Well as of 10:15 last night (45 minutes before quitting time) I was officially laid off of work. I worked at this place for about a year it was a decent job pulling in $10.50 an hour ($15.75 OT). It is so odd I know I am supposed to get all worried especially in light of the fact that we blew most of our savings on a car Thursday. However, I know that this is Providence and God really has brought this about. I actually am very excited to get in my theology studies that I have been slacking off on, hopefully for a while this will be in the void the work would fill. Anyway I haven't picked up C.H. Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening" devotional for months yet this morning I thought well in light of my unemployment I should really kick of redeeming the time with hearty devotion. Here is what August 5th's "Morning and Evening" reads:
"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God."
- (Rom 8:28)
Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the worlds tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it. That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything.
He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, It is I, be not afraid. He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise. He can say, "If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it." We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.
The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that he governs wisely, that he brings good out of evil, the believer's heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes.
The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, "Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from thee; never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children."
Say not my soul, "From whence can God relieve my care?"
Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.
His method is sublime, his heart profoundly kind,
God never is before his time, and never is behind."
Talk about Providence! God is really soveriegn, and all the storms that my beset His saints are really blessing in disguise. It really is good that I got laid off of work. Spurgeon knew from experience the truths which he preached. He suffered from the gout in his feet (thus the cane) as well as other health issues. Probably hardest of all would be the intense criticisms (often very ugly) which Spurgeon recieved from "evangelicals". William Cowper has a hymn that says of God's Providence "The bud may have a bitter taste but sweet will be the flower". It is true, God ordains our trials and though we may not see (even in this life) they are for our good. I don't know what I would do without this sort of a vision of God, that God is all controlling even over the hardships. When things are well there is money in the bank and the car breaks people pay when there is no money in the bank and the car breaks people pray. So one obvious benefit of hard times is to wean us from resting our hope in the things of the world and forcing us to rely upon He alone who is reliable, Christ.
Things will be all right, I know this, but do keep my family and I in prayer, I covet your prayers. I know things will be fine no matter how dark the trial because God promised to work all things (that includes trials) for the good of those who hope in Him alone.
"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation." (Hab 3:17-18)