In this, the longest chapter, Flavel is concerned with showing us the advantages of meditating on Providence. According to our author, we are all quite prone to forget the great workings of God. Therefore, we are urged to frequently meditate upon and jog down for our memory the activities of Providence. These points are fairly self-explanatory and need to a greater exposition; the advantages of meditating on Providence are thus:
- By this means you may maintain sweet and conscious communion with God from day to day
- A great part of the pleasure and delight of the Christian life is made out of the observations of Providence
- Consider what an effectual means the due observation of Providence will be to overpower and suppress the natural atheism that is in your hearts
- The remembering and recording of the performances of Providence will be a singular support to faith in future exigencies
- The remembrance of former providences will minister to your souls continual matter of praise and thanksgiving
- The due observation of Providence will endear Jesus Christ every day more and more to your souls
- The due observations of Providence have a marvelous efficacy to melt the heart, and make it thaw and submit before the Lord
- Due observation of Providence will both beget and secure inward tranquility in your minds, amidst the vicissitudes and revolutions of things in this unstable vain world
- Due observations of the ways of God in His providences towards us have an excellent usefulness and aptitude to advance and improve holiness in our hearts and lives
- The consideration and study of Providence will be of singular use to us in a dying hour
Much of the suggestions in this chapter are not new. Flavel is merely giving further evidences for his argumentation. Throughout this work Flavel has given us much the same suggestions: meditate on the Providence of God because it will make your relationship with Jesus sweeter; meditate on the Providence of God because it will be used to overpower sin; meditate on the Providence of God because it will result in your praise of the Lord; meditate on the Providence of God because it will give you comfort in afflictions. Do you feel, as I do, that this work might have been more effective had it been shortened?
Do believers still have a “natural atheism” in their hearts?
Have you seen in your own experience that remembering the way that God delivered in the past gave more faith for future needs? Do you find it easier to trust God in faith than you did at the first?
How might observing Providence create holiness in our lives?