Read: Romans 8:28-30
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good. (v. 28)
The Christian doctrine of providence could be called “the best of doctrines; the worst of doctrines”. The Heidelberg Catechism defines providence as “The almighty and ever present power of God by which God upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth and all creatures, and so rules them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty—all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand” (Q&A 27).
Why is this “the worst of doctrines”? Because it means that our worst experiences are part of God’s plans for us. Why then, is it “the best of doctrines”? Because it reminds us that God is in control of all things, and it reassures us that God forces all things to serve his best purposes—to draw us closer to Jesus and make us more like him. Because God is God, he can use any circumstance to accomplish this perfectly.
If we had to rely on the testimony of our circumstances, every trial would undermine our trust. But we have the testimony of the Holy Spirit. His inner witness enables us to “be patient when things go against us, thankful when things go well, and for the future we can have good confidence in our faithful God and Father” (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 28). —Ben Van Arragon
As you pray, trust God’s fatherly hand at work in all your circumstances.
About the Author
Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.