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 (Rom 8:28).
What more can be said of our God's perfect, wise and good providence? Has He not made an overabundant and rich provision for His people? Yet, in spite of this scripture about God's divine rule and perpetual care, I find believers have five common problems preventing us from fully trusting and rejoicing in our great and gracious God and Savior.
1. We have entirely too many fears for a people to whom the Lord God has said Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God (Isa 41:10). Why can't we believe God? David did. He wrote I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD makest me dwell in safety (Ps 4:8). Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Ps 23:4). Has not God promised to never leave you nor forsake you? So why do I fear the future?
2. We have far too much anxiety and worry about earthly, material things for a people to whom the Son of God has said consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin (Mt 6:28-30). My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Php 4:19). Therefore take no thought ... after these things the Gentiles seek, but seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mt 6:31-34). Has not God promised to supply all my need? So why do I worry about earthly provisions?
3. We have far too many doubts concerning God's mercy, love, and grace for a people to whom the Lord Jesus Christ said all that the Father gives me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out (Jn 6:37). On what grounds do I call into question the mercy, love and grace of God? Shall the God of heaven fail to keep His promise? He explicitly said, I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand (John 10:28). He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life (John 3:36). I believe God. I have life. It is the height of arrogant presumption to call into question the promise of God. Saul of Tarsus was a sinner, just like us - and saved by grace, just like us. He didn't question God's promise. He wrote, I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able (2Tim 1:12). There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. If God be for us, who is he that condemneth? (Rom 8:1,31,34). I shouldn't question His grace because of my sin - His grace super abounds where sin is found. I shouldn't suspect His mercy because I don't deserve mercy - His mercy is for the undeserving. I shouldn't doubt His faithfulness because of my unfaithfulness - His faithfulness stands forever. If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself (2Tim 2:13). So why doubt God's promises of mercy?
4. We spend entirely too much time grumbling and complaining about our trials and troubles for a people to whom the Lord Jesus has said in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer (Jn 16:33a). We shouldn't be surprised when trouble comes our way. We ought to be surprised when it doesn't! Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you (1Pe 4:12). Behold, I have refined thee; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction (Isa 48:10). Our trials are nothing to what others have endured. Our sorrows are nothing compared to the Son of Man's, Who was a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief. We bear only a light affliction, which is but for a moment (2Cor 4:17-18). So why am I dismayed when trials come?
5. We have entirely too much attachment to this world, this present life, for a people to whom God has told the world passeth away, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever (1Jn 2:17). We know that if our earthly house were dissolved, we have a building of God (2Cor 5:1). Believers long to be with Christ. Yet it seems so difficult for us to tear loose from this world. Has not the Lord Jesus told us to look for the coming of the day of God, when the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? So why cling to this world?
Consider how our God has answered your petitions this past year; and also reflect upon your distress and anxiety during that period of time, while it's fresh in your mind. Will you not consider it to have been needless worry? We have a God who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us (2Cor 1:10).
(Adapted from Pas. Henry T. Mahan)
Question -- what do you find to be your challenge to overcome this year, for which God has already provided you great and exceeding precious promises?
Like this? Consider sharing it to Facebook by clicking the linked icon below.