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  • J. Randal Matheny 7:16 pm on 2017-03-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , providence   

    God works to create dependence 

    God works in the life of his saints to strip away all false sense of power and ability to cope. He drives us to a single-minded dependence upon his providence. He nurtures in us, by experiences and trials, that clarity of mind that, instead of reacting with panic, turns automatically to trust in his care. He demonstrates that he continues to uphold his people as he has in the past, still fulfilling his promises—not that we should expect miracles, like those done by the Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles, but that we must by all means know that he never fails to supply our needs and to equip us for his work in this world.

    • Karen 11:00 am on 2017-03-09 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve learned that, for myself, peace only comes in a difficult situation when I have fully given everything totally to God, and I depend on Him for the strength and ability to get through it. When I think that I alone have the power to handle a problem, I usually fail. God is my anchor. He keeps me spiritually and emotionally safe if I trust him with everything.

      • J. Randal Matheny 3:24 pm on 2017-03-09 Permalink | Reply

        Amen to that, Karen!

        • James McFerrin 7:55 pm on 2017-03-11 Permalink | Reply

          Note to Kathy: In reply to your recent request on my post of Mar. 11, please email me ntpromsie@gmail.com.

          • James McFerrin 7:58 pm on 2017-03-11 Permalink | Reply

            Correction: Karen. I could not get my reply to you to go through on my post.

  • Ron Thomas 12:00 pm on 2017-02-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , providence   

    Pride and Destruction (Word to the Wise) 

    Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18, NKJV). “Pride” is one word in our English language that is both good and bad. For instance, when one says, “I am proud of my grandchildren because they graduated with honors from high school.” One does not hear this is any negative sort of way. The word “pride” in this proverb means, “an inordinate self-esteem, conceit” (Webster’s 1451). This is perfectly illustrated in the story of Esther, where Haman was so consumed with himself and his defeat of Esther’s guardian, Mordecai, that he failed to see clearly that his plans for the queen’s fatherly figure was actually a trap he laid for himself. P-R-I-D-E equals personalridicule toward other individuals wherein one’s personal destruction of ego is forthcoming! How’s that for a definition! However one might try to describe p-r-i-d-e, it will surely lead to a downfall! RT


  • Eugene Adkins 4:26 pm on 2012-03-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , providence   

    “Round and round she goes….” 

    No doubt Joseph felt like his life was going in circles on more than one occasion. Get rewarded, get punished! Get rewarded, get punished! Read Genesis 37:12-36 and all of chapters 39 and 40 and you can definitely see the circular pattern there.

    But one thing that Joseph didn’t see, at least until later, was how God was using these “walking in circles” moments in his life to bring him “full circle” before it was all said and done. When speaking to the very betraying brothers who started the whole pattern, Joseph said, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)

    When we are introduced to Joseph in chapter 37, Joseph has some dreams. Before we leave Joseph in chapter 50, the dreams become a reality. Joseph didn’t get to where he was in relation to his brothers in a straight line, but with the help of God, he made it.

    So, the next time you feel like your walk of faith toward Heaven seems to be taking you in circle after circle after circle and you want to quit, remember – there’s a difference in “walking in circles” and “coming full circle.” We just have to wait around long enough to see it played out.

    These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them,embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them…22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.” (Hebrews 11:13-16, 22)

  • Richard Mansel 1:46 pm on 2011-04-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , providence   

    Perspectives on Providence 

    God is able to work in our lives in ways that are beyond our capabilities to understand. Through providence, God acts in this world to accomplish his will. He is always moving forward with his plans (Revelation 4-5).

    When providence is in motion, we cannot see it working around us because God’s worktable is larger than the universe. We just know he is still there for us (Hebrews13:5). We have to trust that he is involved and always good (Hebrews 11:6; Titus 1:2; 1 John 1:5).

    We need to step back and consider some important thoughts on providence, so we will not be disappointed and allow Satan to turn us against God.

    First, God never promised us that the Christian life would be painless (Matthew 6:34). We will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12) and suffer continual spiritual attacks (1 Peter 5:8). The presence of providence does not negate these facts. He did not take away his Son’s suffering because of God’s overall plan.

    (More …)

    • Mike Riley 3:46 pm on 2011-04-02 Permalink | Reply

      As always, great points, brother Richard! Trusting the Lord is the key (Proverbs 3:5-6).

  • John Henson 11:56 am on 2011-04-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: providence, ,   

    Providence moving 

    When Ralph Hart, of the Southside Church of Christ in Manchester, Tenn. and I were in central Russia in 1999, it seemed the pressure being brought to bear by the Russian Orthodox Church brought more people our way.

    This was shortly after the government recognized the Orthodox Church as Russia’s national religion. Russia’s government and the Orthodox Church always shared a rather close relationship, even during the days of the Communist Party.

    Police officers came to our room one morning while we were having breakfast and told us our lives had been threatened. But we continued to teach.

    Not long after that, the following year I think, the church was planted there in Sosnofka. God be praised for his amazing ways!

  • Stephen R. Bradd 8:18 am on 2011-03-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: McGarvey, , providence   

    If God gives to all men life and breath and all things, he acts with reference to each individual man, to each individual breath that each man breathes, and to each particular thing going to make up all the things which he gives them. Again, if God appoints beforehand the “periods” of the nation, (by which I understand all the great eras in their history,) and the “boundaries of their habitations,” he certainly directs the movements of individual men; for the movements of the nations depend upon the movements of the individual men of whom they are composed. Sometimes, indeed, the movements of one man, as of Christopher Columbus, determine the settlement of continents, and the destiny of mighty nations. In view of these facts, we must admit the most special and minute providence of God in all the affairs of the earth. It would never, perhaps, have been doubted, but for the philosophical difficulty of reconciling it with the free agency of men, and of discriminating between it and the working of miracles. This difficulty, however, affords no rational ground for such a doubt, for the method of God’s agency in human affairs is above human comprehension. To doubt the reality of an assured fact, the nature of which is confessedly above our comprehension, because we know not how to reconcile it with other known facts, is equivalent to confessing our ignorance at one moment, and denying it the next.

    J.W. McGarvey’s Original Commentary on Acts [pp. 221 — pertaining to Acts 17:22ff]
    • Weylan Deaver 11:23 am on 2011-03-16 Permalink | Reply

      Excellently stated. And it is bothersome that a few radical preachers today–who have obviously given less thought to (or have a lesser grasp of) the subject than had McGarvey–think that admitting of God’s direct involvement in providence implies belief in modern day miracles. Their failure to distinguish miracle from providence leads to all manner of misguided accusations against those of us who refuse to give up on providence. They acknowledge providence in theory, but then define it into oblivion, thinking they’ve done the church a service. We ought to accept the fact of divine activity in providence (since the NT affirms it), even though we cannot offer an exhaustive explanation of its workings (since the NT does not demand it). And some of us preachers ought to REFRAIN (from speaking when we don’t know what we’re talking about), REFLECT (more deeply on Scripture before we speak out of ignorance), and REACT to alleged error with kindness and solid evidence, rather than an intellectually vapid position which, though failing to respect various biblical passages, yet reigns in an embarrassing example of political correctness in certain pulpits and brotherhood papers.

      • Stephen R. Bradd 12:42 pm on 2011-03-16 Permalink | Reply

        Weylan, I’ve gotten myself “in trouble” before on this topic of providence & miracles because I don’t tow the “traditional” view on it anymore. I don’t claim to understand all the ways of God (Isa 55:8,9). I don’t even claim to always be able to clearly define the distinction between providence & a miracle. The more I learn, the more I find myself saying “perhaps” (e.g., Philemon 15) in regards to a lot of things. I believe God is active in our world–even today. He’s involved in our lives. He’s promised to work things out for the best for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). I believe all that but am in awe and ignorance of how it all works together–but I believe it, nevertheless.

        Much of the whole subject boils down to how one defines his terms (e.g., giving a precise definition of what constitues a “miracle” and what constitutes “providence” can be difficult).

        The thing that hit me between the eyes a few years ago was 1 Cor 13. I had always been taught and had preached the following: “1 Cor 13 teaches that miracles have ceased.” Many brethren hear that statement and conclude (falsely) that God is not involved in our world today. This view cripples one’s prayer life of much of its power, I think. That’s unfortunate. Today, when I preach on 1 Cor. 13, I state it differently (and this makes some people nervous)–“1 Cor 13 teaches that the age of God working miracles THROUGH THE AGENCY OF MANKIND is over. But, 1 Cor 13 says nothing about God’s DIRECT involvement in our world today.”

        Additionally, I’ve often said that there are things I just can’t explain that happen today. For example, a young girl with brain cancer–serious brain cancer–and suddendly it disappears. I can’t explain that. (1) Were the tests initially wrong? (2) Did the body heal itself in a way we don’t understand currently? (3) Or, is it possible God intervened in some way because He is merciful and answers prayer? Ultimately, I don’t know the answer; any of the 3 options are possible. But I’m not willing to cast away the 3rd option as many do. God is working today in ways I don’t understand. The label I try to put on His activity is somewhat besides the point (i.e., miracle, providence, whatever).

        I hope some of this is making sense. I would love to hear from you further on this, Weylan, especially if you think I’ve missed the boat somewhere.

        • Weylan Deaver 3:05 pm on 2011-03-16 Permalink | Reply

          No, I think you make a lot of sense. I do believe there is a category called “miracle” that has ceased (cf. 1 Cor. 13). But it is incorrect to assert (as some do) that any direct action of God today would be a miracle. To me, the easiest way to explain the difference between what went on in NT times (miracles) and what God does today (providence) is to say that miracles were obvious, whereas providence is subtle.

          There’s a difference in Malchus’ ear being miraculously reattached after Peter sliced it off (the only explanation being Jesus’ immediate effort), and the young girl in your illustration, cured of brain cancer (leaving us with unanswered questions). God’s power can be exerted in either case, being on obvious display in the former, and hidden in the latter.

          Thus, by their nature, miracles could be signs (as they related to a message) and wonders (as to the reaction they caused in observers). Providence is not so easily pinpointed or observed. It differs from miracle, not by God’s involvement, by by our ability to perceive it. In providence, God intentionally keeps his actions “behind the scenes.”

          So I think you are right, Stephen. To say that God can only work today through his word (which we already have), or that God can only work indirectly today (which really means he cannot do anything), is to imply that prayer is a waste of time. For example, to say that Weylan acts, but he only ever acts indirectly, is to say that I do nothing. If I act at all, then I must do something directly, somewhere, somehow.

        • J. Randal Matheny 9:24 am on 2015-05-08 Permalink | Reply

          Was searching through our archives and ran across this wonderful quote and good discussion. Have either of you read Cecil Mays’s new book, Providence, published by GA? I’m curious about it.

  • Chad Dollahite 10:08 pm on 2010-12-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , providence   

    Catching up on an earlier nudge…Coincidence, or Providence??? 

    While enrolled at the Memphis School of Preaching (at the tender, immature young age of 20), it was my privilege to fill in for Garland Elkins from time to time, when he would be out of town preaching meetings. He preached at the Stanton congregation, a small group of about 30 or so, about an hour from Memphis. He would often ask me to fill in for him on Wednesdays. Whoever filled in would just go and preach a sermon, and it was a win-win for both the student and the congregation–they supported the school, so they got to see some of what they were helping to accomplish, and the students got much-needed preaching experience and the privilege of association with some fine brethren.

    On one occasion, I left with just enough time to arrive for the start of services (as I was wont to do), and I left with my car’s gas tank sitting virtually on empty (as I was wont to do). I got to the building with about 5 minutes or so to spare (and pretty much no fuel to spare), preached, and spent about 30 minutes or so talking with a few families after services. One man (whose name escapes me now) and his wife were the last to leave, along with me. I said goodbye as he was getting ready to lock up and proceeded to a tiny gas station just a few blocks from the building. I got out, pumped $5 of gas and headed inside to pay. I handed the lady my credit card, only to have my heart sink when she said, “We don’t take credit cards.” I had absolutely no cash (any intelligent person living in Memphis will not carry cash), and I had left my checkbook at my apartment. Furthermore, this was before everyone carried cell phones, so I had no way of calling for help, either. I naively stated to the lady at the counter, “This is all I have…I don’t have any cash or my checkbook,” to which she (rather unsympathetically) replied, “Well…you pumped $5 of gas!”

    I remember so well thinking to myself, “What do they do to people who can’t pay for their gas? I can’t just siphon it back out and, even if I did, I barely made it here, so there’s no way I’ll make it home.” In an effort that I can only think now was to buy myself some time, I said, “Let me go check for change in my ashtray,” knowing full well that if I had even a dollar in there, I’d be quite shocked. She said okay, and I headed outside. As I walked, head hung low, toward my car, I nearly ran into the brother who I’d just left. His arm was extended, with a $10 bill in his hand.

    I nearly reached out and hugged that man! I asked, “Brother, you are a lifesaver!” I exclaimed. “How did you know?”

    “Know what?” he replied.

    I explained my situation, and he went on to laugh and tell me that he’d just said to his wife as they were leaving that he appreciated my filling in for bro. Elkins from time to time, and that he felt it would be nice to give me some extra money for gas and, since he saw my car at the station, he thought he’d do just that (having no idea, of course, of the predicament in which I had landed). I thanked him numerous times for saving me and, to this day, I believe it was by the providence of God that this brother happened to arrive at the station that night to rescue me. This is one of many occasions in my life where I have to look back and think, truly, “The Lord has been mindful of me”!

  • Mike Riley 9:50 am on 2010-06-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , circumstance, , eunuch, , providence, recorded, ,   

    Acts 8 Conversion Story Of The Eunuch 

    My favorite recorded conversion story is about the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40. Here are some of my observations:

    1) Through the providence of God, the angel spoke to Philip at just the right time for Philip to go and meet the eunuch at just the right place. This tells me that if an individual is truly seeking to know the gospel, God will provide the circumstances and the means for that to happen.

    2) The eunuch had been to Jerusalem to worship, so we know he was a devout religious man. He was returning to his homeland, and had stopped to read out of the scroll which contained Isaiah’s prophecy.

    3) We need to note that the Holy Spirit sent a “man” [Philip] to teach the eunuch (Acts 8:31). This account clearly shows that the teaching regarding man receiving direct miraculous “illumination” of the Scriptures from the Holy Spirit is false (cf. 2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11).

    4) The eunuch had a cursory knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures, but did not understand who the prophet Isaiah was referring to in Isaiah 53:7-8.

    5) It’s interesting to note that in Philip’s teaching, “he began at the same Scripture” (Acts 8:35) – he didn’t go off into left field on some other subject or tangent. He stayed with the gospel pattern of teaching.

    6) Philip “preached unto him Jesus” (Acts 8:35) because that was Who the prophet Isaiah was referring to. Preaching Jesus would have necessarily included the core of the gospel – the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Philip obviously told the eunuch about being baptized “into Christ’s death” (to effectively appropriate the blood that was shed at Christ’s “death” – Romans 6:3-4), necessitating a “burial” in water, and being raised or “resurrected” [out of the water – Acts 8:39] to walk in newness of life – the act of baptism required for the remission of sins and the putting on of a good conscience before God (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:1-8; Gal. 3:26-29; 1 Peter 3:21).

    7) After the eunuch was taught all of the above, they came to a body of water and the eunuch asked Philip, “what hinders me to be baptized?” Philip responded by telling the eunuch that if he truly believed the inspired words that Philip taught him, he could be baptized for the remission of sins. The eunuch responded by confessing Christ as the Son of God, and thus Philip baptized him. After coming up out of the water, the eunuch went on his way “rejoicing” (Acts 8:38-39) because he was a saved man “in Christ Jesus,” no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1).

    In Philip’s teaching, he totally adhered to God’s pattern or plan of salvation. This conversion story illustrates the fact that as we teach others, we must adhere to the same gospel pattern or plan, not deviating from it.

  • paulaharington 12:35 am on 2010-04-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , providence   

    After reading a blog article about a friend’s difficult childhood this afternoon, I started to think of mine. It was unconventional and, at times, volatile yet God was always there. I’ll be forever amazed and thankful for where I was and where He brought me.

    My mother had a lot of problems. I wrote about her here:


  • Richard Mansel 6:14 pm on 2010-04-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , providence   

    We have no idea how much God has intervened in our lives through providence. Therefore, we must continually praise Him, because He is always at work!

    • Weylan Deaver 6:53 pm on 2010-04-18 Permalink | Reply

      One day, looking back, when we understand what all was done on our behalf, we may stand aghast that we weren’t able to recognize providence for what it was.

    • Richard Mansel 6:55 pm on 2010-04-18 Permalink | Reply

      True. In our scientific age, we most likely dismiss most of it as never happening. Are we agnostic on providence?

    • J. Randal Matheny 10:11 pm on 2010-04-18 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve often thought of how many situations the Lord has saved us from. So your post sounds like one of my frequent musings on this subject.

  • Richard Mansel 1:18 pm on 2010-03-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: freewill, providence   


    I have been thinking about freewill lately.  Your comment on this will be appreciated. I am not teaching anything here, only thinking aloud. “When a person gets in a car and drives on the highway, everyone on the highway has their own freewill. If  God keeps us from having a wreck, does this violate other people’s freewill? If so, does this go against what we know of how God works in this world?”

    Providence means that God acts in this world. However, it is complicated to identify its fruit.

    • Ron 1:29 pm on 2010-03-19 Permalink | Reply

      It is interesting that you mention that; I am reading, in spurts, an article (chapter) on determinism – in relation to ethics and the moral argument. Does the fact that God plays a role in the affairs of man (Dan 4.17) mean that man’s freewill is interrupted? It is very clear from Romans 9 that this is not the case. When God raised up Pharaoh, did God remove from him his freewill? The answer is no. If He did, then why and how could God judge him in the way He did – since there was nothing that he could do, but that which he did. In relation to “determinism” (though not connected directly with your point, this remark is made, “There is no moral blame nor merit in any man who cannot help what he does. It matters not whether the explanation for his behavior is found within him or without…” (Richard Taylor, Metaphysics, p. 35)

    • Mike Riley 1:54 pm on 2010-03-19 Permalink | Reply


      As much as it is within our control and ability, we have to keep ourselves from having a wreck.

      • Richard Mansel 2:24 pm on 2010-03-19 Permalink | Reply

        My focus is in helping us understand how God works, so we will have less reason to blame him for what happens. We need to understand that things are far more complicated than our grief would have us to believe.

    • themysteryof 2:17 am on 2010-04-06 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think that would violate our freewill. In that case we would be glad for God to interfere. It might be considered a violation if someone were trying to intentionally wreck you, but at any rate God himself has freewill, and I’m glad he does.
      “Providence means that God acts in this world. However, it is complicated to identify its fruit.” That is certainly true. I think this type of post can help us understand that providence is a good thing.

    • Lauren 1:21 pm on 2010-08-29 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve been thinking a lot about freewill lately too. I think it’s just something that any person that believes in God has to ponder over at one point in their life. Recently, I was sitting in an anthropology class, with a professor that loves to bash Christianity, little did he know he was about to give me a great analogy for the Christian life. he was saying that in archaeology, you don’t have a bunch of guidelines that you have to follow, and that for the most part you are free to search however you want, within reason. It’s like owning a personal airplane, it’s yours, and you can do what you want with it, because it is yours, except you can’t cover up the number, and you can’t fly it upside down, but other than that you can do what you want, because it’s your plane. You can even fly it upside down, but you have to deal with the consequences.

      This got me thinking that it is kind of like the Christian life. It’s our life, we can do what we want. With in reason. We have freewill, it is our life, but we have consequences for our actions that we have to live out according to what we decide to do with our lives.

  • joyjensen 1:29 pm on 2010-02-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , providence   

    God’s Providence: Who Can Fathom? 

    Here is an article recently written by my husband, George Jensen:

    Our wonderful supporters often ask questions which indicate their genuine concern for our children.  It is one thing for Joy and I to make a commitment to live in a third world country, but what about the impact upon our children?  These issues have been the subject of many prayers and careful consideration on our part.  Some time back Joy authored an article entitled: “Are We Asking Too Much?” .  The high spiritual standard we have set for our own children we also expect from any who might be interested in courting our children.  One valid question arises: Can we expect to live far from America, have exacting expectations, and expect our children to find a suitable mate?

    Having read the title of this entry, you already may know where this is headed.  God’s providential workings cannot be fathomed by the human mind (cf. Rom. 11:33).  I firmly believed that even with the seeming limitations of living here in Africa, God would not be hindered in answering our many prayers to bless our children with a mate at the appropriate time.  Those prayers have been answered for our eldest child, Julia.  We thank God for allowing her and us to meet Lee Parish.  May we trust God’s willingness to bless us (cf. Rom.8:32).

    • Mike Riley 2:05 pm on 2010-02-12 Permalink | Reply

      Joy, your daughter couldn’t have found a better godly man than Lee. We’re thankful for the Lord’s providence and His concern for each one of us.

    • Laura 12:58 pm on 2010-02-13 Permalink | Reply

      Amen! I too prayed, only to find a mate for myself, as I was surrounded by ungodly people. I soon met a young man of a different faith. He came from a fine family — good people. Little did I know that he would not only accept the truth, but that he would eventually become an elder in the Lord’s church. God indeed answers prayers and cares for his own. I pray that Lee and Julia have a long and happy marriage, and they will, as long as they keep their eyes on God.

  • Laura 12:41 pm on 2010-01-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , providence,   

    God’s providence is active in our lives 

    The most important lesson I’ve learned to date is that God is not only alive, He is active in our lives today. Let me be clear here: I’m not talking about some mystical direct operation of the Holy Spirit, miraculous gifts, or guardian angels walking among us as many today believe. For many years I had a knee-jerk reaction to these scriptural misunderstandings and refused to recognize what could not be explained in any way other than God’s providential care in my life and in that of others close to me. This knee-jerk reaction negatively impacted my faith and thus my prayer life. This realization has brought me so much closer to God and has deepened my faith and ability to trust in God beyond my wildest dreams.

    • Randal Matheny 12:45 pm on 2010-01-19 Permalink | Reply

      Laura, that’s a wonderful thought and comforting truth. In a sense, almost a shame we have to offer up the disclaimer, but good that we still embrace the Lord’s presence and activity in our lives. Amen!

    • mark mcwhorter 12:50 pm on 2010-01-19 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with you. a side comment – I have asked over the years how folks recognized God’s providence. I do not think I have ever had someone state a negative in their lives regarding Providence. It is always positive things that they claim as Providence. It is interesting that most folks do not look at negatives that have occured as possible providence working to strengthen weaknesses. For instance, there may be economic woes and they finally are given a gift to overcome it. They will claimpro the gift as providential answer to prayer but will not claim the economic woe as providential. I think it is easy for us to see God caring for us when we get something but hard to see when it may be easier to state that Satan is tempting us.

      • Laura 1:03 pm on 2010-01-19 Permalink | Reply

        Mark, I agree. I have seen a situation in which something very negative happened to a person. That person blamed God but ultimately that negative thing played an important role in a journey back to God and submission to His will.

    • Randal Matheny 12:58 pm on 2010-01-19 Permalink | Reply

      Mark, very, very well stated.

    • Mike Riley 4:16 pm on 2010-01-19 Permalink | Reply

      No matter what things happen to us that are negative in our lives, God is still working through those things to bring about the best in us (Romans 8:28). We can be blessed through our trials and tribulations, and thank God for it! (James 1:2-4-; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:5-9).

    • Daniel Haynes 7:06 pm on 2010-01-19 Permalink | Reply

      Great thoughts! One thing I might add to what Mike has already said is that all things work together for good. It does not say all things will be pleasant. But it is the unpleasant, perhaps more than the pleasant, that educates and strengthens me in my walk with Christ.

  • philsanders 5:26 pm on 2010-01-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , providence   

    God’s Providence 

    When God wants to make an impact on people’s lives, he usually sends another person. My parents, preachers, and other family influenced me profoundly in my developing years to become a Christian and to pursue ministry as a life. I was baptized by Carl Wills after hearing the preaching of a blind man, Tom Silva. Steve Bracken influenced me to preach the gospel. Many men mentored and blessed my life in those early days, giving me opportunities and showing me methods and techniques.

    In all of this I realize that it is God who makes us adequate as His ministers (2 Cor. 3:5). Preachers have always been my heroes, and God uses men to shape other men in this undertaking for eternity. God blessed me with wonderful, godly, and faithful teachers in my university experiences. I am so thankful to them.

    At 58 years of age and 40+ years of experience I am still learning and developing in my new ministry. God is opening up great opportunities to grow in His grace and knowledge. And I am thankful for the opportunity to serve.

    I so deeply appreciate all the posts I see in TFR. I am learning from you all how to think more like Christ and how to grow in faith. Thank you for being my brethren.

    Christ is all and in you all. I can see Him when I read your posts (Eph. 3:17).

  • Mike Riley 11:38 pm on 2009-12-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: providence   

    I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men (Daniel 4:17,25,32; Daniel 5:21). And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?

    —Benjamin Franklin, to Colleagues at the Constitutional Convention.
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