The Difference Between Confidence & Presumption

“Providence is a Christian’s diary, but not his Bible.” (Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity, p.123)

While we can be sure that God works all things together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28), we must be careful not to try to ‘read the tea leaves’ of His Providence, so to speak.

We can be sure that He “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11), but that does not mean that we have access to know what His specific purposes are in any given situation or circumstance.

So when we need or desire guidance, we should look to the Word of God, not the Providence of God. (Indeed we cannot even begin to understand the latter without the former.)

As believers, we take comfort, not in knowing why God is doing whatever it is that He is doing in our lives at any given moment, but in knowing that He surely knows what He is doing.

Deuteronomy 29:29 provides us with wise words to live by:

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

We need to focus on what God has revealed to us in His Word (including His commandments – “that we may do all the words of this law” – Deut. 29:29), not on the things that He in His infinite wisdom chose to keep to Himself.

To do so is to be on the road that leads to confidence in God and His purposes in our lives.  To do otherwise is to be on the path of presumption and error.

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