The Providence Of God
We’re told in Romans chapter 8, and verse 28; “And we know that GOD causes all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Isn’t that exactly what the providence of God is? It’s the assurance that God will care for us, no matter what! “We know that God causes ALL things work together for good..” It doesn’t matter what happens, God can and WILL make all things work TOGETHER for good to us. Every single occurrence will not be seen by us as “good”, but the promise from God is, that He will take even the “bad”, and use it for “good”. But there’s a condition stated in this promise. God causes all things to work together for good, “..to those who LOVE God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
And if we LOVE God, and trust God, then WE KNOW that His providential care will be granted to us.
It’s easy to say, “I love God”. But the bible is crystal clear about what constitutes REAL love for God. Love for God isn’t a fuzzy feeling we get inside. And love for God isn’t doing things that WE think He would like. No, the bible is crystal clear, when Jesus said, in John chapter 14, and verse 15; “If you love Me, you will KEEP My commandments”.
The evidence and proof of our love for God, is that we KEEP (obey) His commandments. If however, we FAIL to keep the commandments of God, then it becomes crystal clear, that we do NOT love God! Now that may not be a very popular truth, but truth it is, nonetheless.
Take for instance the words of Jesus in John 8:32; “If you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sins!” This scripture is the truth But many of the world’s religions do NOT believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Mat 16:16). What will happen to the people who do not believe that Jesus is He?
What about the words of Jesus in Luke 13:3; “..Unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish!” This scripture is also the truth. But many people who think of themselves as Christians, think that belief ONLY saves them. They don’t believe that repentance is a MUST! What will happen to those people?
And what about the words of Jesus in Mat 10:32 & 33; “If you confess Me before men, I will confess you before My Father who is in heaven. But if you deny Me before men, I will deny you before My Father who is in heaven.” It’s the truth, that we must always have the courage to confess our faith in Jesus, to anyone, and at any time. What did Jesus say He would do if we deny Him?
Finally, what about the words of Jesus in Mark 16:16; “He who believes AND is baptized, shall be saved!” The bible says it is the TRUTH, that we must believe, AND be baptized to be saved. What do YOU believe? What will happen to you if you do NOT obey God, and KEEP His commandments?
What will happen.. “..When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not KNOW God, and to those who do not OBEY the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” (2 Thess 1:7-8)
The answer is in the next verse; “And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.” V-9
But Let’s Talk about The Providence Of God
This is what we learn from Romans 8:26 & 27..
Romans 8, verse 26, says; “And in the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses; For we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit intercedes for us, with groanings too deep for words.”
So first, we’ve got the Spirit, helping our weaknesses.. Then we’re told; “For we do not know how to pray as we should..” Now that’s the NAS version, but that’s NOT an accurate translation of this verse. God is not saying that we don’t know HOW to pray. We know how to say a prayer. The bible teaches us how to pray; We pray TO the Father, THROUGH the Son, and according to God’s will.
The KJV translates this correctly when it says; “For we do not know WHAT to pray for, as we should”. As a matter of fact, the original simply says: “Indeed, we know not, what we should pray for”. So here we are, with our weaknesses, and we don’t even know exactly what it is, that we should be asking God for. We have evidence of that in Jeremiah 10, verse 23, which tells us; “I know O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself. Nor is it in a man who walks, to direct his own steps.” So we don’t even know what we should be praying for, when it comes to guiding ourselves.
But God promises anyway, “that all things are going to work for good, to those who love the Lord..” So, how is God going to make sure all things work together for good? He’s going to do it through His providence. And His providence is going to be “brought about” by His Holy Spirit.
Now, Romans 8:26 again.. The Spirit is going to help us with our weaknesses. And it’s not within us, to know on our own, what we should even ask for. And so this verse says; “But the Spirit Himself, intercedes for us, with inexpressible groanings.” The way that the Spirit intercedes for us, is to give to us, by the providence of God, the things which we need, to strengthen us, and to help save us. Isn’t our salvation the whole purpose for everything that God does for us?
Let me talk about what it means to “intercede”. This is an interesting word. It’s only used this one time in the bible. It’s a compound word, that means.. “to benefit”, and “to come in line with”. Remember this is what the Holy Spirit is doing for Christians. The word “intercede” as used here, literally means.. “bending over”, to “confer benefits”, to “bring us in line” with God’s will.
Listen to V-27.. “And He who searches the hearts..” That’s the Spirit of God. 1 Cor 2:10 says; “The Spirit searches ALL things” So then; “He who searches the hearts, knows what the mind of the spirit is..” The “mind” of the spirit is the thoughts of the spirit. It’s the motives and intentions of the spirit, or in other words, “of the heart”. another way you could phrase that verse is; “And He who searches the hearts, knows the MIND of the heart..”
The Spirit of God, knows the thoughts and intents of the heart, or of the spirit, because He searches the hearts of men. Rev 2:23 says; “I am He who searches the minds and hearts..” That literally means; “I am He who searches the inner man, and I will give to each one of you, according to your deeds.”
Now that’s Christ speaking there; So that’s just another example of how the bible indicates, that Christ is the very Spirit of God. “The Spirit searches ALL things”. And the Christ says; “I am He, who searches the minds and hearts.” Psalm 7:9 says; “For the righteous GOD, tries the hearts and minds.”
And Romans 8, verse 27 says that the Spirit knows the MIND of the spirit, “because He intercedes for the saints.. (He confers the benefits to the saints) according to the will of God.” Which is according to the providence of God.
Providence and Grace
The providence of God, is definitely a part of His grace isn’t it? It’s God’s Holy Spirit, going out of His way (bending over, if you will) to confer benefits, to basically, a sinful people, to bring us in line with His purpose. And His purpose is to bring us into eternal salvation. Now He’s only doing this for Christians. Only for those people, who are willing to have their sins forgiven, by obeying His laws.
Now we’ve got to consider the phrase, “inexpressible groanings”. A lot of people think this means that God’s Spirit, is praying to God for us. But God’s Holy Spirit, is Himself, God. There’s no need for the Spirit of God, to pray to Himself. “Inexpressible groanings” are not words spoken to God in our behalf.
The word “inexpressible” means that it’s something that words CAN’T describe, or that words CAN’T express! And the word “groanings” doesn’t mean “words”. “Groanings” are.. feelings, and anxieties, and sighings. They are sighings, and feelings of compassion, for people who are called according to God’s purpose, but who are weak, and do not have it within them, to direct their own steps. And so the very Spirit of God, intercedes, and confers benefits upon us.
In verse 34, of this same chapter, says that “Christ Jesus is He who died, yes rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” How does Christ intercede for us? Does He offer words of prayer to God? No, Christ intercedes for us, by presenting Himself, in heaven, as the sinless sacrifice for our sins. He confers this benefit to us; He became the sacrifice for the sins of the world. That’s how Christ intercedes for us before God. We come to God asking for forgiveness of our sins, and Christ is there to BE that sacrifice, for those sins.
And the Holy Spirit of God, intercedes for us, by conferring upon us, the blessings which we need, to bring us in line with God’s will. God’s Spirit doesn’t force His will upon us, and MAKE us be Christians. But He blesses us for being Christians, and “He causes all things to work together for good, to those who love the Lord, and are the called according to His purpose.”
And how does the Spirit know if we love God? He searches the mind of our spirit. He searches our very thoughts, and intentions. Isn’t that what the Word of God does? Christ is the Word, right? Heb 4:12 tells us that the Word of God; “is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” “I am He..” Christ said.
Thank God for His Providential Care!
And thank God for salvation, which has been offered to all people, through Jesus Christ.. “The Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world”. (John 1:29)
Please don’t let the offer of God, pass you by. KEEP His commandments, so that you can be forgiven of your past sins, and so that the providence of God may be yours.
Study God’s word diligently, and He will bless you in your understanding.
Please take a moment or two, and leave your comments or questions in the space below.