You’ve no doubt seen some difficult trials in your life. I know I have. Sometimes we’ve suffered through no immediate fault of our own; sometimes our own sin has brought painful consequences. Yes, we experience so many good things in life, but we also face disease, emotional pain, job loss, national and international conflict, economic downturns, disappointment, family strife, persecution, and even death. Only a fool would say that life in this fallen world isn’t hard.
Understanding that God is in control enables us to persevere in the hard times. This month, when you support Ligonier Ministries and our outreach to proclaim the sovereign providence of God, we’ll send you a copy of the 25th anniversary hardcover edition of The Invisible Hand by Dr. R.C. Sproul.
Here’s the good news: Nothing takes Jesus off guard. In fact, our Lord said, “In the world you will have tribulation.” Thankfully, Jesus didn’t stop there. He continued, “But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He sits on His throne in heaven, ruling and reigning the cosmos according to His sovereign decree. He is working out all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11), even the hard things, directing them to our final good and His final glory. His kingdom will have no end.
We call this sovereign rule and reign of God His providence. Throughout much of church history, Christians understood the sovereign providence of God in working out all things according to His perfect will. But 25 years ago, when Dr. Sproul wrote his book The Invisible Hand, he lamented that the word providence had “all but disappeared from the vocabulary of the contemporary Christian.” With the loss of the word came the loss of the concept.
Not knowing the truth of God’s providence creates many problems for Christian living. Our confidence in Christ is undermined, and we fear what men can do to us. We can start questioning the love and presence of God, thinking that He is absent. Prayer can become merely a means of last resort as we doubt the Lord’s power to achieve His purposes.
When we come to understand the sovereign providence of God, however, our lives are forever changed. We gain courage in the face of adversity, knowing that the Lord indeed is in control. We find relief from our anxiety, resting in the mighty hand of God, who is able to do far more than we can even ask or think.
For 50 years, Ligonier has been teaching the truth of God’s sovereign providence, and testimonies have poured in telling us how this teaching has made a difference. For instance, Donna from Florida writes:
In February of 1989, my eight-year-old son was called to glory. Knowing for sure, because of Dr. Sproul’s teaching, that my son’s days were numbered before they ever came to be by the providential hand of a good and mighty God who loved him specifically carried me through the worst time in my life. Ligonier’s faithful stewardship has blessed me. Thank you.
Dr. Sproul set Ligonier on course to make teaching about God and His nature essential to our outreach. We unwaveringly proclaim the truth of God’s sovereign providence, and this month we have a special resource to thank you for your support. For your gift of any amount, we will send you an exclusive 25th anniversary hardcover edition of Dr. Sproul’s classic book The Invisible Hand. This tremendous overview of the biblical teaching on the subject has helped me and so many people understand God’s sovereign providence.
Our doctrine must address both the reality of evil and the routine frustrations of life. In His Word, God provides rigorous truth that withstands humanity’s hardest questions. Difficult problems will come. And dealing with them requires us to face the fact that these trials are sent by God. He is good in what He gives, and He intends good to come from what He gives. We can face our trials reassured that the Christian knows, and is known by, a Savior who is wholly good and loving.
Your faithful support enables the proclamation of the comfort of God’s sovereign providence to as many people as possible through online and in-person equipping events, teaching series, books and the Reformation Study Bible in many languages, Tabletalk magazine, broadcasts, and so much more. With your help, more people every year are being taught that God is ruling right now, directing all things to His glory and the good of His people.
Thank you for standing with us.