Westminster Shorter Catechism: Q11

Question: What are the works of providence?

Answer: God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.

Scripture memory:

Scripture memory: “[Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…” – ESV Hebrews 1:3

An explanation:

What a glorious God we serve in that He preserves and governs all things by His great wisdom and Almighty power! Glory to His Most Powerful, and Blessed Holy Name! The Bible teaches us that our God preserves both man and beast (Psa. 36:6), and He governs all the nations of the earth whether they recognize His rule over them or not, to direct and guide them for His purposes for history in Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:9-10; Psa. 67:4; Prov. 16:9)! God upholds all things in their being; if He were to cease to uphold any creature, any created thing at any time, it would cease to exist! (Psa. 104:30; 119:89-91; Acts 17:28).

All of God’s Works are glorious! (Psa. 104:24). The Lord is not only powerful in His works, but good and kind in and through them (Psa. 145:17). He upholds the universe and all created things in their being, but also provides for their sustenance and enjoyment! (Heb. 1:3; Ecc. 2:24-25; 1 Tim. 6:17). The Bible sweetly teaches that the eyes of all living creatures “look” to God, and God opens His gracious hand to “satisfy the desire of every living thing (Psa. 145:16).

God as a Father to His children, has a special interest in watching over, protecting and blessing them. He causes the sparrow to fall to the ground, but counts every hair on His children’s heads, and cares for us because of His great love to us in Jesus Christ (Matt. 10:29-31). He clothes the grass of the fields with lilies to display His goodness and glory, and this is to remind His children that He will always provide and care for them! (Matt. 6:26-30). Although He allows His dear children to experience great tribulation and suffering in their union with Christ, He will always sustain us, and use these hard circumstances as means to free us more from indwelling sin, and cause us to be more dependent upon Him, and to be ever thankful for His grace and love.

Our Heavenly Father will cause all things to work out for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose in Christ! (Rom. 8:28; Gen. 50:20). As the Heidelberg Catechism puts it: “…That without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation.” No amount of suffering will ever separate us from our Father’s love; it will only make us stronger, like victorious conquerors! (2 Cor. 12:9ff; Rom. 8:35-39).

Let us never forget as God’s people: His providence toward His creatures is Most Holy: “The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works” (Psa. 145:17); Most Wise: “O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (Psa. 104:24); Most Powerful: “[God] who rules by his might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations…” (Psa. 66:7; cf. Dan. 4:35).

A prayer:

Dear Most Holy, Wise, and Powerful Heavenly Father. There is nothing that can happen in this world, nor continue in this world, without your most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing of all things. All you do is good, and will result in your glorification and worship, and for our good! Thank you. Let us trust you.

In Christ’s love,
Pastor Biggs