Monday, September 6, 2010

The Mystery of Providence

John Flavel wrote a wonderful book, The Mystery of Providence, to show how God works all things for His own glory and the good of His people.  It was first published in 1678, and is probably the finest work on this subject.  In the next few days I’ll share with you what has made it one of my favorite books.  The subject itself is provocative, and yet so encouraging.  Flavel wrote: “It is a great support and solace to the saints in all their distresses, that there is a wise Spirit setting all the wheels of providence in motion.  He governs the most irregular creatures and their most destructive designs to a blessed and happy outcome.  It would not be worth living in a world devoid of God and providence.”  That last sentence is amazing!  It is worthy of a few hours of serious thought alone!  Read it again: “It would not be worth living in a world devoid of God and providence.”  A world that was not fashioned by an intelligent creator has no purpose.  There is no meaning to our lives in a universe ruled by blind chance.  We should be so thankful that God does govern His creation with a good purpose, and that He has revealed that purpose to us.  Flavel held that, “All the issues of providence are beneficial to the saints.  How cheering, supporting, and encouraging is the consideration of these things!  What life and hope it inspires in our hearts and prayers when great pressures lie upon us!”  More tomorrow, God willing. 

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