Some people sadly forget that they are constantly dependent on Providence. If things prosper with them, they take all the credit to their own skill and diligence—or else they stupidly ascribe it to good luck. Others speak of Providence with a trifling levity, very unfitting the subject. In the most thoughtless manner such people will say, “Please God, I’ll do so and so,” or “God bless you,” and other similar expressions, which never ought to be uttered but with seriousness and reverence. Others, again, presumptuously talk of putting their trust in Providence, while they neglect to use the means which Providence has appointed. They involve themselves in difficulties by their extravagance or imprudence, and trust to Providence to get them out; or they neglect to make provision for a time of need, in the hope that Providence will send them a supply. Such conduct is not trusting, but tempting Providence; and such hopes, sooner or later, make ashamed.
The following maxims on Providence are well worth committing to memory.
1.”The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposal thereof is of the Lord.” “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
2.”Nothing happens in the world—without God’s providence; without his commission nothing stirs; without his blessing nothing prospers.” This saying, properly understood, believed, and acted on, would tend to keep our minds quiet under the many things that occur to ruffle them, and would encourage a habit of constant prayer, since nothing can hurt him who has God for his friend! Likewise, nothing can, finally, be a blessing to him who has God for his enemy.
3. “The blessing of God, it makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.”
4. Success is God’s blessing on a good cause.
5. God’s word and his providences mutually expound each other. “Providences are sometimes dark texts, which lack an expositor.” Then comes scripture to explain; “As many as I love I rebuke and chasten.” “All things work together for good to those who love God.”
6. God’s providences fulfill his promises. “Though they sometimes seem to cross, in reality they are in perfect harmony. Jacob said in haste, “All these things are against me!” But a few days proved that all these things were working together for his good—to restore to him his long-lost son, to provide for the welfare of himself and his family, and to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promises concerning his posterity.
7. “Count every day, as well as you can—as the providences of God towards you on that day.” This will excite holy wonder and gratitude, deep humility, holy circumspection, and cheerful confidence.
Lord, when I count your mercies o’er,
They strike me with surprise!
Not all the sands that spread the shore
To equal number rise.”
8. “He who carefully considers the providence of God shall never lack a providence to consider and admire.”
“Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.” Hosea 14:9
Gorham Abbott – The Family At Home