The Expository Files




Divine Providence in 2014

What does the Lord have in store for me this year? You’ve probably heard the old saying, “The Lord helps them that help themselves.” Actually, that particular statement is not found in the Scripture, but the principle is indeed found there. In fact, prayer itself is based upon faith that God hears and provides, but praying to a God who hears does not take away from our own individual need to act responsibly.

For example, the Christian is told to work to earn a living and thus support himself and his family, as well as to place himself in a position to be able to help others in need (Eph 4:28). On the other hand, we are told to pray for our daily bread (Matt. 6:11). So where is our food to come from? From our work, or from our prayers? The answer is “From both!” Every good thing comes to us from God above in one way or another. Prayer recognizes this, but it would be incorrect to pray for food and then not to
work for it; or to pray for good health and then not practice good health habits. Doing such is what Jesus called “tempting God.”

I am confident about the upcoming year. This confidence has nothing to do with various indicators that most people consider when trying to discern whether or not it will be a good year. The word of God tells us that “this is the confidence that we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14). Certainly much of what God does and how He does it is far beyond our comprehension, but we have confidence that He hears us and intervenes according to His purpose when we ask according to His will, and this includes accepting our own responsibilities as His people.

God will direct history according to His purpose, and in whatever circumstances I find myself, He will provide what I need to make this a successful year. I can glorify Him in every situation. That is what I choose to do.

By Jon W. Quinn
The Front Page
From Expository Files 21.1; January 2014