Every man loves the mercies of God, but the saint loves the God of the mercies.
The above is a pregnant statement found within a chapter of John Flavel's work on the providence of God. Stop and think about it. Ponder it in your mind. Let it cause you to examine your heart. For those who may be reading this blog who are unfamiliar with certain terms of the Christian faith, the word "saint" simply refers to all who have been "born-again"; all whom the Spirit of God has regenerated and reconciled to God through the atoning work of Jesus Christ by grace alone through faith alone. "Saint" does not refer to someone who "acts" like a saint. We are all saints who are in Christ. It is an inward reality that only God can see, not an outward manifestation of holiness.
With that in mind, read the above statement again. If you fancy yourself a genuine Christian, one who will be found acceptable to God at the judgement, ask yourself if you love the benefits of Christianity (mercy, forgiveness, escape from eternal punishment, peace of mind, etc) or the Christ of Christianity. I fear many join the ranks for the benefits and not for the benefactor.
Whenever the promises of God and the events which are promised meet each other, they are joyfully embraced by believing people. Remembering past providences will be a continual source of praise and thanksgiving, which is the employment of the angels in heaven, and the most enjoyable part of being on earth. It is not so much the blessings that providence gives us, but the goodness and kindness of God in giving them that occupies a grateful person in praise. (Ps.63:3)
To give life, and to preserve it, are precious acts of providence; but the grace that causes God to do all this is far better than the acts themselves. The careful observation of providence will make Jesus Christ more and more precious to your souls.
Through Christ, God's mercies flow to us, and all praise returns to God from us. All things are ours,because we are His.(1st Cor.3:21-23) All the blessings we have in this life, as well as all spiritual and eternal mercies, have been bought for us by the blood of Christ. By His death, Christ restores to us everything sin has robbed us of. "With Christ" God freely gives us all things; salvation itself, and all things necessary to bring us there (Rom.8:32)
Whatever good we receive from the hand of providence, we must say, comes by the death of Christ. Because we are united with Christ, everything we receive from providence is made a blessing to us.
When we are in Christ, we have more than we lost through the fall of Adam. Whoever is the means of doing you any good, the Lord Jesus Christ gives the command for it to be done. Do not live your life in such a hurry that you have no time to sit and think of these things. Consider in your heart these wonderful discoveries of God in His Providences.