Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Keep A Record Of God's Providence In Your Life

One line of apologetics that doesn't receive much attention is God's work in our own lives. Even if we can't provide other people with much or any evidence for something like an answered prayer we've experienced, the experience can have apologetic value for us individually and for people who know us enough to trust us. I've mentioned apologetics, but God's work in our lives is significant in non-apologetic contexts as well.

Years ago, I heard Gary Habermas make some comments to the effect that he hadn't noticed how many of his prayer requests were granted by God until he started keeping a record of answered prayers. At his advice, I began keeping a record of God's providence in my life. I don't limit it to answered prayer. I include other types of apparent interventions of God in my life as well. And I have been surprised by how many of them there are and their significance. If you think you can remember everything without keeping a record, I suggest keeping a record for a while. See what happens. Unless you have an unusually good memory, I suspect you'd forget much of what happens if you haven't recorded it. You don't have to record everything, and you'd probably forget some things even if you intended to record them all. But try to regularly record some examples. I suggest writing down dates and including other relevant contextual information where it's appropriate.


  1. Thanks, Jason. :-) This is very good and wise advice.

    Speaking for myself, I unfortunately haven't had time to keep a more proper record of God's work in my life (e.g. journal). Maybe someday I'll be able to. But since email is usually easily accessible to me, what I do is send off a brief email to myself when something significant does happen and then file it away in a separate folder I've created. I trust I'll be able to praise God all the more as I look back and see God's hand in my little life.

  2. William Lane Craig talks about some of God's providential dealings in his life in this Q&A session:

    Double Doctorates

    And of course there's the book edited by Steve and James Anderson at the right side of T-blog that records some testimonies of Christian intellectuals.

    Love the Lord With Heart and Mind

  3. It seems to me that identifying and documenting answered prayer is much easier than discerning providence. I also find that I personally tend to lump "good" things that happen into the providence bucket whereas I don't typically view dark providences rightly. I think I have much to learn from the Puritans in this area (God's sanctifying hand of affliction).

  4. Wow this is a wonderful idea!