Amazing ways about how God provides our needs.
God is the God of provision.
Abraham, who many consider the father of our faith, was called upon to sacrifice Isaac, the son he had prayed for over the course of many years. He didn’t question God, but instead obediently walked up the mountain with his young teenage son by his side.
God hadn’t fast forwarded the story for Abraham, he didn’t know how it would play out and yet he obeyed. God provided a lamb in place of Isaac.
Noah was the only one found righteous among all of the people living on the earth at the time. God had a plan to start over and so He provided Noah with the ark to spare Noah and his family.
Egypt and the surrounding lands were in a time of famine. Years before, the Lord had sent Joseph ahead to prepare the country, providing grain in the midst of lack.
Moses was sent to lead and shepherd the Israelites, to lead them out of Egypt and to the land promised to them. However, the Red Sea stood in their way.
How would this group of people cross over the sea when their enemy was in hot pursuit? God provided once again and split the Red Sea so that the Israelite people could cross on dry ground.
Humans were lost in sin, with no hope to be reconciled by God, until He provided His One and Only Son so that whomever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
God is a God of Provision. Clearly, we see this all throughout the Scriptures. We serve a God who we can trust with our needs; a God who delights in being the Giver of good gifts.
How does God provide our needs?
Out of all of the characteristics of God, perhaps most often brought up is His heart to provide for His children; but what does this mean and how does He go about doing so?
The most important thing God provides for His children is our salvation in Him, the forgiveness of our sins. Anyone that calls upon the name of the Lord and believes in their heart that He died on a cross and was raised from the dead, receives this gift.
Furthermore, God’s desire is that we would become like Him. This is the journey of sanctification.
The Lord will accomplish His will for us in whatever means it takes to transform us into His image. We will walk through valleys and mountains and come out on the other side knowing and loving God more.
Finally, God does provide us with blessings. This does not mean that we will be given everything we could ever hope or long for, sometimes God’s no is protection, other times He gives us something better.
In Chapter 7 of the Gospel of Matthew, we’re taught about earthly parents giving good gifts to their children, and how much more the Lord has a heart to bless us.
Should We Pray in Specifics?
A few months ago a mentor of mine and I were talking about praying in specifics and she made a wonderful point. Her advice was that we should pray with a heart of gratitude for whatever the Lord should decide, and that the Lord wants to hear our heart’s desires.
In her illustration she asked how I would feel if my son came up to me with a certain desire on his heart. Would I want for him to voice that want to me or simply say “whatever you want mommy”?
While he would need to be okay with whatever I decided, my heart as His mother (much like God’s heart for us) would be that he voiced exactly what he would like.
God wants to hear our hearts and longs that we may communicate our desires with Him.
A verse that is commonly mis-applied to our wants is Jeremiah 29:11 which reads: “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
While there is obviously truth behind the verse, many take it out of context to mean whatever we should want will be provided.
Friend, as much as we may wish that to be true, God is not a genie in a bottle. We cannot pray just the right way and assume we will be given the exact thing we have asked for.
God has plans for us and as Christians, part of our sanctification (journey of becoming more like Him) is to bend our will to His.
There will be desires of our hearts that must be sacrificed; think of Joseph when he was in prison and asked the cup bearer and baker to remember him so that he could be freed.
This desire did not come to fruition, but later on it was clear why God ultimately held Him in prison longer than he would have wished.
There will be other times that we pray for a blessing and it is given to us. Think of the blind man’s desire to have his sight restored in the tenth chapter of Mark.
When Bartimaeus cried out to the Lord for mercy and then came to Him with his request of being made to see again, the Lord answered.
Yes, we should pray in specifics, but with a heart posture that remembers whatever the Lord should choose to do, answer how we would want Him to or not. His plan is ultimately for our best.
A Story of God’s Provision
I hadn’t heard of choosing a word of the year until shortly after we were married in 2013. By that time it was June and I wondered if it were too late to choose one.
At the same time, I had a prayer request burning on my heart. Though we had just gotten married I was yearning for a baby.
The Lord told me, just as clearly as if He had been standing in the room with me that if I would be still in 2013, I would rejoice in 2014. By the time 2014 rolled around, I was more than ready to accept the gift of a child.
I also realized that I have had to get pregnant by March in order for the child to truly be a 2014 baby, as I had been so certain the Lord promised me.
When the calendar turned to April and my womb was still empty, I cried more than a few tears and resolved in my heart that perhaps instead of having a baby in my arms that year, I would instead become pregnant. Well, friend 2015 came and to my knowledge I still had an empty womb.
I was devastated. I truly didn’t understand.
While we had only had the green light from God to even begin trying for a month, I thought it would happen right away because God told me I would rejoice in 2014 and here it was 2015 and my womb was still empty; or so I thought…
Lo and behold, on January 12th 2015 I had reason to take a pregnancy test. I held my breath and peered with one eye open, at the test when suddenly the word “pregnant” popped up.
Oh friend, if you had been in that bathroom with me. I did a praise dance such as I have never done before or since.
Months later when thinking of when my baby would have been conceived, it came to my mind that God provided me with this miracle, December 28th 2014. A mere three days before the years end. God had provided, just as He said He would.
What does God protect us from?
Bible verses about how God provides
There are several verses in the Bible that talk about God’s provision for His people. For the purpose of this blog post here are several of our favorites.
Psalms 34:10 ESV The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Psalm 81:10 I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
Psalm 107:9 For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.
Proverbs 10:3 The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
Matthew 6:31-32 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Prayers for God providing
In perhaps the most well known prayer of the Scriptures, Jesus teaches His disciples to pray give us this day our daily bread. We are to rely on God for His provision.
Think back to the Old Testament when God provided manna from heaven to the Israelites. Bread was a staple for the Jewish people.
We are to humbly depend on God. Knowing that every gift we ever receive – from something so basic as bread to the huge life altering blessings like bearing children – come straight from His hand.
We are not to be a prosperity gospel believing people. God will bless us as He sees fit, however it is not up to us to pray for luxury.
Remember also that God answers our prayers for provision so that we then can turn around and bless others. We are made full so that we can pour ourselves out again. The poor widow gave all she had to the service of God; likewise, this should be our aim.
Hannah, the mother of Samuel, was a beautiful example of this truth. She prayed for a child and promised the Lord should he bless her thus, she would dedicate said child back to the service of God.
God blessed her with Samuel and just as she had promised, dedicated him to the house of the Lord.
Take a moment today to ponder where you have been blessed and how you may turn around and bless someone else. It is in giving that we are often the most happy (blessed).
God’s ultimate desire is that we would become more like Him. We can trust Him to provide for our daily needs, as well as those things which would further our sanctification.
There are times He blesses us simply because He loves us; each time He gives us a gift we are made full to bless others.
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