Sometimes it’s a book, sometimes it’s a chapter, other times it’s a paragraph and once in a while, it’s just a sentence that captivates our thoughts and changes our perspective…helping us to see the “unseen”. For me, it was a sentence:
“God’s providence is His protection.”
We know God’s plans are for our good, we know God’s plans bring Him glory, and we know we can trust Him…but do we always recognize that God’s plans also protect us? After reading that sentence, I started thinking about the ways God’s providence protects us and I came up with three:
- God’s providence protects us from guilt over the past.
- God’s providence protects us from discontentment in the present.
- God’s providence protects us from worry over the future.
No matter what we have gone through or even what has been done to us, all of it went through God’s hands first. For the believer, the ashes of our past are the fertile soil for the fruit He is bearing in our lives, by His grace. What about our sin? The penalty was paid for by Christ’s death. He despised the shame, and so can we. All our guilt was swallowed up in the victory of the cross! God’s providence protects us from living in guilt over our past.
Another gift of God’s providence is that it protects us from discontentment right now. His sovereign care over every detail, as He works all things together for our good and His glory, drives our hearts to rest, both in what He gives and what He withholds. In his book, Look and Live, Matt Papa beautifully describes God’s providence this way:
“Look at His torn and battered flesh, and know that He will answer your every request with infinite tenderness and wisdom. Hear Him groaning in agony, and know that if you ask Him for bread, He will give it, and if you ask Him for a stone, He will not give it. Hallelujah! I have asked God for so many stones and snakes in my life and He has only given me bread. Hallelujah, what a Savior! Fall in the dust and know you are loved and that whatever you have is exactly what you need.”
He ends that section with a quote by Spurgeon:
“Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, Divine Love would have put you there.”
Lastly, God’s providential protection guards us from worry over the future. Our Heavenly Father knows what we need. Romans 8:32 is a precious balm for our souls:
“He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?”
God sacrificed His own Son to meet our greatest need…how can we worry over His ability to meet, with sufficient grace, every moment that is to come? In her book, He Will Hold Me Fast, Connie Dever encouraged my heart with what she shared about Ephesians 3:20:
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”
She writes, “The bad news about God being able to do exceedingly more than I can imagine is that I will not be able to lean upon my own understanding as He is doing the wonderful thing that only He can do. There will be many times when it looks like He is NOT doing more than we asked for or imagined…or as much as we asked for or imagined….Or even anything at all like what we asked for or imagined. But that shouldn’t put us off! What do we expect if God is going to work in such huge ways?! God and His plans for His people are so purely good that instead of being discouraged when they veer so far from what we thought, we can dare by faith to thank Him in advance for what amazing things He has planned. And that is the very very good news!”
May we be those who joyfully rest in and give thanks for the protection God has given and continues to give through His providence…yesterday, today, and forever!
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8