THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD by Don Fortner
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Divine providence is the daily, constant, sovereign rule of our God over all things for the accomplishment of His eternal purpose of grace in predestination.
Predestination is the sovereign, eternal, immutable, unalterable purpose of God almighty, by which He ordained and ordered, according to His own will and good pleasure, all things that come to pass in time.
Divine providence is the accomplishment of God’s sovereign will and purpose. Providence is God bringing to pass in time (sovereignly, absolutely, and perfectly) what He purposed in eternity. Predestination is God’s purpose. Providence is God’s execution of His purpose.
Nothing in the universe happens by luck, chance, fortune, or accident, or by blind fate. Everything that comes to pass in time was purposed by our God in eternity, and is brought to pass by His wise, adorable, good Providence. Nothing comes to pass in time that God did not purpose in eternity, in sovereign predestination. Nothing comes to pass in time except that which God sovereignly brings to pass in His Providence. And that which God predestinated in eternity and brings to pass in His Providence is for the good of His elect, and the glory of His name. This is clearly and incontrovertibly the teaching of Holy Scripture (Ps. 76:10; Pro. 16:4, 9, 33; 21:1; Dan. 4:34, 35, 37; Isa. 46:9-11; Rom. 11:33-36).
Providence is God’s government of the universe. If we have a proper view of God’s Providence, we will see the hand of God and the heart of God in everything, in all the experiences of our lives. Believers ascribe their sorrows, the judgments of God, and even the cursing of their enemies to the hand of their heavenly Father’s wise and good Providence (Job 1:21; 1 Sam. 3:18; 2 Sam. 16:11-12).
God is not idle. He never needs to rest, recuperate, or regroup! God almighty, our God and heavenly Father, is always at work, governing the world. I have frequently heard preachers and religious leaders speak of sickness, poverty and war, sin, crime and cruelty, famine, earthquakes and death, as things over which God has no control. Nonsense!
God’s Providence is as ‘minute’ as it is ‘mysterious’ (Matt. 10:30). Our God has ordained the number of hairs on the heads of all. Not even a worthless sparrow falls to the ground without His decree. God’s Providence is ‘all inclusive.’ God rules everything, great and small, everywhere, and at all times. Our God is in control of all inanimate matter. He who created all things rules all things.
Nothing in God’s universe breathes or wiggles contrary to God’s decree (Isaiah 46:9-13).
As a wise, skilled pharmacist mixes medicine, our heavenly Father wisely mixes exactly the right measure of bitter things and sweet, to do us good. Too much joy would intoxicate us. Too much misery would drive us to despair. Too much sorrow would crush us. Too much suffering would break our spirits. Too much pleasure would ruin us. Too much defeat would discourage us. Too much success would puff us up. Too much failure would keep us from doing anything. Too much criticism would harden us. Too much praise would exalt us. Our great God knows exactly what we need. His Providence is wisely designed and sovereignly sent for our good! Let Him therefore send and do what He will. By His grace, if we are His, we will face it, bow to it, accept it, and give thanks for it.
God’s Providence is always executed in the ‘wisest manner’ possible. We are often unable to see and understand the reasons and causes for specific events in our lives, in the lives of others, or in the history of the world. But our lack of understanding does not prevent us from believing God. We bow to His will, which is evident in His works of Providence, and say, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!”
The God of Providence rules all things well. How we ought to trust Him! Ever remember, our heavenly Father is God all wise, good, and omnipotent. He is too wise to err, too good to do wrong, and too strong to fail.
[Taken from pages 284-287 of Grace Gems Collection 2001. It can be downloaded FREE from http://www.gracegems.org/bookstore.htm]