Divine Superintendence!

Unknown author


"My times are in Your hand!" Psalm 31:15

Obviously the changes and vicissitudes of life are in God's hand. Times of worldly prosperity and adversity are in God's hand. He fixes the bounds of every one's habitation, and determines his lot. The rapid and arbitrary changes in the scenes of some men's lives may render this more apparent in their case than in others; but the same hand is equally efficient in all.

God does not, indeed, interfere with the natural liberty of man yet the final outcomes of things depend entirely on His sovereign will. He weaves the threads of every man's life, so as to constitute it the particular piece that was intended: "The lot is cast into the lap but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord!"

Such a recognition promotes acquiescence, by a conviction of the Divine wisdom and goodness in all providential permissions and allotments. There we must seek repose and not from a discovery of the design of each event. Such knowledge is too wonderful for us it is so high that we cannot attain to it! "God works all things after the counsels of his own will, and gives no account of any of his matters!" We may vex ourselves with the false conclusions we draw, or with our inability to unravel the the tangled web of divine providence but we only show thereby our own folly, and achieve our own injury. We can alter nothing
"God's own eternal thought moves on
 His undisturbed affairs!"

God contents Himself with replying to all our cavils and dictations: "Should it be according to your mind?" "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" "What I do you know not now but you shall know hereafter." "But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' Does not the Potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?" Romans 9:20-21

It is but a common word that we speak to our afflicted friends, when we say that God has done it and because of its commonness it often falls upon unheeding ears, and therefore fails to reach the sorrowing heart. But its very commonness attests its truth by attesting its universal belief. The great thing is to recognize, and to feel it as a truth.

Oh! This of itself were a sufficient antidote for all human sorrow! "My times are in Your hands!"

From the agency of God in all human affairs, holy people should derive comfort and confidence. Their preservation, improvement, and welfare are in the best hands. The appointment of all the events of all lives is with God so that none can alter His appointment, or hinder it from taking effect. Whatever be the cast of events, they can have nothing in them destructive or overwhelming either to their principles or our happiness.

Look at those events that are of an afflictive nature; they shall proceed, only so far as to afford occasion for the interpositions of an ever-watchful Providence in their support and deliverance and no further.

Our greatest peril is in times of prosperity. Danger lurks most abundantly in scenes the most agreeable to us. We are thrown off our guard by the smooth and tranquil flow of events and are not watchful to avoid temptation.

But these times of prosperity also are in His hands. He dispenses them with guards and checks, and counterparts. Usually He does not give them until He has prepared us by some previous disasters against their seductive influence. Thus, Paul was prepared against the danger of pride, by the thorn in the flesh; and David was prepared against the seductions of royal splendor, by the persecutions of the desert.

How calm and easy might we be, under all events, by the due influence of such considerations! It must be a happiness to the Christian to see the affairs of the world in such good hands. He can thus anticipate order to arise out of confusion, and general good out of partial evil. He therefore can be calm in the midst of tumult. Where others see only a natural agency, or a mass of confusion he descries the Deity presiding. What perplexes them makes him adore. But it is a much greater happiness to him to see his own affairs in the hands of God, "My times," he says, "are in Your hand the hand of one who cannot but notice me, cannot but care for me, cannot but intend my benefit!"

To invite and encourage us to this, God graciously assumes our care to Himself, and commands us to leave it with Him, "Casting your care upon him for he cares for you." What superior people might we be, in indifference to events were we faithful to our principles! What honor might we bring to our religion by this holy and unruffled serenity, amidst great vicissitudes, or under the approach of violent changes! Our minds firm and unmoved, like the inhabitants of a peaceful island in the midst of a tumultuous sea would be objects of admiration and envy to the spectators tossed upon its surges. Let us aspire to this tranquility.

Should death enter our circle, and take away some desire of our heart at a stroke; as we value the honor of our religion, and the glory of shining in the passive graces let us refrain from querulous murmurings. We disturb ourselves with perplexing questions respecting the loss of a relative. Why was he singled out? Why did the fatal dart strike him? Why was no relief at hand? Why could no medicines cure him and no prayers prevail? Thus we make mere circumstances, to aggravate our loss. We blame the physician for lack of skill, the nurse for lack of care, ourselves for lack of foresight, the remedies for lack of efficacy. We blame the air for malignancy and the disease for obstinacy. Thus we feed our grief by the supposed avoidableness of the event.

But all such murmuring would be checked by a distinct recognition of the Divine sovereignty and agency. "I was silent I did not open my mouth because You are the One who has done this!"

Go, then, Christian, cease from your useless grief. Starve it by withdrawing your mind from the topics which inflame it. Keep the fuel from the fire and it will go out. Go, retract your censures, arouse yourself from your unprofitable languor, look around on the mercies left you, and busy yourself in turning the loss you have sustained to a good account by making it productive of lessons for the living, and of incentives to your own closer walk with God. He who acts thus, shall collect a gem out of the dust of mortality, and deck himself with laurels plucked from the tomb"

"O Lord, whatever times come to me let me always recognize Your gracious hand in them.

When I am gladdened by times of prosperity let me be careful to acknowledge the Giver, and to enjoy the gift in humility and gratefulness.

When I am made sad by times of adversity let me remember the moral purpose of every such painful visitation.

And when the time of death shall come, when 'the silver cord shall be loosed, and the pitcher is broken at the fountain' when I am summoned to walk through the dark valley, then may I feel Your Hand upholding me. 'I will fear no evil.' May I be found among the redeemed and the holy, sitting down in the kingdom of my Father, to no more go out forever. And all this through faith, and through faith only living, holy faith in the Blessed Christ."

"My times are in Your hand,
O God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul, I leave
Entirely to Your care.

"My times are in Your hand,
Whatever they may be;
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright.
As best may seem to Thee.

"My times are in Your hand;
Why should I doubt or fear?
A Father's hand will never cause,
His child a needless tear.

"My times are in Your hand,
Jesus the Crucified;
The hand my many sins had pierced,
Is now my guard and guide.

"My times are in Your hand,
Jesus my Advocate;
Nor can that hand be stretched in vain,
For me to supplicate.

"My times are in Your hand;
I'll always trust in Thee,
Until I possess the glorious land,
Where I shall ever be!"

"Those who trust in the LORD are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever. Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, both now and forever!" Psalm 125:1-2

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!" Isaiah 43:1-3

"I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps. Correct me, LORD, but only with justice   not in your anger, lest you reduce me to nothing!" Jeremiah 10:23-24

"Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings!" Psalm 17:8

"He who touches you touches the apple of his eye." Zechariah 2:8