Discovering Providences

This is the final excerpt from Frank Hamrick’s Mighty Through God study. Frank’s emphasis is not a mystical meditation, but is focused on scriptural meditation. He urges the reader to meditate “in” the truths of God’s Word and then think deeply and seriously about how God has faithfully guided, led and sustained you through your life. In doing so you will discover that because God has been faithful in the past you can trust Him in the future.    

How does one discover and meditate in providences?

Search Backward

Search backward into all the events in your life as Asaph did in Psalm 77.
Play the game of “What, if?” …

Work forward from your birth to your present life and find the providences of God.

Sink Deeply In Meditation

Let your thoughts sink like lead to the bottom of the ocean…Too many of us have shallow thoughts. We float like feathers on the surface of the waters but never take the time to plumb the depths. We don’t think deeply but only have surface thoughts.

Elijah’s servant in 1 Kings 18:43-44 is a good example of the manner of our meditating. Going to the top of Mount Carmel, he looked toward the sea and saw nothing. The old prophet bid him go again and again…seven times. When he had done so, he saw a cloud rising like a man’s hand. Keep­ing his eye on the cloud, he saw the whole face of heaven covered with clouds. He kept looking until he saw the sky filled with clouds of rain.

In the same way, you may look at providences once and again and see little or nothing in them, but look “seven times.” That is, meditate often and deeply upon them; and you will see their increasing glory like the increasing cloud.

Ponder Six Areas

The Timing Of The Providence. Notice how many times God moved just when the help was needed most…Timing is not always important or significant in a providence. However, some providences are “timing dependent.” For example, Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, just “happened” to be at the gate of the palace when two men were talking about a plan to exterminate the Jews. Here the timing was significant. What if Mordecai had been elsewhere at that moment? Or what if the two men had spoken of this plot five minutes before they arrived at the gate? Then the plot would not have been discovered.

The Leading Edge Of The Providence. There are “leading providences” which seem slight and trivial in themselves, yet they usher in a multitude of other mercies. For example, Jesse’s sending David with food for his brothers seemed insignificant to David, but it led to his great victory over Goliath. Thus, the little incidents and events that happen before a great victory are to be noted as the very hand of the living God. “Leading edge” providences are smaller providences that lead to greater providences.

The Instrument Used. When we pursue our meditation, we will finally see the finger of God using a stranger, a friend, an enemy or a dead battery to bring about good. Joseph’s brothers intended him harm when they lowered him into a pit and sold him to the Midianites, but God “meant it unto good” (Genesis 50:20). God “performed all things” for Joseph. Even being sold by his brothers to the Midianites was God’s providence. It became the instrument God used to accomplish good.

The Scripture Revealed. Remember, all providences are designed to drive us to the Word of God. David wrote, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Psalm 119:71). David’s affliction made him look at God’s Word for answers. Thus, we must apply Scripture to every event in our lives. There are promises, warnings and instructions in the Word that apply to the events of our lives.

The Character Of God Revealed By The Providence. In Isaiah 41:17-20, God states that He will bless men by bringing water to deserts and growing trees in the wilderness that men would see and know and meditate (“consider”) and understand the character of God. God wants us to know Him. One way is by looking for His character in providences.

What If? Take time to ask yourself, “What if…”? For example, “What if Mordecai had not gone to the palace gate that morning? What if the two men had not talked about the plot to exterminate the Jews that morning? What if the two men had not gone to the gate that day? What if Mordecai had gone to the gate, and the two men had gone to the gate, but at different times?” These kinds of questions often open up a providence and let you see many subtle things God did to cause the providence.

Record The Providence

We will not remember providences if we don’t write them in a book. Record them in a special providence journal.

This is the final post from Frank Hamrick’s Mighty Through God study.

Copies of the eight lesson study can be ordered online or from Positive Action for Christ, P.O Box 700, Whitakers, NC 27891, phone 800-688-3008.

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