Together we have been reading through The Mystery of Providence written by Puritan John Flavel. You can read more about the project here.
To dwell upon God’s providence is time well spent. John Flavel reminds us that Providence is at work continuously and due praise should be given. However, that praise is not given without the due process of reflection. You cannot adequately praise someone if you do not recognize that person’s work. It is for this reason that much emphasis is given for a person to maintain a personal devotional time with the Lord, because out of that comes an opportunity to commune with our Father and recognize His Work. Not only is it a sin to not reflect on the work of God, but it is a vital part of the Christian life.
The lack of time spent on reflection is sinful in that we are commanded to dwell on God’s work and it should not be neglected (Matthew 6:26, 28; Job 34:36, 27; Psalm 28:4, 5). In fact, Flavel reminds us that the neglect of it is a vile slighting of God. The work of God is linked to the character of God. Failing to remember the work of God is failure to remember God.
Yet the reflection upon God’s providence in our lives is essential to our own spiritual vitality.
- We are compelled to trust Him more.
- We are comforted during difficult times.
- We are drawn closer to God.
The reflection on Providence reminds us of all of the ways in which God is continuously working in our lives. With the revelation of His provision and guidance, the only response is one of willful trust to Him.
Related to the issue of trust is comfort during the times of trials. If reflecting upon God’s work compels us to trust Him more, then that trust is manifested all the more when life seems to spiral away from our grip. In those moments we can be comforted knowing that God is at work in our lives and trusting Him is sufficient.
Finally, we have a relationship with God. It is a relationship that requires constant attention and constant growth. Relationships take work and time. Remembering God’s work contributes to the depth of that relationship with Him. As we learn to trust Him more, we are moved to a deeper relationship with God.
The work of God in each of our lives is profound. May it never be that we would forget them, and instead would dwell on them more and more, remembering even those instances that so minuscule they are often overlooked. Ultimately, may it cement a stronger, deeper, and more intense relationship between us and our God on a continuous basis.