John Flavel’s “The Mystery of Providence”

Tim Challies has invited others to join him reading the Puritan, John Flavel’s book, “The Mystery of Providence”.  Beginning May 7, 2015 he will weekly post commentary on his website:
I have joined the group.
    I never seriously considered the Providence of God until the last few years. It was Packer’s “Knowing God” that impressed me of the importance of knowing ALL the characteristics of God (as much as is possible).  Growing up I know my father (my pastor) never taught me that because I believe in God my life would be always “happy,” but that is the idea that crept into my subconscious.  Now I’m not surprised about that, because I know I default into all things egocentric until I reorient myself to God. Understanding that the God I trust to save me also works all things in my life to His glory and my good is a relief and joy.  I can rest in that.  I’m looking forward to reading this book.  Here is just a little of the introduction:
    Our modern piety, when it deals with spiritual problems, tends to be self-centered and subjective:  ‘How can I find peace? How can I be victorious and effective? How can I be guided?’  If we know the answers to these questions, it is often felt, nothing more can be asked of us.  Within the terms of such an outlook, little time and attention can be spared for the consideration of such an apparently theoretical  subject as the Providence of God.  It may even provoke some impatience.  In view of the demands of modern life, is it really necessary for us to spend time to read a lengthy treatment of what is not a priority?
    Flavel’s treatment of the subject of Providence cuts clean across our modern criticisms.  He insists from the outset that it is the duty of believers to observe all the performances of God’s providence for them, especially when they are in difficulties…..
    When John Flavel writes of the Providence of God, he does not simply deliver a lecture.  He writes in a thrilling way out of a full heart.  He knows from Church history and from his own experience of the works of God on behalf of His people.  Above all, he knows the Word of God intimately and he knows how to apply it…His treatise is calculated to abase man and exalt God, and yet to kindle faith and adoration in the heart of every child of God.
    To learn of the Providence of God under the tuition of John Flavel will bring Christian believers into a sphere they never reckoned with before.

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