The Comforting Doctrine of God’s Providence


According to the Baptist Catechism of 1677, “God’s works of providence are His most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures, and all their actions.”  A robust Calvinistic understanding of the Absolute Sovereignty of God is the greatest comfort for his people in times of distress.

In Book 1, Section XVII (Use to Be Made of Providence), Para 11 of the Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin summarizes the great comfort that this doctrine provides to the believer:

But when once the light of Divine Providence has illumined the believer’s soul, he is relieved and set free, not only from the extreme fear and anxiety which formerly oppressed him, but from all care. For as he justly shudders at the idea of chance, so he can confidently commit himself to God. This, I say, is his comfort, that his heavenly Father so embraces all things under his power—so governs them at will by his nod—so regulates them by his wisdom, that nothing takes place save according to his appointment; that received into his favour, and entrusted to the care of his angels neither fire, nor water, nor sword, can do him harm, except in so far as God their master is pleased to permit.

Ps 31:14-15

14But I trusted in thee, O Lord:

I said, Thou art my God.

15My times are in thy hand:

deliver me from the hand of mine enemies,

and from them that persecute me.

Ps 118:5-8

5I called upon the Lord in distress:

the Lord answered me,

and set me in a large place.

6The Lord is on my side;

I will not fear:

what can man do unto me?

8It is better to trust in the Lord

than to put confidence in man.

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