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The Pilgrim Path (9-12-2020)

The Pilgrim Path---Psalm 145: 17 (9—12—20)

“The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.”

PROVIDENCE

A godly gentleman in the second church that I served, gave his daughter and son-in-law quite a few gifts at their wedding. Perhaps the most remarkable: A journal that contained over 400 instances of answered prayer in his life (dates and circumstances), testifying to the amazing faithfulness of God---and incredible love of Jesus Christ for His own. He wanted this couple to know that they might “look” to Jesus in all things. He wanted them to “look” for Him in all of life---and to consider writing down His wonderful engagements on “their” behalf. The Puritan John Flavel encouraged journaling for just such a reason. We forget matters. We find ourselves in struggles and wonder, “How will these knots ever get untied?” The LORD in His good time---does wondrous things---often past our understanding---for the benefit of His People.

SHORTER CATECHISM--- Question 11

What are God’s works of providence?

Answer. God’s works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.

From John Flavel: If providence delays the performance of any mercy to you that you have long waited and prayed for, yet see that you do not despond, nor grow weary of waiting upon God for that reason. First, the delay of your mercies is really for your advantage. You read, “yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you” (Isaiah 30: 18). What is that? Why, it is nothing else but the time of his preparation of mercies for you, and your hearts for mercy. That so you may have it with the greatest advantage of comfort. The foolish child would pluck the apple while it is green; but when it is ripe, it drops of its own accord and is more pleasant and wholesome.

Here are several biblical principles concerning “providence,” from Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, recorded in the last chapter of his work entitled, “The Mystery of Providence in The Devoted Life---An Invitation to the Puritan Classics” (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004) 222-3

---God is in control of his universe

---God is working out his perfect purposes

---God is not my servant

---God’s ways are far more mysterious and wonderful than I can understand

---God is good---all the time; I can trust him---all the time

---God’s timetable is not the same as mine

---God is far more interested in what I become than in what I do

---Freedom from suffering is not part of the promise of the Christian gospel

---Suffering is an integral part of the Christian life

---God works through suffering to fulfill his purpose in me

---God’s purposes, not mine, are what bring him glory

---God guides me by enabling me to read his Providences through the lens of His WORD

---I have few greater pleasures than tracking the wonders of God’s ways

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

William Cowper, 1774

Grace and Peace in Jesus Christ Our LORD, Pastor Jason