Blackinton Union Church

1-413-664-9642

Blackintonunionchurch@hotmail.com

1373 Massachusetts Ave.

North Adams, MA 01247

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A.L.L. For Jesus Lesson: God’s Provision

March 11, 2017

 

One of the best parts about being a Christian is knowing that we are always taken care of no matter what comes our way.

 

Genesis 22:12-14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

12 The Lord said, “Do not reach out [with the knife in] your hand against the boy, and do nothing to [harm] him; for now I know that you fear God [with reverence and profound respect], since you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son [of promise].” 13 Then Abraham looked up and glanced around, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering (ascending sacrifice) instead of his son. 14 So Abraham named that place [a]The Lord Will Provide. And it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord it [b]will be seen and provided.”

 

We often say that we have a mountain standing in our way, when we face a problem in life. It is so reassuring that in this verse, the mountains that we face have been taken care of by God and have been named

 

Yahweh-Yireh or Jehovah-Jireh , meaning The Lord Who Provides.

 

The name is literally, The Lord Who Sees, or The Lord Who Will See To It. This is what we long for when we have a need; One who will see to our needs and provide for us. One Who is able to meet our needs in just the right time as He did for Abraham, and One Who can meet it fully. For Abraham, it was the ram caught in the thicket that was offered in Isaac's place. For us it is whatever we may need.

 

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

 

But sometimes even when we know that Jesus is in control and that He will supply all of our needs. Fear creeps in. It is natural to feel afraid when something unexpected occurs in our lives especially when it’s something that is negative or could change our lives for the worse.

 

If you have been a Christian for a length of time, then you know what God’s provision feels like, you might even have a testimony of how God has provided for you or your family. You also could have experienced a time when you needed God’s provision but it felt like help wasn’t coming in the time you needed it. I have experienced God’s Mercy and His provision many times in my life. I feel like the most effective way to tell you about how God provides for us is to share my experiences with God’s provision….

 

One of my biggest testimonies is how God has been with me through illness and pain. Jesus was with me through three years of sickness after I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Colitis. Medicine after medicine and nothing was easing my symptoms. I was in my last semester of college when I was diagnosed, and the course that I thought my life was headed on, had now changed dramatically. I could no longer be the teacher that I had spent my whole life preparing to be. Because I was unable to be responsible for a classroom without someone else in the room, in case I needed to make a quick exit…

 

But my plans were not God’s plans.

 

During that same time, God said you will begin a youth ministry in this church. And that became my new direction, ever since then, the desire of teaching God had put in my heart shifted from School Teacher to Bible teacher. 

 

Our plans are not God’s plans.

 

Three years after my diagnosis in May of 2015, a door was opened. We prayed and prayed for God to move on my situation, and he didn’t do it right away. I believe the reason is, because I had to learn how to put all of my faith in Jesus, how to fight through hardship while trusting God, I had to learn how other people in bad situations felt before I was able to be an effective teacher of God’s word. You can’t minister to someone in hardship if you have never experienced hardship for yourself.

 

The door that God opened was a new medication, that my previous health insurance would not cover. I would receive this through an IV infusion every 8 weeks. I’ve been on this medication for two years and the disease has now been declared mild and in remission! Praise God!

 

God provides our healing.

 

He is our great Physician! So if you are struggling in body today, you can find comfort knowing that Jesus knows what pain is, he knows what suffering is because He went through the worst suffering imaginable.

 

Isaiah 41:10 NIV “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

 

You can imagine how important receiving this medication is to me, my family, and to my daily living. I told you that story because at the beginning of this week, my husband and I experience God’s provision once again… Because I started a new job, I had to report my new income to my health insurance. The first woman we talked to told us that we would have to pick a new plan, which we didn’t want to do because the plan we are on now covers my medication, but she listed three plans that had very large deductibles and large monthly payments. This was not possible for us to cover financially. The medication God provided and that I rely on, suddenly seemed like it would be taken away from me. The memories of the years and the hardships from when I was sick flooded the mind of my husband and me. We were both in tears. We immediately turned to God, We prayed for Him to open doors, to move the mountains, and to fix the situation.

 

God never forsakes his children.

 

One day later….. we were able to keep the same insurance I’ve been on that covers my medication, with NO deductibles, and with NO payment each month! Praise God!

 

Something that seemed so scary, so unknown, so impossible for us, was easy for God to fix, And because God is so amazing, and Just because He Can…. We found out we had money in our health insurance account that could be refunded to us,  So now, the vacation we have been planning for the summer, that we were trying to figure out how we were going to save for, had been taken care of.

 

God provides for our finances.  

 

2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others”

 

(The following is taken from DesiringGod.org)

 

God always provides for his children, though often it is not in the way we expect or hope. The challenge is for us to see his provision and care, even when it is different than we expect. Because God is God, his ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). But he graciously gives us insight into what he is doing in the Scriptures. God could be working on 100 things in our lives right now but we only know about 3 of them. Over and over again, Jesus’s disciples missed what he was doing right in front of them. They missed the point of the miracles. They missed the lessons. It’s our job to see the miracles and lessons in our trials and then to share how God provided for us in our times of need… I am going to share four important encouragements about how God provides and cares for us, and I took these points from DesiringGod.org. (I have added my own insights as well)

 

  1. God May Provide Differently Than We Expect

 

In the days of Moses, the Israelites escaped captivity in Egypt only to face the challenges of the desert. One of the biggest challenges for such a large group of nomads was having enough food to eat. Over and over again God provided supernaturally for his people. If God could provide for many thousands of Israelites in the middle of a desert, he can surely provide for you and your family’s needs.

 

Psalm 37:25 gives us a precious promise from God:  “I have been young, and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread”

 

God never forsakes his children, he will always take care of us. However, even with God’s supernatural provision, the Israelites still complained and grumbled in the desert. They longed for the food they left behind in Egypt. God was literally providing bread from heaven — enough for each day — but they wanted his provision a different way. They wanted it their own way. Ask God to provide for you in whatever way he deems fit. Don’t grumble against God’s supernatural, unexpected ways. Maybe you are at a job and doing work different than what you had expected or hoped for. Don’t always wish for something different. Don’t constantly dream about being somewhere else, doing something else. Be present. Give your all to your current job or situation, and always be thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:18). This doesn’t mean you can’t move towards the job of your dreams, but it might inspire the faith to stop complaining about the way God has provided for you in the current moment, and instead invest yourself fully wherever you are.

 

2. God Provides More of Himself

 

Our greatest need is for more of God, and this is something he gladly gives us.

Matthew 7:9–11 “Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 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!”

 

Scripture tells us to make the pursuit of God the primary function of our lives. 

 

Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” 

 

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

 

It is so vital to our lives to seek more of God Daily and to have that as a primary desire in our hearts, to want to be closer to God, to want to know more about the Gospel, to want to seek his face, and to serve Him more. We can do this through prayer, bible reading, and worship.

 

3. God’s Ultimate Provision Has Already Been Given in the Gospel

 

We ask God for many things, but the greatest thing we could ever receive from him has already been given. When we trust in Christ, we have decisively secured for us every good thing from him. It’s just a matter of time before we get it.

 

James 1:17 reminds us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

 

Every truly good thing in our lives comes straight from the Father. The ultimate good provision he provided us is Jesus himself.  Jesus is the greatest treasure.

And finally,

 

4. God Provides in Eternity

 

God does not always provide and care for us in ways we might expect in this life. The Bible does not promise this. Peter, James, John, and Paul gave their very lives for the gospel. They viewed the gospel as a treasure not to be lost at any cost. They suffered gladly because they had something in the gospel that had far more worth.

 

Jesus is our ultimate provision, what he accomplished on the Cross gave us everything we will ever need: Salvation and a place in heaven for all eternity. This life is fleeting, fragile, it’s just a breath. The next life, the age to come, is where all God’s provision and care for us will ultimately make sense and come together as a whole.

 

We may not receive healing in this life, but we will receive perfect healing in eternity. We may not see answers to our greatest prayers in this life, but we will receive fully in eternity. Some days God’s provision and care may seem distant, but it will be ever-present in eternity.

 

We long for our world to stop raging and be at peace, but ultimate peace will only come in eternity. Our hearts ache under the pressures of this life, but it is only because we were made for another world. We are foreigners and aliens on this earth. We are just visiting for a short time. Our home is in heaven, where we have been given the amazing gift to live with God forever.

 

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

 

We have been called, out of everyone God could have chosen, He chose us. We are so very blessed to be in his family and to know who we are and where we are going. We know we are always loved, always taken care of, and we have a God we can put all of our trust in, to be with us and provide for us.  

 

Jeremiah 17:7-8: But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

 

If you enjoyed this message please come to our A.L.L. for Jesus small group. Please click on “Our Ministries” Page for more information, check out our facebook page, or contact us with any questions.

 

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