The "Why" Question and the Providence of God

The “Why?” Question and the Providence of God
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The “question” exposition bears a repost since its first posting in 2008. Tolle Lege…
As creatures, especially as women ministering to our children, we are well-familiar with the “why” question. Whether a question of life, death, illness, personal events in our lives or the details of history and life in our world as we know it, we have questions and those questions need answers. This is especially so when it comes to the questions of God’s providence in His universe and His “working all things for good” in the life of His people.  As women ministering to women, we are constantly responding to those questions as it relates to their personal lives in the every day events of work, home, family, personal history and gifts in the church. Often there is bewilderment marked by unhappiness and a resolve of discouragement because their “why” questions are not answered for them due to their lack of understanding of God’s providence in working in and through them for His glory and their good. They do not understand God’s sovereignty and providence from His Word and doctrine and thus have no comfort and peace about their lives. Their biggest question is “who’s in control” and when their theology is incorrect or they have no knowledge of what God’s Word says about His providential control of His world, they are tossed about and do not have that peace that passes understanding.  God is our “peace” and “gives peace” and that “peace” includes “all things” and when we know Him as He declares Himself in Scripture, His peace is ours and the foundation of the “why” question is answered.  No, we may not know what tomorrow will bring and God’s eternal purpose in His providence specifically for us but we are at peace in our hearts and minds that our God loves us with an everlasting love and that He has designed and ordained the “whatsoever” for us and that knowledge gives us “peace” with God now and forever. The Bible is filled with this wonderful doctrine and thus we must answer those “why” questions with God’s Word, study His providence, sovereignty and attributes and then we will experience peace and rest for our souls and be able to apply it in a practical way to daily life.

One of the most important books to read is Loraine Boettner’s “The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination” which is an easy read and will open your eyes and understanding. To whet your appetite, here is a snippet:*_TheologyGirl

“Throughout the Bible the laws of nature, the course of history, the varying fortunes of individuals, are ever attributed to God’s providential control. All things, both in heaven and earth, from the seraphim down to the tiny atom, are ordered by His never-failing providence. So intimate is His relationship with the whole creation that a careless reader might be led toward pantheistic conclusions. Yet individual personalities and second causes are fully recognized,—not as independent of God, but as having their proper place in His plan. And alongside of this doctrine of His Immanence the Scripture writers also present the kindred doctrine of His Transcendence, in which God is distinctly set forth as entirely separate from and above the whole creation.

Yet as regards God’s providence we are to understand that He is intimately concerned with every detail in the affairs of men and in the course of nature. “To suppose that anything is too great to be comprehended in His control,” says Dr. Charles Hodge, “or anything so minute as to escape His notice; or that the infinitude of particulars can distract His attention, is to forget that God is infinite . . . . The sun diffuses its light through all space as easily as upon any point. God is as much present everywhere, and with everything, as though He was only in one place, and had but one object of attention.” And again, “He is present in every blade of grass, yet guiding Arcturus in his course, marshalling the stars as a host, calling them by their names; present also in every human soul, giving it understanding, endowing it with gifts, working in it both to will and to do. The human heart is in His hands; and he turneth it even as the rivers of water are turned.”1414 Systematic Theology, II, pp. 583, 585.

It is almost universally admitted that God determines when, where, and under what circumstances, each individual of our race shall be born, live, and die, whether it shall be male or female, white or black, wise or foolish. God is no less sovereign in the distribution of His favors. He does what He will with His own. To some He gives riches, to others honor, to others health, to others certain talents for music, oratory, art, finance, statesmanship, etc. Others are poor, unknown, born in dishonor, the victims of disease, and live lives of wretchedness. Some are placed in Christian lands where they receive all the benefits of the Gospel; others live and die in the darkness of heathenism. Some are brought through faith unto salvation; others are left to perish in unbelief. And to a very large extent these external things, which are not the result of individual choice, decide the person’s life course and eternal destiny. Both Scripture and every day experience teach us that God gives to some what He withholds from others. If it be asked why He does this, or why he does not save all, the only available answer is found in the words of the Lord Jesus, “Yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in thy sight.” Only the Scripture doctrine of the fall and redemption will give us any light on what we see about us.” __Loraine Boettner**

“A man’s goings are established of Jehovah,” Psalm 37:23

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*TheologyGirl-ReformedWomen, Editor-Publisher Copyright: Heavenly Notes & Devotions From The Heart ©1984-2017
** “The Providence of God,” Chapter V, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, pp. 35,36 

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