Heavens Light 7-20-10 Contentment and Providence Part 1

Contentment and Providence

Philippians 4:11

Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content

in whatever circumstances I am. NASB


In this brief study I would like to:

1)    Show briefly that God is in His Providence is governing and ordering all the circumstances of our lives

2)    Remind us of His great and precious promises to care for us and meet all of our needs, and also that His Providence is loving and always has our highest good in mind, not necessarily our earthly comfort

3)    Show briefly that discontentment is a embittering sin which greatly hinders our enjoyment of God and our ability to glorify Him

4)    Exhort us to contentment through Philippians 4:11-13


I will be offering comments from Thomas Watson’s book The Art of Divine Contentment.” It can be purchased at www.christianbook.com or read here…. http://www.fivesolas.com/watson/content.htm


1)    Show briefly that God is in His Providence is governing and ordering all the circumstances of our lives


To get started, let’s briefly define God’s Providence.


PROVIDENCE – The continuous activity of God in His creation by which He preserves and governs. The doctrine of providence affirms God’s absolute lordship over His creation and confirms the dependence of all creation on the Creator. It is the denial of the idea that the universe is governed by chance or fate.

   Through His providence God controls the universe (Ps 103:19); the physical world (Matt 5:45); the affairs of nations (Ps 66:7); man’s birth and destiny (Gal 1:15); man’s successes and failures (Luke 1:52); and the protection of His people (Ps 4:8).

   God preserves all things through His providence (1 Sam 2:9; Acts 17:28). Without His continual care and activity the world would not exist. God also preserves His people through His providence (Gen 28:15; Luke 21:18; 1 Cor 10:13; 1 Peter 3:12).

   Divine government is the continued activity of God by which He directs all things to the ends He has chosen in His eternal plan. God is King of the universe who has given Christ all power and authority to reign (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 2:36; Eph 1:20-23). He governs insignificant things (Matt 10:29-31), apparent accidents (Prov 16:33), as well as man’s good (Phil 2:13) and evil deeds (Acts 14:16). from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986,

Acts 17:23-28  24 “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His offspring.’ NASB

Not only this, but God’s meticulous Providence is so detailed that He is ordering all the events of our lives. Consider how the Scripture describes this. It says that even when the sparrows die, it is appointed by God’s Providence, and that we are more important than them, and therefore we should not fear because God is caring for our lives according to His Providence. Even the hairs of our head are numbered.

Matthew 10:29-31 – 29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 “Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows. NASB

Or consider the life of Joseph, how he was brutally sold into slavery be his wicked brothers, and how God watched over him through many varied trials and difficult circumstances, and ultimately raised him up to be the ruler of the world. Of this, the Scripture says, Joseph’s brothers meant it for evil, but God worked it for good. Even though evil men made seemingly free choices for evil, God was behind the scenes and by His good Providence was designing it all for the good of many, and especially Joseph.

Genesis 50:18-20 – 18 Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? 20 “And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. NASB

We shouldn’t doubt that God has a purpose for everything that happens because all things are governed by God according to His wise Providence. This includes all the circumstances of the life of everyone who has ever lived or ever will live.

Ephesians 1:11 – 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, NASB

Lamentations 3:37-38 – 37 Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, Unless the Lord has commanded it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That both good and ill go forth? NASB

Isaiah 45:7 – 7 The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these. NASB

For this reason, God is to be greatly feared and reverenced and obeyed! Simply put GOD IS IN CONTROL!


2)    Remind us of His great and precious promises to care for us and meet all of our needs, and also that His Providence is loving and always has our highest good in mind, not necessarily our earthly comfort


Not only is God in control but He has promised to care fore and meet the needs of those who love Him and look to Him as their provider. Consider a few of His precious promises to us;

Psalm 145:1820 – 18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;

He will also hear their cry and will save them. 20 The Lord keeps all who love Him; But all the wicked, He will destroy. NASB

Psalm 121:5-8 – 5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. 6 The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. 8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever. NASB

Not only does He keeps us give us what is necessary for our lives, but He even designs the bitter circumstances of our lives to mold us and shape us and teach us to trust Him more and more.

Psalm 25:10 – 10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. NASB

James 1:2-4 – 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. NASB

If you are a Christian, there is nothing that is happening in your life that God has not designed for your ultimate good. This includes every single circumstance in your life. It does not mean He will only give you comfortable, easy things, in fact He has designed this fallen world, and all the sorrows, afflictions and hurtful pains, to stretch us and test us so that our faith might be refined and cause our love and trust for Him to grow all the more, that we might grow in holiness.

Hebrews 12:10-11 – 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He[God] disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. NASB

Even though he may discipline us at times, He does this out of His great love and for our highest good. His emphatic promise to us is, He is working everything in our life, FOR OUR GOOD!

Romans 8:28 – 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. NASB

Now how many things is “all things.” Is God working “some things” for your good? No God is working “all things” for your good, that is, if you “love Him” and are “the called according to His purpose.” Yes indeed, He is working the good things, the bad things, the sweet things and the bitter things, the joys, the comforts, the sorrows and even the dark valley of the shadow of death, He is working for your good. Not to mention in the midst of this, He showers blessings upon us day in and day out. Our lives are filled with His goodness and His blessings. He prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies. (Ps 23:5)


Now because of these great truths we must be careful not to complain against God for the paths and courses He marks out for our lives. We must be careful to acknowledge that He is wisely governing our lives and giving us what is needful for our life, even when circumstances seem contrary. Consider the saints of old, even though they faced great trials, and the hand of Providence seemed to be against them at times, yet they trusted God and humbly submitted to His will. Thomas Watson comments …“God is to be trusted when his providences seem to run contrary to his promises. God promised to give David the crown, to make him king; but providence ran contrary to his promise. David was pursued by Saul, and was in danger of his life, but all this while it was Davids duty to trust God. Pray observe, that the Lord by cross providences often brings to pass his promise. God promised Paul the lives of all that were with him in the ship; but the providence of God seemed to run quite contrary to his promise, for the winds blew, the ship split and broke in pieces. Thus God fulfilled his promise; upon the broken pieces of the ship they all came safe to shore. Trust God when providences seem to run quite contrary to promises.”

Let us therefore appreciate God’s providence to the point that we worship and magnify God’s great name because of it, and seek to always acknowledge His “invisible hand” of guidance.





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Shaan Sloan
Heritage Christian Fellowship – ABQ
The Lord is the Strength of My Life


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