Behind a Frowning Providence, He Hides a Smiling Face

Behind a Frowning Providence, He Hides a Smiling Face

Pastor Robert Zemke

The dreams we have for our lives do not always work out as we would like. We learn to adjust since no one always gets what they want. Sometimes we wrestle with God over these circumstances or situations he has allowed. William Gurnall, the author of "The Christian In Complete Armour," suggests ways not to wrestle with God:

Do not wrestle against God’s providence. 
If Job, who suffered in ways we never will, is not to do so, neither should we. “God said to Job shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it. Then Job answered the Lord and said: Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. How can we be the plaintiff and God the defender?” ( Job 40:2-4) Gurnall states, "If God cannot please you and your heart rises against him, what hopes are there of your pleasing him?” 

Do not wrestle against God’s Spirit. 
Questioning God’s acts, whether in mercy or justice, is foolish. It is not good for the soul and only drives a wedge between you and the lover of your soul. Instead of resisting his providence, we should embrace it. He is in complete control of the circumstances ordained for you. Groan, but do not grumble. There is a sickness in us that enjoys grumbling even though it tastes bitter and rots our souls. Oddly, we can prefer this to the joy of being in his presence, trusting in his provisions – feasting on his goodness and mercy.  

The hymn “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” by William Cowper expresses well what it means to trust his sovereign will.

God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; 
He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines Of never failing skill; 
He treasures up his bright designs, And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints fresh courage take, The clouds ye so much dread 
Are big with mercy, and shall break In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust him for his grace; 
Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding ev'ry hour; 
The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan his work in vain; 
God is his own interpreter, And he will make it plain. 

Our appetites are on what we want than what he provides (which is ultimately best for us). In the midst of our race to ruin, God pulls us back and weaves circumstances seemingly not in our favor, yet ultimately to the betterment of our eternal well-being. Turn to the Lord and trust his providence for all aspects of your life.

The Christian in Complete Armour, Volume 1 by William Gurnall