“Note the usefulness of heretics–usefulness, of course, in the sense that God makes good use even of bad people.” -Augustine, Christmas and Epiphany Sermons
BTW NOTE: Augustine is commenting on the phenomenon of how heresies and false teaching can drive the church deeper into the word of God, with the result that it emerges with a better understanding of God’s word than it would’ve had if heretics had not troubled the church in the first place.
“Even the winds and waves are not more fickle than a tyrant’s will; but the Ruler of tempests knoweth how to rule the perverse spirits of princes. The Lord our God has a bit for the wildest war horse, and a hook for the most terrible leviathan. Autocratical Caesars are but puppets moved with invisible strings, mere drudges to the King of kings.” -Charles Spurgeon, Twelve Christmas Sermons
“Consider it: Even those who oppose Jesus are themselves being sustained by his powerful word. When Judas betrayed him, when Caiaphas insulted him, when the soldiers crucified him, each of them was only existing because of the ‘word of his power.'” -Andrew Wilson, Incomparable
“If I make a model, or a cupboard, or a computer, I do not need to keep sustaining their existence, because once I have built them, they stay there unless something destroys them— they have an existence that is independent of their maker. But if I make a sound, like singing a note, the sound stops as soon as I stop making it. The sound, in fact, only exists because of its relationship with me, and has no existence of its own. The universe is like that. If God stopped sustaining it, it would have no basis to continue being there.” -Andrew Wilson, Incomparable
“God milks the cows through the vocation of the milk maids.” -Martin Luther
“when you pray for ‘daily bread’ you are praying for everything that contributes to your having and enjoying your daily bread. . . . You must open up and expand your thinking, so that it reaches not only as far as the flour bin and baking oven but also out over the broad fields, the farmlands, and the entire country that produces, processes, and conveys to us our daily bread and all kinds of nourishment.” -Martin Luther, Larger Catechism
“The flow of history, so often to us a meaningless flux of actors, activities, movements and conflicts, is actually a closely guarded arena of divine purposes: the Lord is there in the flux, making sure that each event is in the right place at the right time, each ‘actor’ appears on cue, everything is perfectly integrated into the divine scheme, nothing intrusive retards or deflects the divine plan.” -Alec Motyer, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament