Painful Providences

stormy_seas_of_an_earth_like_moon_by_xsereneix-d57uorsPastor, keep your old sermon manuscripts. When your days in the pulpit are over, the words you once wrote may very well be the needed help to preach truth to yourself. As I look into my archives, preparing old material for new uses, I came across this much needed reminder. On Psalm 119:91, I wrote, and later proclaimed:

God bows to no one or no thing; God is subservient to no thing. Whether that thing is as small as a particle of dust, as big as seemingly insurmountable circumstances, or is the result of sin with ripple effects far and wide, it makes no difference. God reigns over all things; all things serve Him. In the boat of life, when storms and sorrows come, it is a tremendous source of comfort knowing that “all things,” including our afflictions, as painful as they might be, are not outside His sovereign rule and governance. They are not random occurrences over which God has no control. With a commanding word, He is able to rebuke the storm and hush the wind and the waves. Stormy providences are merely the servants of a merciful and loving God who loves His own not to make much of them, but to humble them. I can think of no greater place where we make much of God and nothing of ourselves than on our knees pleading for mercy in the midst of a painful providence.

“By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants” (Psalm 119:91. ESV).  Amen.