God’s Providence and Jesus’ Bride

I’ve recently been rereading the Westminster Confession of Faith and came across this nugget that encouraged me as I prepare to leave a congregation I have served for ten years. It is chapter 5, point 7: “Just as the providence of God in general extends to every creature, so, in a very special way it takes care of his church and orders all things for its good.”

J.I. Packer writes this about providence: “The doctrine of providence teaches Christians that they are never in the grip of blind forces (fortune, chance, luck, fate); all that happens to them is divinely planned, and each event comes as a new summons to trust, obey, and rejoice, knowing that all is for one’s spiritual and eternal good (Rom. 8:28).”

As a minister, how encouraging to remember that the Lord guards, provides, and protects His church and orders not some things but all things for its good. Jesus’ own word guarantees that his bride will prevail: “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18).

In times of discouragement and difficulty as well as in times of great spiritual fruitfulness and effectiveness, how important it is to lift your gaze from this earth to heaven and remember: “Our God is in the heavens and He does all that he pleases.”

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