My study notes for Sunday night Feb. 4th To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit http://www.fbcap.net
God’s Providential Work In Our Life
- material gathered from personal notes and material gathered from biblical counseling workshop
 This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
 For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
 the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
 He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights. (ESV)
 The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
when he delights in his way;
 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the LORD upholds his hand. (ESV)
Psalms 37 in its entirety contrasts the providence of God at work in the lives of believers against the ultimate calamity and destruction that awaits non-believers.
- Verses 1-2 warn evil men that they will whither like the grass and die like green plants
- Verse 9 declares that evil men will be cut off
- Verse 20 says the wicked will perish
- Verse 4: Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart
- Verse 5: Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
- Verses 23-24: The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
How is this done? The providence of God
What is the providence of God?
- God limiting, ordering and controlling all things for our good and his glory.
- His guardianship and care for His creatures and creation.
- Providence means that God has not abandoned the world that he created, but rather works within that creation to manage all things according to the unchangeable counsel of His will. (theopedia.com)
- Steps: an action which involves placing one foot in front of the other for the purpose of getting from one place to another. In the same way our lives are filled with steps
- In life our steps refer to the major events, experiences and decisions we are faced
- Proverbs 20:24: A man’s steps are directed by the Lord, how can then anyone understand his own way?
Directed/Established by the Lord
- Psalms 33:8: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
- Proverbs 19:21: Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails
- Proverbs 16:9: In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
He delights in every detail of our life
- Matthew 10:29-30: Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
- Psalms 139:14-16:
 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (ESV)
Though we stumble we will not fall
- Psalms 33:4: For the word of the Lord holds true, and everything he does is worthy of our trust.
Because the Lord holds us by the hand
What benefits are there in our lives as we believe and see that God, in His providence, is holding us by the hand at all times? (from Pastor Brad Bigney)
- It gives us deep gratitude to God for all good things.
- It keeps us from despair and instead gives us patience and comfort, strength and hope through suffering and adversity.
- It causes us to marvel at God’s great wisdom because He works all things together for His glory and His people’s good.
- It gives us joyful trust in God for the future.
- It frees us to obey with confidence and security–even when obedience appears risky or “foolish” by the world’s standards.
- God’s providence encourages us into risk-taking obedience for God’s great glory.
- It gives us deeper trust in God because He will accomplish all of His purposes.
- It gives us great encouragement to and confidence in prayer.
- We need never feel overwhelmed, because God is in control.
- It gives us great courage and boldness through all things.
- It shatters bitterness and complaining and shows us to be satisfied.
- It makes us strong
- It glorifies God
Psalms 32:7: You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
2 Chronicles 16:9: For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
Psalms 33:20-22: We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.