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.

Developing Conquering Faith

This third installment of Frank Hamrick’s Mighty Through God focuses on the “Conquering Faith” needed to face life’s most difficult problems and trials. Frank says, How do we develop conquer­ing faith? We develop conquering faith as we meditate in the providences of God.”

Definition Of Providences

The following is a good working definition: “Providences are every event and circumstance in our lives, designed and controlled by God, for His glory and our good.”

Providences are perhaps best described in Psalm 57:2.

According to this verse, God is the one who performs all things for us.

Every Event And Circumstance In Our Lives

All things that happen to a believer are providences. This is the truth of Romans 8:28. You cannot name one thing in your life that is not the result of the providence of God.

Designed And Controlled By God

Some events God actually plans for us and sends them into our lives. Other events He does not cause but does allow them to come into our lives for a purpose. However, whatever the case may be, you can be assured that God is in control of every aspect of the circumstances you are facing in your life.

For His Glory And Our Good

God is jealous over His glory (Isaiah 42:8); therefore, He has devised His plan in such a manner that no flesh will be able to boast in His presence (1 Corinthians 1:29). All that men will be able to say in God’s presence is recorded in Revelation 4:11: “Thou art worthy, 0 Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

Thus, God so designs His providences in our lives that He will be glo­rified, and we will be the better for them.

Importance Of Meditating In Providences

How important is meditation in God’s providences?

God Commands That We Meditate In Them

  • Psalm 46:8: “Come, behold the works (providences) of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.”
  • Psalm 66:5: “Come and see the works (providences) of God: he is terrible (awesome) in his doing toward the children of men.”

Anything God commands must be important. God commands that we repent and believe in Christ for salvation; He commands that we be bap­tized; He commands us to study His Word; He commands us to witness; He commands us to be filled with His Spirit; and He commands us to meditate in His providences. It must be important!

This Is The Reason Many Historical Events Are Recorded In Scripture

  • Romans 15:4: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were writ­ten for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
  • 1 Corinthians 10:11: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
  • 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profit­able for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

All of Scripture was written for our profit, including those historical sections which reveal God’s hand in providence. However, we can only derive the benefit these passages were meant to give if we meditate in them and look for the providence of God in them.

Meditation Is One Of The Best Ways To Increase Our Faith

We have said that meditation in God’s providences will give us conquering faith. Thus, it is important. We are to thoughtfully consider what God has done in the past in order to help us know and believe confidently that He will do the same for us in the present. This will give us new boldness in prayer, in witnessing, in standing for right against wrong and in enduring difficult situations.

Categories Of Providences

Where do we look for providences? How can we find them? Providences are found in four places.

  • Personal Providences – Personal providences are those that have happened in your own life. One of the most exciting exercises a Christian can do is to review his entire life from birth to the present and look for the hand of God. As you search backward in your life and recall forgotten events, if you look carefully, you will find the hand of God in events to which you had not even given a second thought.
  • Contemporary Providences – God’s providences can be seen in the lives of friends and family. You will hear many stories of “answered prayer,” “divine intervention” and “luck,” which are nothing more than the hand of God at work in the lives of your contemporaries.
  • Biblical Providences – God’s providences can be seen in the lives of Bible characters.
  • Historical Providences – God’s providences can be seen throughout history.

Next the final blog post from Mighty Through God will feature Discovering Providences.

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.

Five Basic Spiritual Needs

This post is the second excerpt of Frank Hamrick’s insightful eight lesson study Mighty Through God. In this segment Frank summarizes the ways we can find daily guidance for life from God and His Word.

We have five basic spiritual needs in life, and all five needs can be met through meditation in God’s Word. They are:

  1. Victory over sin = weapons;
  2. Wisdom in decision-making = principles;
  3. Living above our circumstances = promises;
  4. Conquering faith = providences
  5. Godly character person of God.

We Need Victory Over Sin

How do we overcome sin and temptation? The answer is found in Psalm 119:9 &11: by meditation in God’s Word.

“There are special verses that deal with specific sins in our lives. These verses we call weapons verses.”

There are different weapons verses for different sins. As I meditate in the Word, I discover these various weapons verses and am able to add them to my spiritual armory for use against specific sins I may face in the future.

We Need Wisdom In Decision-Making

How do we make wise choices when we can’t see the end from the beginning? By meditating on certain specific types of verses in the Bible. Again, not all of God’s Word was written to tell me what to do in a particular situation, but some of God’s Word does give me special advice.

Psalm 119:24 tells us that God’s “testimonies” are our “counselors.” (Note the plural form of counselor is used.). That is, for every decision you will ever have to make in life, there is a particular verse, somewhere in the Bible, that will give you perfect advice. The problem is, how do you find that verse? By looking for principles in the Word.

Principles are found throughout the Bible and provide wisdom for decision-making.

We Need To Be Able To Live Above Our Circumstances

Some people are controlled by their circumstances. They have not learned, as Paul did, to be content no matter what their situation. If things are going well, they are happy. If things are not going smoothly, they are sad and ready to quit. They can’t rise above their circumstances.

Psalm 119:71 and 81 relate to this. David faced “affliction.” What it was, we don’t know. Maybe he was sick. Perhaps he is referring to the problem with his son, Absalom. Maybe it was the death of one of his sons or the constant threat on his life from Saul. Whatever it was, it didn’t get David down. He actually thanked God for the affliction. Why? Because (1) it drove him to the Word (verse 71) and (2) it made him hope in (depend on) the Word (verse 81).

How do I overcome my circumstances? By meditating on promises in the Bible. Promises, unlike principles and weapons, are designed for difficult situations.

Through meditation you will discover and use these promises to get victory in your life.

We Need Conquering Faith

Life requires faith. But how do we get such faith? Asaph tells us in Psalm 77:2-3. 5-6and 10-12 that his faith comes from his trust in God, his remembering what God had done in times past (verse 5) and his remembering the miracles and mighty deeds of God in his own life and in the lives of others in the past (verses 10-12).

What are these deeds Asaph is remembering? They are what we call providences. Asaph, through meditation, had discovered many great providences of God in the lives of others and in his own life; and when hard times came, he had faith to continue because he knew how God had saved in the past and that the God of the past was the God of the present.

…his meditation on providences had given him conquering faith.

We Need Godly Character

How do we become godly? The answer is…we focus on God, we will become like Him. This we see in 2 Corinthians 3:18:

…to develop godly character we must focus on the person of God.

The next two blog posts will continue excerpts from Mighty Through God.

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.

God Focused Meditation

Thinking is not in style today in our fast-paced information age. We consume huge amounts of data and leave little time for careful investigation, study and meditation. But when life gets difficult we like to have solid support and compassionate assurances that everything will be okay. The Bible directs us to the only one who can say, “Be still, and know that I am God!”

In this post I am offering beginning excerpts from Frank Hamrick’s penetrating writing in his eight lesson study Mighty Through God. In three successive upcoming blog posts I will publish more of his helpful thoughts.


Meditation is a lost art. During David’s day (and even until recent times), men put much time in meditation, realizing the benefits of this daily prac­tice. As a result, men were deep in their love and appreciation for the Lord. Their insight into God’s Word was deep, and their writings sparkled with adoration and dripped with the honey of praise for the grace and glory of their God. Biblical and biographical records of great Christians through the centuries reveal that meditation produces dedication, but a lack of meditation produces stagnation.

Definition Of Meditation

What is meditation? Meditation is a mental process through which Scripture is memorized, visualized and personalized. Scripture is taken through the mind, the will and the emotions; and as a result, there is a greater love for the Lord and a life of holiness and faith.

Benefits Of Meditation

• Isaiah 55:8-9. Gives us the mind of God. God’s thoughts are the opposite of ours. So how are we to think like Him? By running His thoughts through our minds. God’s Word is an expression of the way God thinks. Someone has said that the Bible is God’s brain. If we can constantly run His thoughts through our minds, pretty soon we will begin to think like He does. This is why the old Puritan writers had such depth of knowledge and such beautiful ways of expressing themselves. They had so saturated their minds with His Word that they literally “thought Scripture.” Thus, we need to have the same mind or attitude as Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).

• Psalm 119:97-99. Gives wisdom and understanding. Note Psalm 119:130. God’s Word gives “light.” David explains what light is in the next phrase “understanding.” There is a difference between knowledge and understanding. One can know facts but not understand them. When one understands Scripture, he has wisdom. Note Psalm 119:24. God’s Word is our “counselor.” Each verse gives us advice. Each verse reveals the perfect will of God. Each verse gives us perfect light and insight for every decision. If we truly know God’s Word, we have a perfect guide for every situation; and as long as we follow that guide, we will never make a wrong decision!

How To Meditate On God In The Word

How do we meditate on God in His Word? We are not to focus on the Word of God, but we are to focus on the God of the Word. There is a difference. We can read the story of David and Goliath and learn all the facts in the story and miss the whole point. The Bible was not written to tell us about David and Goliath, but to tell us about David’s God. Have you ever read that story and concentrated just on God in the story? That’s what we mean by focusing on God.

But exactly how do we do that? Turn to 1 Samuel 17:32-54, read the passage and look for three things: (1) what God does, (2) what He is and (3) how He acts.

What God Does (actions God takes in this passage)

17:33-35. He delivered David from the lion and the bear.

17:36. He identified Himself with His people since they are called “the armies of the living God.”

17:45. He will not allow His name to be defied forever but will side with those who fight in His name.

17:46-50. He delivers the righteous so that He may be feared.

What God Is (His character and attributes as seen in this passage)

17:34-35. Omnipotent

17:36. Compassionate

17:45. Jealous of His name: faithful to aid His people

17:46-50. Sovereign (Lord over the wicked)

How God Acts (The way God acts/reacts in this passage)

17:32. God chooses many times to use one man alone.

17:33. God’s viewpoint of our circumstances is different from ours.

17:37. God’s providential dealings with us in the past should be used as comfort for the present.

17:39. God gives victory to those who “put off” their trust in carnal

17:42-45. God comforts His children when they are persecuted by the wicked.

17:46. God is real to those who believe in Him.

17:49. God providentially blesses the instruments of those who fight for Him. 

The next three blog posts will continue excerpts from Mighty Through God.

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.