Question: Explain the various parts of the benefit believers receive from their knowledge of God’s providence.
There are three benefits in particular. The first is thankfulness when things go well for us. Everything that goes well for us and happens the way we like we should ascribe to God and thank Him for it, whether we experience His goodness through people or His help through other created things. A believing heart should remember that it is the Lord who inclines the minds of these people toward you, and it is He who has given and continues to give other created things their power, so that they serve as instruments of His goodness and mercy toward me (Jeremiah 5, Acts 3, Acts 14).
23 ‘But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
They have turned aside and departed.
24 ‘They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear the Lord our God,
Who gives rain in its season,
Both the autumn rain and the spring rain,
Who keeps for us
The appointed weeks of the harvest.” Jeremiah 5:23, 24
11 While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement. 12 But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? Acts 3:11, 12
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; 17 and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” Acts 14:14-17
This is true to such an extent that we do not drink even a drop of water that is not a kindness of God.
Caspar Olevianus, A Firm Foundation, p. 31