Providence: the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power.
“They found their trust in divine providence to be a source of comfort”
|fate, destiny, nemesis, kismet, God’s will, divine intervention, predestination, predetermination, the stars; More
one’s lot (in life);
“a life mapped out by providence”
God or nature as providing protective or spiritual care.
“I live out my life as Providence decrees”
Timely preparation for future eventualities.
“It was considered a duty to encourage providence”
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 11, 1858, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
At the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”–Mt 10:30
DURING THIS WEEK my mind has been much directed to the subject of Providence, and you will not wonder when I relate a portion of one day’s story. I was engaged to preach last Wednesday at Halifax, where there was a heavy snow storm. Preparations had been made for a congregation of 8000 persons, and a huge wooden structure had been erected. I considered that owing to the severe weather, few persons could possibly assemble, and I looked forward to the dreary task of addressing an insignificant handful of people in a vast place. However, when I arrived, I found from 5000 to 6000 people gathered together to hear the Word; and a more substantial looking place it has not been my lot to see. It certainly was a huge uncomely building, but, nevertheless, it seemed well adapted to answer the purpose. We met together in the afternoon and worshipped God, and again in the evening, and we separated to our homes, or rather, we were about to separate, and all this while the kind providence of God was watching over us. Immediately in front of me there was a huge gallery, which looked an exceedingly massive structure, capable of holding 2000 persons. This, in the afternoon, was crowded, and it seemed to stand as firm as a rock. Again in the evening there it stood, and neither moved nor shook. But mark the provident hand of God: in the evening, when the people were about to retire, and when there was scarcely more than a hundred persons there, a huge beam gave way, and down came a portion of the flooring of the gallery with a fearful crash. Several persons were precipitated with the planks, but still the good hand of God watched over us, and only two persons were severely injured with broken legs, which it is trusted will be re-set without the necessity of amputation. Now, had this happened any earlier, not only must many more have been injured, but there are a thousand chances to one, as we say, that a panic must necessarily have ensued similar to that which we still remember, and deplore as having occurred in this place. Had such a thing occurred, and had I been the unhappy preacher on the occasion, I feel certain that I should never have been able to occupy the pulpit again. Such was the effect of the first calamity, that I marvel that I ever survived. No human tongue can possibly tell what I experienced. The Lord, however, graciously preserved us; the fewness of the people in the gallery prevented any such catastrophe, and thus a most fearful accident was averted. But we have a more marvellous providence still to record. Overloaded by the immense weight of snow which fell upon it, and beaten by a heavy wind, the entire building fell with an enormous crash three hours after we had left it, splitting the huge timbers into shivers, and rendering very much of the material utterly useless for any future building. Now mark this–had the snow begun three hours earlier, the building must have fallen upon us, and how few of us would have escaped we cannot guess. But mark another thing. All day long it thawed so fast, that the snow as it fell seemed to leave a mass, not of white snow, but of snow and water together. This ran through the roof upon us, to our considerable annoyance, and I was almost ready to complain that we had hard dealing from God’s providence. But if it had been a frost instead of a thaw, you can easily perceive that the place must have fallen several hours beforehand, and then your minister, and the greater part of his congregation, would probably have been in the other world. Some there may be who deny providence altogether. I cannot conceive that there were any partakers of the scene who could have done so. This I know, if I had been an unbeliever to this day in the doctrine of the supervision and wise care of God, I must have been a believer in it at this hour. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together; he hath been very gracious unto us, and remembered us for good.
Can you think of an example where God has placed you and has either been in the situation and circumstances or has placed you to be the witness to plant a seed, water a seed or even lead someone to Christ? Would you say this is God’s Providence? I know I am not in control.
Here is a story from a friend of mine. He was driving to work and got a flat tire. He was angry and started to ask God, “Why”. But he remember what Henry Blackaby was teaching in the Experience God study we were in, God is at work. God speaks to us. There is a crisis of belief and we must adjust to it to see God work. So he thought God what am I supposed to do. Before long a man stopped and gave him a left to the store so he could get what he needed to fix his flat tire. At the store he was able to witness to another man because he was now calm and he did not understand why he was not furious. He begin to see that the flat tire was to get him to the store to witness to someone who was seeking God and he was the closes vessel that He could get for the job.
What if you looked at things from this point of view? He is a Biblical example Joseph. Do you think Joseph wanted to become a slave then a prisoner for 13 years? Do you think his goal was to be second in command of Egypt? God was with Him through it all and blessed whatever he was involved in.
Now if you look at providence. You can stir up many questions. Why did Jacob send Joseph to his brothers? His brothers were supposed to be in Shechem but they went to Dothan. Why did they go to Dothan? His brothers ended up throwing him into a pit which was close enough to a highway. Why did the Ishmaelites come by before Joseph’s older brother Ruben could come back and set him free? Why were the Ishmaelites and the Midianites going to Egypt south instead of going north to purchase their merchandise? We can go on with such questions but why? It is God’s Providence after all. What if my friend had decided not to take the Experiencing God class with us? What if he left his house at a different time? Or the man who gave him a ride to the store took a different route? Or the man he ended up witnessing to did not stop at that store?
God’s Providence is always on time and every cog is turning in a way that God will can be done.
Do you want to see God work around you and see the wonders of His Providence? If you said yes, than you need to look at each moment is a spiritual realm and stay connected to God.
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