My son's voice broke as he spoke, "Mom, I don't know what's happening. I just moved my family in order to take a new job, but now that job has fallen through!"
I did my best to encourage him, but as the minutes went by, I could tell I wasn’t getting through the wall of anguish.
After hanging up, I couldn’t get my son’s situation out of my mind. Finally I stopped everything else to pray about what he was going through. My son and his wife are active Christians and responsible young parents. I knew that he would do the best he could to support his family, but I knew, too, that the worldwide economic slump meant it was even more difficult than usual to get a good job.
Jesus said that if we will “seek the kingdom of god above all else,” God will give us everything we need.1 If you work hard and do your job well, it’s in your boss’s best interest to notice and reward you with a pay raise or promotion. God thinks that way too. If we invest our time and energy in His work, helping others and living as He would have us live, God will notice and see that we are rewarded.
As a career Christian volunteer, I’ve spent my life sharing God’s love with others and trying my best to live my faith. There have been times, however, when I’ve compared my life with those of people around me and wondered if I might be better off materially if I worked at a secular job.
My flight to Uganda was booked for less than two weeks away. I sat in my room and counted the money in my wallet.
I was trying to get from Thailand to East Africa to continue my Christian volunteer work there. God had told me He would provide the money, but my present work didn’t bring in the kind of cash I needed for plane fare to the other side of the planet.
When money is scarce, your faith in My ability to supply for you is often tested. You might worry that My promises aren’t true, that I won’t supply for you as I said I would. But I will come through for you. Sometimes I answer immediately, but other times it takes awhile.
Many factors affect My ability to answer your prayers and provide for you, including the choices that you and others make, and sometimes you and I both have to wait till all the conditions are right.
A retelling of 1 Kings 17:8–16
“Have you something for me to eat, something to drink?” the unassuming stranger asked. “I’m weak from hunger and weary from my journey. Please, I beg you.”
My heart reached out to him. I felt the same hunger pains. Zarephath, where I lived, was like wherever this man had come from—in the grip of famine. I too was weak and weary. I too needed someone to rescue me before I perished.
I had almost nothing, and he was asking me to give him what little I had. If I had had only myself to look after, I would have given him my last morsel without a second thought. I had given God plenty of reasons to turn His back on me. I didn’t deserve to live, but what about my little boy, the light of my life, whom I adored?
Jude: Jesus, a new road lies ahead of me. I’ll soon be moving to a new situation, making new friends, doing new things, and probably making new mistakes. I’m essentially starting a new life for myself and my family. The immediate future worries me. I have questions, and I need some specific answers.
Jesus: Ask away.
Jude: It says in Your Word, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”1 How much will I need to rely on You to supply, and how much will I need to rely on good old-fashioned elbow grease?
How many times have most parents wanted to buy a toy for their child “just because”? It wasn’t a special occasion or something the child needed or had even asked for—but the parent knew the child would enjoy it and wanted him or her to have it.
I faced such a situation with my 19-month-old son Logan recently. I’m not sure why I had set my heart on getting him a rocking horse. Maybe it was because his favorite video included a scene with children on rocking horses, or maybe it was because every time we went to a nearby toy store the salesperson would invite him to play on one of the display horses, and he never fussed when it was time to go. To tell you the truth, he didn’t seem as attached to that rocking horse as I was, but I couldn’t stop thinking how nice it would be for him to have it.
The secret to obtaining both spiritual riches and material supply is actually quite simple: Realize what vast resources are at My disposal.
My Word contains hundreds of promises that are yours to claim. As you read, absorb, and claim them, you will see answers to your prayers that will thrill your soul and cause your faith to grow. And as you continue to read and absorb and claim, I will continue to answer and inspire and provide. Together we will create an unbeatable, unbreakable cycle of success.
Here are just a few of God’s promises to you. There are hundreds more that you can hold Him to when faced with any problem.
God’s promises are contracts. Most have conditions attached. Take a moment to think about each one in terms of God’s part and your part.
(In the following list, only the most pertinent parts of some verses are given in order to highlight the promise.)
Every so often we read or hear about some happening that so completely defies explanation that the people involved are convinced they have been part of a miracle.
For the rest of us, it takes faith to believe those accounts—faith that miracles are possible, as well as faith in those giving the accounts. But faith has its rewards. If we can believe that “impossible” things have happened to others, then perhaps we can believe that they can happen to us too. The French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) called miracles the “lightning strokes of God.” There’s no “perhaps” about a lightning strike, especially to one who is standing on the spot where it hits! Lightning is powerful, and it happens often—about 100 times per second in as many locations around the world. I’m sure that if every miracle were recorded they would far outnumber lightning strikes. What makes me so sure? I’ve yet to be struck by actual lightning, but I’ve experienced many “strokes of God.”