Providence: The Penultimate Word

“Be still and know that I am God (Ps 46:10).” To follow this imperative is to have peace that passes all understanding. Knowing Christ is knowing God and knowing the attributes of God, as seen in Christ, we also see the all-wise, all-powerful God at work. God is and God does…and it comes to pass.

The world is incessantly unsettled. Men cry out, “Peace, peace!” There is no peace, for the god of this world is a deceiver and destroyer (Jn 8:44; 2 Cor 4:4). Satan and his minions are troublers to all people. God’s Word assures us of his doom.

The Victor is Christ Jesus, who has overcome the world. Our trust is in His perfections, for He alone is the God-man, who has taken away the sin of the world and saved His people from their sins (Mt 1:21; Jn 1:29). Forgiven, by the precious blood of Jesus, shed for us, we too, live victorious over the world system — by faith in Him, who always leads us in His triumph (2 Cor 2:14).

There is no variableness nor shadow of turning (Jas 1:17), for our God does not change (Mal 3:6). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). Moreover, He reigns omnipotent (Ps 96:10; Rev 19:6) from His throne in heavenly Zion, the New Jerusalem and city of our God (Rev 21–22).

God’s eternal will (Eph 1:11), derived from His eternal good pleasure (Ps 46:10; Phil 2:13), is executed in time by His providence. Being the Alpha and Omega, our Eternal God is ever-present at all points in time. He is working His will and Christians can see His ascending glory like the rising of the morning sun.

The promise of Jesus to His disciples is that in the world, that is, the world of darkness, we will have trouble, as did His apostles and all who have gone before us as saints. Having been called according to His eternal purpose (Rom 8:28), we know that God is accomplishing all that concerns us (Ps 57:2; 138:8). We have the promises of His Word, and we have the testimonies of His faithfulness in all generations. We, too, bear witness that He has done great things for us. In this, He has made us glad.

The reprobate unbeliever does not share this (effectual) calling, for he does not belong to Christ and will never be found hid with Christ in God (Col 3:3). He has no fruit of the Spirit because he has not the Spirit of Christ, and he who does not have the Son does not have life, that is, the life of God in his soul.

With no regeneration of the Spirit, which is the reason he has no faith, the man of the world walks in darkness and he loves the darkness because his deeds are evil (Jn 3:19). This man is a slave to sin (Rom 6:6), and God made him for the day of evil (Prv 16:4). He occupies himself with the matters of this world, including the sensual pleasures to cope with the hardships afforded to him to restrain evil.

Christian, have you counted your blessings, today, in Christ Jesus? All of them are found in Him who sits in the heavens and does as He pleases (Ps 115:3; 135:6) with all authority in heaven and on earth (Mt 28:18). It is the Lord who directs our steps, and for this reason, we must acknowledge Him, as the One who lives in us, willing and doing His good pleasure (Prv 3:5–6; Gal 2:20; Phil 2:13).

The hope and future afforded to us should never be forgotten nor forsaken because it is God’s gift to us. God has given us the Spirit of His Son as a gift. It is the Spirit who teaches us the Word of truth that sets us free from sin and sets us apart from the world (Jn 8:32; 14:27).

It is a discipline from God our Father (Heb 12:4–11) when hardships come to us in His providence. As His beloved children, we suffer that sin might be held at bay. His motive is always love from a pure heart. He sees. He knows us, and He knows what is best for us. Nothing in His gracious providence is neutral in His work of sanctifying each saint. His grace is always sufficient to perform the task that adds to one’s holiness. It all works together for good (Rom 8:28).

In being angry with the wicked all day (Ps 7:11), every day, the Lord gives the reprobate more of the world as a curse. Good gifts to the unrighteous cannot be enjoyed by them because they refuse to acknowledge God as the Giver of every good and perfect gift, nor do they give Him thanks (Rom 1:18). Whatever the wicked gain, they boast in their achievement. Whatever they have, they claim as their own. They are never content nor satisfied. This is a curse from God. With envy they look at their neighbor. With lust they covet and steal. In the spirit of greed, they want more and more.

Christian, behold your deliverance from these sins. Yes, sin flares in your flesh and it will do so until the death of your body. Who will you turn to on your day of temptation? There is only one Deliverer who is willing and able to mortify your sinful passions. Keep your eyes fixed on Him.

God has given you His Spirit. His Spirit works by the means of grace. Your holiness is by grace, alone. Are you lacking? Call out to God for help. That is a means of grace. Are you lax? Find a small group Bible study. That is a means of grace. Are you strong? Be bold with your public witness of Christ and the ensuing persecution for doing this will humble you. This is grace upon grace, and it abounds because our God reigns.

In conclusion, if God has made you to be a Christian, then do not hold back from doing the good works prepared beforehand by God for you to do in the power and wisdom of His Spirit (Eph 2:10). He began this good work — you — and He will finish it (Phil 1:6). This is from His Word of promise, regarding His work of providence. If He has made you able to understand and enjoy providence, then give thanks for this and rejoice.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

August 24, 2021

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher