Read His Words Before Ours!
Our car broke down. Gainful employment was scarce. We’d struggled to find a new church community after moving. Loved ones faced challenges with their health and needed help but traveling to reach them was more than we could afford.
Overall, it seemed we were lacking. We were short on finances, resources, energy, community, availability, and all the things we felt we needed.
During this season, I stumbled across 2 Peter 1:3-11. The first part of verse 3 struck me deeply, “His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness[.]” (2 Peter 1:3) The verse also brings to mind a line from the chorus of Great Is Thy Faithfulness, “All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.”
I struggled to see how God provided “everything we needed” during that season, and I’ve certainly wrestled with this truth since then, too. Still, God has graciously shown me over and over that what I need for life and godliness, He does provide.
The second verse of Great Is Thy Faithfulness points to how God uses nature to demonstrate His provision.
“Summer and winter, springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.”
Along with the sun, moon, and stars that testify of God’s faithfulness, there are also the birds that fly among them, like the raven. Two particular references to ravens in the Bible encourage me that God does indeed provide everything we need, outside our bodies and within our souls, for life and godliness.
Luke 12:22-25 describes Jesus instructing us not to worry about life and the physical needs of our bodies like clothes or food. He points to the raven as an example of dependence, “Consider the ravens: They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than the birds?” (Luke 12:24)
As God’s hand provides all we need for life itself, He also provides what we need for abundant, rich internal life – godliness! Job 38:41 illustrates this as God asks Job, “Who provides the raven’s food when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?“
On the surface, this is another reference to physical need. But read in context, we find this is one of many, many questions that offer Job the astounding, reassuring perspective God cares for our souls, is aware of our suffering, and is sufficient for us when we experience lack, loss, and need.
Just as God cares for the ravens’ livelihood and uses creation to demonstrate His care for the spiritual health of His people, so He cares for us in our everyday lives.
How can God so faithfully provide for every raven, every person, every physical and spiritual need? As “summer and winter, springtime and harvest” sing and the psalmist declares, “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord[.]” (Psalm 24:1)
We saw this firsthand back in that season of feeling such lack. God unexpectedly provided a more reliable car for which we still thank Him today. A tax refund came in at just the right time, in just the right amount, for us to travel to help hurting loved ones. God led us to a church committed to His Word, where we were fed spiritually. Christian friends loved us sweetly and consistently.
By the time that season ended, it was hard to argue that anything we had wasn’t provided by God because it had all come about in ways that only He can work. His faithfulness spurred us to “join with all nature in manifold witness.” His faithfulness, not ours, had provided all we truly needed, in abundance.
That’s what happens when we behold and experience His provision firsthand, finding Him faithful to provide everything we need for life and godliness through Jesus. We end up wanting to praise Him, to declare the truth about Him, even to sing about Him!
Everything comes from Him and through Him,
and we discover as we receive from His merciful, generous hand
everything is for Him, too.
For His praise and glory.
“For from him and through him
And to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!