A Thrill of Hope - Provision
God loves to see His body in a continual exchange of giving and receiving. When one is help-less, another is help-ful.
“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” 2 Cor 9:10-12
There are times in most of our stories when we experience financial lack. It is usually an experience wrapped up in emotions of fear and anxiety. I don’t know about you, but when I am in those times of need I often struggle with my own lack of imagination about HOW God will supply the provision. I first journey into scripture to remember WHO my God in the midst of my own doubt and uncertainty. God revealed himself to Moses as Jehovah Jireh - the God who provides (Genesis 22). He is the same God today. His nature is unchanging, his promises unfailing. We are invited to believe God is who he says he is and then confidently approach his throne of grace asking unashamedly for what we need (Hebrews 4:16). This confident approach is propelled by our understanding of God’s nature rather than a prideful misconception of our own merit.
Back to that nagging question of HOW. How will God provide? When I have exerted every effort and I just can’t figure out how provision will be orchestrated, I can find myself on the brink of hopeless. These thoughts entangle me, fueling anxiety and diminishing faith. But when I look to the word of God and listen to the testimonies of believers, I find the answer to “how” is most often “one another.” God loves to use people to administrate his abundant provision for other people.
Pastor Greg Haswell opened his sermon Sunday with this intriguing phrase, “When Jesus had a need, God had a man.” How true is that? On every occasion when we see Christ in need of anything for himself or for his ministry God supplied it through a man, or a boy (you know the one, with the fish and loaves). Meals, transportation, venues, lodging, etc. all were provided by God using other people. It’s a beautiful picture of how God intends the Body to operate, loving and caring for each of its members. When one is helpless, another becomes helpful. The Spirit of God is moving among us just as he did in the time of Christ, prompting people to supply the needs of others.
As we become aware of how God loves to move, we can more intentionally position ourselves to partner with what he is doing and how he is doing it. I think the best way to do this is to live with open hands. Open hands to give generously when prompted by the Spirit (2 Cor. 9:11) and open hands to receive when God moves another person – friend or stranger – to supply the provision we are desperately needing. There is not room for pride in this dynamic exchange of giving and receiving. The beauty is that we will all be both the helpful and the helpless at times. We must always be willing to give and equally willing to receive whenever, however, and from whomever the Lord directs. Whether it was a job promotion, a check in the mail, a friend or family member, a judge’s decision in court, or the generosity of a total stranger God uses people to distribute his abundant riches to supply the needs of his saints.
So if you are in a time of financial need, remember Paul’s word in Philippians 4, “The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts” (Philippians 4:5-7). God’s promise to you is that he is near, he hears, and he will provide supernaturally and faithfully for your need. Believe God is who he says he is and partner with him through a posture of open hands to receive his provision in the creative and kind way he will bring it!
Regardless of your financial lack or abundance, you are a valuable instrument the Lord loves to use to bless his Body on this earth. This advent season, we can each foster hope for the helpless as we reposition ourselves with open hands and eager hearts to give and receive according to the move of the Holy Spirit among us. It will be a beauty to behold.
Watch Pastor Greg’s Sermon by clicking HERE.
Lord I come to you with open hands, you know my needs right now and I trust you, Jehovah-Jireh, will provide. I invite you into the circumstances of my life and ask you to show your miraculous power and provision today! Lord, would you also give me seed to sow, the opportunity to be a generous giver in the lives of others this advent season? Let your name be glorified this season in the move of your Spirit helping the helpless and showing your loving kindness to each one of us.