John Flavel’s remarks on God’s providential care for His own deserve our sober contemplation:
How woeful your case had been if the Lord had not mercifully saved you from many thousand temptations that have assaulted you! I tell you, you cannot estimate the mercies you possess by means of such providences. Are your names sweet, and your consciences peaceful, two mercies as dear to you as your two eyes? Why surely you owe them, if not wholly yet in great measure, to the aids and assistances Providence has given you all along the way you have passed through the dangerous tempting world to this day.
Walk therefore suitably to this obligation of Providence also. And see that you thankfully own it. Do not impute your escapes from sin to accidents, or to your own watchfulness or wisdom.
See also that you do not tempt Providence on the other hand, by an irregular reliance upon its care over you, without taking all due care of yourselves. ‘Keep yourselves in the love of God’ (Jude 21); ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence’ (Prov. 4.23). Though Providence keep you, yet it is in the way of your duty.
Thus you see what care Providence has had over your souls in preventing the spiritual dangers and miseries that otherwise would have befallen you in the way of temptations (The Mystery of Providence, 93-94).
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Pet. 2:9). Let us praise the Lord for His providential care for us and be diligent to be godly by His grace.
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