshish. Lesson learned.

The key is, can anyone really know what God is doing? Maybe I should just sit down and wait? Maybe I should do what I believe God would want me to do? Maybe that's wrong as well???

How is one to know? Practically speaking, it comes down to a level of trial and error. Ultimately, God will use it all to our good.
Good article on the issue of healing by Dr. C. Everett Koop:
http://www.modernreformation.org/cekfaithhealing.htm

[Edited on 10-21-2005 by SemperFideles]
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top