“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Webster says that Coincidence is when “two things happen at the same time by accident.” Webster says that Providence is “divine guidance or care, (2) God conceived as the Power sustaining and guiding human destiny.” The question today to you is, “Do you think that where you are today in life is by Coincidence or by Providence?”
The answer varies according to whether you are presently in a valley, a trial, or on a mountain top of blessings. The answer also varies as to if you are speaking of the physical or the spiritual realm or both.
You may have awakened this morning in the worst physical and spiritual circumstances that could be imagined. Your body is racked with sickness and pain; you can’t find God in your prayers; you are to the point of desperation and giving up. Your condition may be so bad that you have contemplated suicide. Or you may have awakened to an empty house: you are all alone; your wife has left you; your children have deserted you. Or you may have lost your house, job, and reputation because of your alcohol or drug addiction.
Or worse, you have awakened this morning with your world shattered; now you are facing going to prison. Or maybe you have awakened to a world you know nothing about; where you have no one to turn to; no job, no house, because you have flat timed your sentence and now you are free once again, but do not have a clue as to what, when, where, and how to survive with “ex-con” stamped on your life.
God makes no mistakes in His Providence. Neither is God mocked. God hates sin, and sin is the cause of our miseries. Galatians 6:7-8 plainly states whatever we sow we shall reap; whether to the flesh or to the spirit. Also, Romans 6:23 states that “the wages of sin is death” both physical and spiritual.
(James 1:13-15) “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: (14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
However, (Romans 8:28) states “…that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (See also Hebrews 12:5-11.)
(Job 23:13-14) “But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. (14) For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.”
(Proverbs 19:21) “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”
What happened to Job was not coincidence, but the Providence or Plan or Design of God for Job’s benefit. Saved friend, you are where you are by Divine Providence. No, not your sin, that comes from your own lust. The consequences of our sin place us in the harvest that we reap. The rod that God brings upon His disobedient children (Hebrews 12:5-11) is not for their destruction but to change them, to conform them, to bring them to yield the peaceable fruit of Righteousness.
You are where you are not by coincidence, but by Providence. You are in an appointment of God to benefit you. Psalm 23:1-6 teaches us that the Valley of the Shadow of Death is not to destroy us, but to restore us; to comfort us; to teach us not to fear, for God is with us. The Valley of Baca; the Valley of the Shadow of Death; the Potter’s House; the back side of the desert; and the rod of God; even the darkest period of your life is not a coincidence, but God’s Providence. Saved man, it is working for your good.
Be encouraged this day; be still and wait on God; confess your sins. Yield yourself completely to God; lean upon Him. Call on Him for wisdom. He has a plan for you; He has good for you. (Please read Isaiah 43:1-2; Hebrews 13:5d; Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalms 37:2,3,5,7; Exodus 14:13-14; Philippians 4:13,19; Matthew 6:33-34; Hebrews 11:6; James 1:5-8).
Your life is not over, it is just beginning. God is on His Throne. God has a plan to use you. But first, humility and dependence on Him and a turning from the world must take place. Don’t look at your circumstances, look to your God. Judge yourself, confess your sins, and tell God, “Here am I, send me.”
You, like so many examples in God’s Word, will experience Victory in your hour of trial, because you have Faith.
(1 John 5:4-5) “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (5) Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
(Romans 5:3-5) “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
(This devotional was previously posted on September 15, 2010.)