Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.
Isaiah 48:10, 11
God is jealous of his glory. We have been focusing on one of the grandest doctrines of the Bible, the providence of God. It is connected to God’s glory. Providence is defined as God’s powerful, purposeful, pervasive sovereignty. I would like to draw attention to the word purposeful. God’s providence is purposeful. That doesn’t mean it is always gentle. Sometimes God in his providence uses a hammer and a file to shape us into his son. It is sort of Michelangelo with a block of marble stone. God’s providence doesn’t always make our life comfortable, but there is purpose. Everything that God does has a purpose. It is always shaped by his power, his wisdom and his love. That is good to remember. We need to remember that almost every day because when you look at the world we live in it often looks out of control and a lot of people think that’s the way it is. They believe in what is called fatalism, or determinism, that we are simply controlled by external forces. A blind, impersonal force, they say, is running this world. That’s why at times it is so unpredictable and chaotic. You can also understand why people who believe that are rather depressed and despairing at times and very confused.
But we as Christians believe in a sovereign God who is in control of everything. That should bring us comfort to know that all of our lives are under a sovereign, loving, wise control of a heavenly Father. His providence always has purpose.
What are God’s purposes? There might be a thousand and one purposes in one event; wheels within wheels. Here is what we should keep in mind, there is one ultimate purpose behind God's providence – God’s glory. God is committed to self-glorification. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. Why did he make the world? For his glory, Psalm 19. Why does he save them? For his glory. The same could be said of his providence. All the things that happen in your life, in my life, even the things we don’t understand, things that are painful, are ultimately for God’s glory.
Don’t ever forget that. Here is that word glory and how it is used, in regard to our lives. You were bought with a price so glorify God in your body, 1 Corinthians 6. Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, “Let your light shine that they may see your good works so that they will glorify your Father in heaven.” 1 Corinthians 10:31,”Whatever you do, whether you drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.”
Here is the question, do you believe that God’s providence brought you here tonight? It may seem like a silly question. Man plans his way (hopefully you planned to be here), God directs his step. Why did God bring us here? So we can glorify him. How do we glorify him? By praise, thanks, when we petition him, when we confess our sins. Our prayer meetings are ultimately for God glory. Let’s pray that we would glorify God by our prayers.