Of Divine Providence
Chapter 5, Paragraph 6.
“…whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, under those means which God uses for the softening of others.“
1 Peter 2:7,8
The wicked and ungodly do not have all things work for their good. God’s grace is withheld from them, so that they remain in unbelief. The common graces they enjoyed may be removed from them, and the way is paved for them to fulfill their evil desires. Freely choosing and delighting in such a life, the wicked harden their hearts. Amazingly, the same means that spur the ungodly further from God are used to soften the hearts of His children. What causes one to decay is the same thing that will cause one to grow. So which one is happening for you?
Sin should never be something that the Christian takes lightly. Yes, the penalty for our sin has been paid for by Jesus, and yes, it is grace that saves us. But, “are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be!” (Romans 6:1) While the believer still has the remaining corruption of sin in him, there shouldn’t be a pattern of ongoing willful sin in his life. Scarily, some are deceived into believing they are righteous when their lives show no evidence of struggling against sin.
When we consider how God sometimes gives over the wicked to their own lusts, we learn to see just how beautiful repentance is. For godly sorrow that leads to repentance is evidence that God has drawn us to Himself! He is increasing our dependence upon Him, and drawing us closer to the Being that has all life, glory, goodness, blessedness in and of Himself! What a gift!
May we then ever turn to Christ, and submit to His care all that befalls us.
He is ever doing you good; be you always abounding in His work. His providence stands by you in your greatest distresses and dangers; do not flinch from God when His service and you duty is compassed about with difficulties. O be active for that God who every moment is active for you. -John Flavel
Questions to Consider
- Are you heeding Scripture’s call to “harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3)?