Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 22, 2019

“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 24:22-27.

“But Felix, having a more exact knowledge about the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will decide your case.”  Then he gave orders to the centurion for him to be kept in custody and yet have some freedom, and not to prevent any of his friends from ministering to him.

But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.  But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.”  At the same time too, he was hoping that money would be given him by Paul;  therefore he also used to send for him quite often and converse with him.  But after two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul imprisoned.”  Acts 24:22-27.

——————–

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5.

As we read this short Scripture, it may seem like there were a lot of “ups and downs” for Paul.

It may have seemed good that Felix had “a more exact knowledge about the Way”, but it may have seemed bad that Felix put off the hearing.

It may have seemed good that Felix gave Paul some freedom and allowed his friends to minister to him, but it may have seemed bad that Paul was continued to be imprisoned.

It may have seemed good that Felix sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus, but it may have seemed bad that Felix became frightened and sent Paul away.

It may have seemed good that Felix sent for Paul quite often to converse with him, but it may have seemed bad that “Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul imprisoned.”

Other doctrine, that believes in alleged man’s free-will, is captured on the roller-coaster of emotions based on what man does.

But, Reformed Doctrine steadfastly trusts in the LORD and does not lean on its own understanding and is thankful in prosperity and patient in adversity. 

Reformed Doctrine knows that God is sovereign and works all things after the counsel of His will and accomplishes all of His purpose.

Reformed Doctrine believes in the providence of God and that God causes all things to work together for his good.

“…  In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,”  Ephesians 1:10-11.

“9 “Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;”  Isaiah 46:9-10.

Q. 28.  What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by His providence doth still uphold all things?

A.  That we may be patient in adversity;  thankful in prosperity;  and that in all things which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall separate us from His love;  since all creatures are so in His hand, that without His will they cannot so much as move.  Heidelberg Catechism.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28.


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