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Assurance of God’s Daily Provision

Introduction

When we trust in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we become a child of God, one who is both born and adopted into the family of God. As such, we become the recipients of God’s personal care as a loving heavenly Father.

John 1:12-13 But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children 13 —children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God.

Romans 8:15-16 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.

Galatians 3:26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.

Matthew 7:7-11 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets.

As God is perfect, so His care must also be perfect and complete. The following overview covers some of the key areas of God’s personal care for believers in Christ as His beloved children. These are truths that are of special importance to new believers.

The Promise That God Cares

As children of God, all believers become the personal responsibility of an all wise, sovereign, and all powerful God, who, as a heavenly Father, cares in an infinite way for each one of His children. The promise of 1 Peter 5:7 flows out of the exhortation of verse 6 and should be understood and applied in this context. Let’s focus on three aspects of this promise: the responsibility, the root, and the reason.

1 Peter 5:6-7 And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand 7 by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you.

The Responsibility or Exhortation

The promise of God’s care comes out of the preceding verse and the command, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” This is a call for a willing subjection or submission under God’s sovereign authority and omnipotence. In the Greek, the verb is a command and is in the passive voice. Rather than “humble yourselves,” it means “be humbled,” or “allow yourself to be humbled.” The context in 1 Peter is that of persecution and suffering for the name of Christ during our sojourn on this earth. Suffering is a training tool that God uses, like the blast furnace used by a refiner of fine metals, to purify and develop our faith. This is a humbling process in that it causes us to live more and more in dependence on God. For the refining concept, note 1 Peter 1:6-9.

6 This brings you great joy, although you may have to suffer for a short time in various trials. 7 Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold—gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing away—and will bring praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 You have not seen him, but you love him. You do not see him now but you believe in him, and so you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 because you are attaining the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

The pride of man is best seen in his determination to live by his own solutions in independence of God. As an illustration, when under persecution, man’s tendency is to strike back or in some way to take matters into his own hands rather than rest his life under the mighty hand of God. Peter points us to the Lord Jesus as the perfect example of submission and humility in 1 Peter 2:21-25. By the command of verse 6, he is exhorting us to allow God to humble us through the sufferings of this life.

1 Peter 2:21-25 For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was maligned, he did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened no retaliation, but committed himself to God who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we may cease from sinning and live for righteousness. By his wounds you were healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

The Root or Foundation

The root for true submission under God’s might hand is seen in the words, “casting all your anxiety upon Him.” We might paraphrase the text, “Be humbled … by casting all your anxiety upon the Lord.” This is more evident from the construction of the Greek text than the English, but this is the meaning. Casting our care on the Lord becomes the foundation and the means for the humbling process that needs to take place.

Furthermore, in the Greek text, “all your anxiety” is really, “the whole of your anxiety or care.” The idea is not that we are to cast each of our worries on the Lord, but that we need to come to the place where we have placed our lives, with all its burdens, concerns, and fears, into His loving and capable hands. Rather than take matters into our own hands, rather than try to manipulate and control others and our circumstances, we are to resolve to rest our lives in God’s care, purposes, and timing. When we truly do this, we are able to submit ourselves under God’s mighty hand to work out His sovereign purpose. When this is not the case, we will invariably exalt ourselves by trying to manipulate the circumstances of life, especially when under suffering and persecution.

In 1 Samuel, God appointed David to be king in place of Saul because of Saul’s disobedience (cf. 1 Sam. 15-16). Saul was a man who, rather than trust his life under the mighty hand of God, consistently sought to take matters into his own hands. He was a manipulator and a controller, and there is a lot of this Saul-like character in each of us. God did not want David to be like a Saul, so He used Saul and his persecution of David to take the Saul-like character out of David. On two different occasions, Saul threw a spear at David to kill him. What was Saul attempting to do? He was seeking to manipulate and control his own destiny. He was refusing to submit to God’s will. And what did David do? Did he pick up the spear and throw it back at Saul? No. Casting the whole of his care on God, he submitted his life under the mighty hand of God. He ducked and slipped away (see 1 Samuel 18:10-20).

The Reason or Explanation

The reason we are to submit and cast our cares on the Lord is seen in the words, “for He cares for you.” Literally, the Greek text reads, “because to Him it is a care concerning you.” This means you and I are His personal concern. We matter greatly to God. Why worry then if we are God’s personal concern? To fail to trust in God’s care is in essence an act of self exaltation. It is to act as though we care more than God and can do what God cannot do. Or it is to say, we are afraid of what God will do; we don’t want to trust Him with our life. He may take something away that we think we need. If God did the maximum for us in that He spared not His own Son, how much more will He not care for us as His redeemed children?

Romans 8:32 Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things?

Romans 5:8-11 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? 11 Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.

The Promise of Provision for All Our Needs

Since God is concerned for each of us as His redeemed children, the Apostle Paul assures us this concern certainly extends to our basic daily needs (but not our greed). The Apostle wrote, “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). This promise was made in connection with the financial support the Philippians had sent to Paul for his missionary ministry. He was assuring them that their giving would never be their lack. God would supply their needs, and the reason for His supply, was nothing less than “His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Governing God’s provision is nothing short of the wealth of what God has done for us in Christ. Again, Romans 8:32 comes to mind.

The Lord Jesus gave an exhortation against anxiety regarding our daily needs. He focused on the fact of God’s personal care for our basic needs in Matthew 6:25-34. Three times He tells us “do not be anxious” (6:25, 31 and 34). Five times questions are asked that are designed to show the foolishness of anxiety.

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? 27 And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life? 28 Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 30 And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? 31 So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.

Why is anxiety foolish? It is foolish because it is futile in view of the Father’s loving care and knowledge of our needs (cf. 6:25, 26, 27, 28, 30). He teaches us such worry is the product of being people of “little faith.” Worry is the product of failing to reflect on the fatherly care God must have for us as His people since He shows such wonderful care for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. Finally, He shows that due to God’s loving care and the temporary and evil nature of this world, our greatest priority and concern must be the spiritual (6:33-34).

The Promise of Provision Through Prayer

As members of God’s family, all believers have direct access to God as their heavenly Father through their Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. While God knows our needs before we ask (Matt. 6:32), and is intimately concerned, we are, nevertheless, to take our needs and those of others to God’s throne of grace in prayer.

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.

1 Peter 5:7 by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you.

Matthew 7:7-11 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him.

Philippians 4:6-8 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.

Since God knows and cares, why pray? Because God has chosen to work in our lives through prayer. James 5:16 tells us the fervent prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much.

  • · Prayer is a vehicle of fellowship.
  • · Prayer is an evidence of faith or a spirit of dependence.
  • · Prayer is also a means of focusing our hearts on the Lord, His purposes, and His care.

Many of the Psalms are lament or petition Psalms. In them, we often find they begin highlighting a condition of trouble, sometimes even in a spirit of despair or frustration over the problems the author was facing. In the process of the Psalmist’s prayer to God, however, as he takes his burdens to the Lord, he also gets his eyes on God’s person, God’s principles, and God’s promises. As he does this, he gains a new outlook. The Psalms then finish in a spirit of confident expectation and joy in the Lord. God had not changed, but the Psalmist had been changed through the process of prayer (cf. Psa. 3:1-8; 5:1-12; 6:1-10; 7:10, 13). When our hearts are truly seeking God, prayer becomes a place where God is able to change us and mold us to His will.

Prayer is where we confess sin, give thanks and praise to God, and make our needs known in specific requests. But our greatest need is to be conformed into the image of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus. The Lord promises that God, as a father kind of God, will not give us a stone if we ask for bread, nor a snake if we ask for a fish. In His perfect love and wisdom, He only knows how to give what is best to us. But we must understand that what we think of as bread or a fish, may in reality be a stone or a snake. This is why God often does not answer our requests with a yes, and why our prayer needs to be conformed to His will. Matthew 7:9-11.

James 4:3 you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.

This requires time and is perhaps why the Lord gives the three pictures of asking, seeking, and knocking in Matthew 7:7-8.

Prayer is not just a matter of asking, but of seeking God’s direction and will, and waiting on Him just as one knocks and waits at the door for someone to hear and open the door. Keep asking, be patient, and be sure to ask what God’s will is in the matter. Is what I am asking really what is best according to God’s purposes and wisdom?

Hindrances to Prayer

The following is a list of some things that hinder our prayer life:

(1) Maladjustment to the Holy Spirit.

John 4:22-23 You people worship what you do not know. We worship what we know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But a time is coming—and now is here—when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers.

Jude 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit,

Ephesians 6:18 With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints.

Psalm 66:18 If I had harbored sin in my heart, the sovereign Master would not have listened.

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.

(2) Maladjustment to the Word of God (cf. also Ps. 119)

Proverbs 28:9 The one who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.

John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you.

(3) Failure to pray in faith.

Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, if you believe, you will receive.”

1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him.

James 1:5-7 But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,

Hebrews 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

(4) Failure to ask because of a spirit of self-dependence.

James 4:2 You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask;

(5) Failure to ask from the right motives, without concern for God’s will.

James 4:3 you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.

James 4:15 You ought to say instead, “If the Lord is willing, then we will live and do this or that.”

1 Corinthians 4:19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing, and I will find out not only the talk of these arrogant people, but also their power.

Matthew 6:10 may your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 26:42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will must be done.”

(6) Failure to endure, fainting under pressure.

Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told them a parable to show them they should always pray and not lose heart.

1 Samuel 27:1-3 David thought to himself, “One of these days I’m going to be swept away by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of searching for me through all the territory of Israel and I will escape from his hand.” 2 So David left and crossed over to King Achish son of Maoch of Gath accompanied by six hundred men. 3 David settled with Achish in Gath, along with his men and their families. David had with him his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelite and Abigail the Carmelite, Nabal’s widow.

Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without getting weary, they walk without getting tired.

(7) Wrong relations with people, an unforgiving spirit.

Mark 11:25-26 Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your sins.”

(8) Pretentious praying, praying to impress people.

Matthew 6:5-8 “Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray while standing in synagogues and on street corners so that people can see them. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. 7 When you pray, do not babble repetitiously like the Gentiles, because they think that by their many words they will be heard. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

(9) Religious zeal in the form of vain repetitions and cultic ritual.

Matthew 6:7 When you pray, do not babble repetitiously like the Gentiles, because they think that by their many words they will be heard.

1 Kings 18:26-29 So they took a bull, as he had suggested, and prepared it. They invoked the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “Baal, answer us.” But there was no sound and no answer. They jumped around on the altar they had made. 27 At noon Elijah mocked them, “Yell louder. After all, he is a god; he may be deep in thought, or perhaps he stepped out for a moment or has taken a trip. Perhaps he is sleeping and needs to be awakened.” 28 So they yelled louder and, in accordance with their prescribed ritual, mutilated themselves with swords and spears until their bodies were covered with blood. 29 Throughout the afternoon they were in an ecstatic frenzy, but there was no sound, no answer, and no response.

Romans 10:2-3 For I can testify that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not in line with the truth. 3 For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

(10) Domestic breakdown in the home.

1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as the weaker partners and show them honor as fellow heirs of the grace of life. In this way nothing will hinder your prayers.

Conclusion

In the final decades of the life of George McCluskey he became extremely burdened for his children and each day spent the hour from 11 to 12 praying for them. He prayed not only for them, but also for his grandchildren and great grandchildren, as yet unborn. He asked that they would come to know the true God through His Son, and dedicate their lives to His service. Of the following four generations, every child has either become a minister or married a minister, with one exception. That exception is a name familiar to most of us today, Dr. James Dobson. Few will ever hear of George McCluskey, but because of him lives of future generations were undeniably blessed.

Related Topics: Basics for Christians, Comfort