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“Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord ; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.”

(Jeremiah 24:7)

What a blessing to hear the Lord say, “They shall be My people, and I will be their God.” The Bible is full of examples of what it means to have the Lord as our God and to be His people. God delivered His people from every trouble, provided for their every need, and blessed them abundantly physically and spiritually. That is what we call the providence of God!

God is in control of all things. Absolutely nothing happens without God’s knowledge and approval. If God feeds every bird and clothes the grass of the field (Matthew 6:26-29), and not even a single sparrow falls to the ground without Him (Matthew 10:29), certainly every aspect of our lives is in His hands.

Think about the comfort of God’s providence. It comes from a fatherly heart, a heart of infinite love. This is the God Who “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) If God “did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) You can rest secure in God’s love. Every moment of your life is under His providing care.

God’s providence is guided by His all-knowing wisdom. We might feel at times as if God must have made a mistake. Why did God let this happen? How can this be good? You call this love? Remember God’s promise in Psalm 84:11: “The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.”

We usually think of “good things” in terms of what is pleasant, but truly loving parents know that discipline is also good for their children. No one knows what we need and what is truly good for us better than God. Therefore, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

God’s providence is carried out by God’s almighty hand. Godly parents have the love to do everything that is good for their children, but not always the wisdom or understanding to know what is best. Even more, parents do not always have the strength or ability to do what is good. They are not able to protect their children from every danger, nor are they able to provide everything they would like. But remember, “With God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)

It is all-encompassing. God is at work in everything. Paul says that God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20) That was the case for Ruth. She simply knew she had to go out and glean barley from the nearby fields in order for her and Naomi to survive. By God’s loving providence He gave her so much more than she sought. God provided Ruth a kinsman redeemer who took her as his wife and provided a home to both her and Naomi. God also blessed her with a son, and so she became the ancestress of King David and, further, of her Savior and ours.

This is what it means to have the Lord as our God and to be His people. He sees and knows everything and always has our best interest in mind. Notice in our passage above, this is only possible because God Himself has given us a heart to know Him. The more you recognize God’s providence in your life, the more you will rejoice in His goodness, pray without ceasing, and truly “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,” and marvel to see how “all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

The more you recognize God’s providence in your life, the more you will rejoice in His goodness.

David Reim is pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Vernon, British Columbia.