The Mystery of God’s Providence

Sermon Outline:

  • Definition of God’s Providence – God’s continual care, absolute rule over all creation, directing all these things for His own glory and for the good of His people.
  • God’s Providence is linked to His Character – He is Just, Holy, Good.
  • If God’s Providence is good, why are there still sufferings in this world? (Romans 8:18), recall Paul’s sufferings and his thorn in the flesh
    • Thought: Had there been instances where you blamed God for the thorns in your flesh? Reflect on those times and find comfort that in all things God purposes only good for His people
  • We see the Providence of God, and we see the God of Providence
  • Think about the metamorphosis of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly – multiple transformations that happen within that cycle – it is not by chance or miraculous, but by the Providence of God
  • God’s Providence is always working in our lives – recall the story of George Muller (refer to infographics for more details)
  • The account of Esau and Isaac’s blessing (Genesis 27) – everyone sinned, yet God’s Will was accomplished in spite of the scheming of deceitful men
  • God cares for us by overruling over all circumstances and events that affect us, bringing them all together to accomplish His purposes for His glory and for our good.
    • Recall: Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Four reasons why God’s Providence is mysterious:

  1. God’s use of second forces
    • Example – Evangelism, Giving away tracts
    • God is directing our responses; God has purposed in things that seem contrary to His Will – look beyond the secondary cause to see God’s Hand working in us.
    • Thought: Good circumstances in our lives may dim the glory and sovereignty of God and place emphasis on the things that we have done and all the effort we have put in. Have you firstly thanked God and gave Him the praise and glory that He deserves for something that went well?
  2. God works through the free choices that man makes
    • God works through our wills and does not impose on our wills – to bring about His own Will, that we may freely do what He sovereignly wants us to do. God’s Sovereignty – Proverbs 21:1, Ezra 1:1 and Isaiah 45:1
    • We know that in the fullness of God’s Time, He is in control – of our lives (Isaiah 26:12)
  3. God’s ways are beyond our ways
    • Isaiah 55:8-9 – There is an infinite gap between what we think and what God thinks (Romans 11:33-34). God’s mysterious plan for Abraham (Genesis 12) and Paul (Acts 24:27).
    • Thought: Sometimes we often forget who God is and how minute we are, and that leads to us being more in control of how we want things to be and not how God wants them to be. Rather, allow God to lead you in every step of your life, for He knows what’s best for you.  
  4. God’s plans are often left unexplained
    • God does not need to explain His plan to us, for we would be unable to comprehend the depth of His thoughts. But more importantly, we are assured that God is always at work in our lives.

Reflection for the Unsaved: God has a purpose in each and every one of us, and God provides such opportunities for you to know who Christ is, and what He has done for you.

Reflection for the Saved: Are the events in our lives conforming us more and more into the image of Jesus Christ? (Zechariah 13:9) Allow God to refine and purify us to be more Christ-like, that He may accomplish His purposes for His glory, and for the good of His people.