These past weeks, I, Pastor Justin, have experienced our family getting Covid-19, being quarantined, preaching a sermon on video for our church meeting without me, along with regular life stuff. I am very thankful for the ministry of the word of God with which I have been blessed throughout my life which has built me up for times such as this. His word is living and active and cuts through my heart even when it is tough and blinded. Here a few simple facts that have encouraged me:
Facts: the God who became incarnate and who kept the law for me and died for my sins is risen and alive. Yet, what might warm my heart more than these beautiful historic truths is that this God is not far and away secluded on the outer banks of his creation somewhere and only known via history books…but He is actively governing my life and all the other people, places, and things he has made. Placing these two truths together means that the powerful hands who uphold the heavens and earth and all its creatures are the same hands throughout all terrors we encounter are the hands were pierced and bear the marks of his own terror–the cross. May you enjoy these two catechism questions from the Heidelberg Catechism.
27. Q. What do you mean by the providence of God?
A. The almighty and everywhere present power of God, whereby, as it were by his hand, he still upholds heaven, earth, and all creatures, and so governs them that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, all things, come not by chance but by his fatherly hand.
28. Q. What does it profit us to know that God has created, and by his providence still upholds, all things?
A. That we may be patient in adversity, thankful in prosperity, and with a view to the future may have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that no creature shall separate us from his love, since all creatures are so in his hand that without his will they cannot so much as move.
For further encouragement, look up the following scripture passages from which the authors drew their summary of the doctrine of God’s providence and its benefits: Jeremiah 23:23-24; Acts 17:24-28; Hebrews 1:3; Jeremiah 5:24; Acts 14:15-17; John 9:3; Proverbs 22:2; 16:33; Matthew 10:29; Job 1:21-22; Psalm 39:10; James 1:3; Deuteronomy 8:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Psalm 55:22; Romans 5:3-5; 8:38-39; job 1:12; 2:6; Proverbs 21:1; Acts 17:24-28.
What benefits do you experience from knowing God’s providence?