One of the most comforting doctrines that I have grasped in my brief time here on the earth is that of the providence of God. Many people when they are afflicted with depression or panic or grief only think of "getting through the present." Now that is an important thing to do, but our endurance much not be in a stoical sense but in God's power enabling you to persevere in trials and distresses.
We must persevere with an understanding that the Lord is in control of all the circumstances and events of our lives. I would like to give you a description of providence found in the Westminster Shorter Catechism and then quote the most quoted preacher in the Western world, Charles Spurgeon.
I am reading through Spurgeon's Expository Encyclopedia, published by Baker Book House. You can also read all of these sermons on line at ethereal library and/or Spurgeon's gem's quotes. These quotes came to me by way of Exploring the mind and heart of Spurgeon .http://www.spurgeon.us/mind_and_heart/quotes/g.htm#providence
The Westminster Catechism says,
The works of providence are …. God’s most holy, wise and power preserving and governing of all His creatures and all their actions. (Westminster Shorter Catechism)
that he observes the flight of sparrows, and counts the hairs of his people’s heads.
Besides, everything is so little to him, that, if he does not care for the little, he cares
There is as much providence in the creeping of an aphis upon a rose leaf as in the
marching of an army to ravage a continent.
Believer, if your inheritance be a lowly one you should be satisfied with your earthly
portion; for you may rest assured that it is the fittest for you. Unerring wisdom
ordained your lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition.
You shall find books and sermons everywhere, in the land and in the sea, in the earth
and in the skies, and you shall learn from every living beast, and bird, and fish, and
insect, and from every useful or useless plant that springs out of the ground.
It is always providence when it is a good thing. But why is it not a providence when
it does not happen to be just as we please? Surely it is so; for if the one thing be
ordered by God, so is the other.
Blessed is the man who sees God in trifles! It is there that it is the hardest to see
him; but he who believes that God is there, may go from the little providence up to
the God of providence.
To gather up all in one, the calamities of earthquake, the devastations of storm, the
extirpations of war, and all the terrible catastrophes of plague, have only been
co-workers with God—slaves compelled to tug the galley of the divine purpose
across the sea of time.
Why, look, sirs; suppose for a moment there were some great performance going on,
and you should step in in the middle of it and see one actor upon the stage for a
moment, and you should say, “Yes, I understand it,” what a simpleton you would be!
Do you not know that the great transactions of providence began near six thousand
years ago? and you have only stepped into this world for thirty or forty years, and
seen one actor on the stage, and you say you understand it.
The insatiable archer is not permitted to shoot his bolts at random—every arrow that
flies bears this inscription, “I have a message from God for thee.
To take the sacred picture of providence, and, with our eye-glass, look at the canvass
inch by inch, is practically to see nothing; but to view the work of the Divine Artist as
a whole, with all its lights and shades, and all the fair proportions which manifest the
matchless skill—this is to see indeed. The fault of us all is this: that we judge
Providence by the moment, instead of regarding it in its true magnitude, stretched
upon the framework of that eternal love which knows neither beginning nor end.
The Lord cannot be unkind to me in providence; for it is impossible that he can
forsake those whose names are graven upon the palms of his hands. 1110.261
He causes the wheel of providence to revolve in such a manner as to help his cause;
he abridges the power of tyrants, overrules the scourge of war, establishes liberty in
nations, opens the mysteries of continents long unknown, breaks down systems of
error, and guides the current of human thought. He works by a thousand means,
preparing the way of the Lord. 1388.686
If we turn to Providence, the history of nations, the history of the church, what
centuries of wonders pass before us! It is said that wise men wonder only once, and
that is always; fools never wonder, because they are fools. He that looks for a
providence will not be long without seeing one.
When you have looked at creation, remember providence, which is a prolongation of
the creative act. The power which made all things upholds them.The very thing we regret most in providence will probably be that in which we shall
rejoice most in eternity.
A good man once went to a certain place to meet his son. Both his son and himself
had ridden from some distance. When the son arrived, he exclaimed, “Oh father! I
had such a providence on the road.” “Why, what was that?” “My horse stumbled
six times, and yet I was not thrown.” “Dear me!” said his father, “But I have had a
providence too.” “And what was that?” “Why, my horse never stumbled at all, and
that is just as much a providence as if the horse had stumbled six times, and I had
not been thrown.
Hence it is most important for us to learn that the smallest trifles are as much
arranged by the God of providence as the most startling events. He who counts the
stars also has numbered the hairs of our heads.
He who believes in God must believe this truth. There is no standing point between
this and atheism. There is no half way between an almighty God who works all
things according to the good pleasure of his own will and no god at all. A god who
cannot do as he pleases,—a god whose will is frustrated, is not a God, and cannot be
a God; I could not believe in such a god as that.