You may have noticed my absence during the past month. This is because of an unexpected journey of faith. So today I’ll bring you up on our recent history by using a recent speech I gave about God’s Provision. Here’s the speech. It makes for a long blog, but I wanted you to hear the full story.
… today’s talk is about God’s Provision, with special emphasis on the period beginning August 30th.
As you listen to the story please understand I am bragging on God. Although we will be mentioned, keep your focus on God and not us.
PRINCIPLE #1: TRUST GOD
- “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” (Luke 6:31)
- Called the Golden Rule, we often hear it as “Do unto others as you would they do unto you.” This is a simple rule, yet one that the world at large would call naive. Jesus, on the other hand, gives it to us as a desired characteristic. When we treat others as we want treated we discover most people will reciprocate.
- “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
- This often quoted verse is connected to Philippians 4:15. The Philippians had given support for Paul’s ministry in accordance with Luke 6:31. Paul was promising God’s provision as a reward for their giving. We, as Christians who give tithes and love offerings, can claim this promise. It’s as if every time you give to God, He banks the money on our behalf in a high interest savings or CD account. You get back more than you gave!
But I am not here to give an in-depth study on these Bible verses. Rather, I mention them as a basis for trusting God’s provision.
And we’re not talking only about money. In the Old Testament Daniel trusted God and prayed when it wasn’t safe to do so and in God’s provision He delivered him. Or Daniel’s three friends who trusted God and again in His provision He delivered them.
We have a God we can trust whole heartedly!
PRINCIPLE #2: WAITING ON GOD
- In the Bible trusting God is often related to Waiting on God. It is easy to say we trust God, but waiting is another matter.
- “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”(Ps. 27:14)
- “Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.” (Ps. 37:34)
- “Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.” (Prov.20:22)
- On August 30th our landlady came to our door. She was upset and in tears.
- I was sitting at my desk working on the computer and saw her through the window.
- She’d received a letter telling her the owner of our condo was going to sell and we had 30 days to pack up and leave!
- She was so upset that we spent some time assuring her that God would provide for us. She’s not a Christian and probably doesn’t understand the idea of God’s provision.
- After she left, both Teresa and I immediately went to the Lord and trusted Him. We could claim these verses and even identify the evil (the owner). But waiting on Him still became a journey of faith.
- A journey that was interrupted by Hurricane Irma which sent us to what we thought was the safe haven of Lakeland, Fl. But the eye of Irma, as a Category 1, went right over Lakeland and where we were staying.
- We had now personally experienced a hurricane.
- Basically we slept right through not knowing it had turned northeast in Fort Myers and was heading our way.
- Thus began our wait. It was already becoming frustrating.
- And there was more to come.
PRINCIPLE #3: GOD’S THOUGHTS HIGHER THAN OUR THOUGHTS
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 59:9)
- Have you ever had a plan that God changed?
- We did.
- Our plan was simple: Find another place to live and move there. Can’t be more simple than that. But it wasn’t as simple as we thought.
- Our first step was to hunt for a two bedroom apartment, or at least a one bedroom.
- Everywhere we turned we were met with “nothing available” for at least 3 months for a double. But for a one bedroom it ran anywhere from 6 months to a year!
- We tried everywhere. Well, everywhere but the one place we had rejected from the beginning, Murdock Circle.
- Although we were familiar with the area we had acquired a dislike based more on rumor and personal opinion than any real facts. It was on the church’s bus route, but so were the other places we checked.
- But even there we were met with a waiting period.
- At first a one bedroom apartment would not be available until November 12th and someone was already getting ready to sign. By this time God had us right where He wanted us: trusting Him.
- We went home to get some additional papers they said we needed.
PRINCIPLE #4: God’s will is perfect and timely
“Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” Ps. 143:10
“If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?” (Luke 12:28)
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
- God had allowed us to check out other apartments.
- We had even looked into the possibility of buying the Condo we were living in. But that door was closed right away.
- By this time we were praying and seeking God’s will.
- The apartment at Murdock Circle is the result. We moved in last Friday (Oct. 27).
- But God’s Perfect Plan didn’t simply solve our immediate situation. There was still a time gap of 31 days between leaving Sunshine Villas and moving into Murdock Circle.
- Where would we live in the meantime?
- We were now highly dependent upon God. We even considered moving into the Homeless Coalition if we qualified!
- But then God’s plan began unfolding.
- It was as I called it earlier a journey of faith. It was also a journey of frustration!
- Once we secured Murdock Circle, we looked for temporary living quarters.
- But the 31 day gap was in essence putting us right back where we started and nothing immediately was available.
- At this time I approached Pastor Jay about the problem. He immediately got on the phone.
- As a result a big break came when we were offered a place to live further outside Port Charlotte. It represented a fairly long drive to the church, but it was affordable and available.
- Or so we thought.
- The opportunity fell through because the owner had a recalcitrant tenant who refused to leave. This left the owner unable to help us and with an immediate problem of his own.
- Almost immediately, within seconds actually, another opportunity arose: the Church’s RV.
- It needed cleaned and repaired, but Pastor Jay felt he could get it done in time (we had about a week to go before leaving the Condo). But this proved difficult and there were no guarantees the repairs would work.
- Then on Wednesday, September 27 we learned about the camper. This demonstrates another truth about God’s provision. Not only was He preparing us a place to live, but He was providing for the owners of the camper to buy a new home. On Friday September 29th they bought their house and moved in. On Saturday September 30th we moved into the camper.
- In the meantime, we rented a motel room at Knight’s Inn in Port Charlotte for three nights. (I usually like Knight’s Inn but I cannot honestly say I would recommend this one. But that’s another story.)
So what can we draw from this journey?
In Conclusion no matter who you are or how long you’ve been a believer or how old you are God can be trusted. In our case our plans were constantly changing. While we had no idea how things would work out, God had it all planned and He was in control all the time.
That is the point of this message.
Each one here can probably tell a story about God’s Provision. That is both a joy and a danger. The danger being taking God for granted. Trusting God often involves a deep sense of trust that sometimes takes us where we do not want to go. But God always knows best! …
Today Teresa and I have a new home. Did we do anything great to get it? No, unless you count trusting God. It wasn’t easy to trust Him. Circumstances didn’t always look bright, but He was in charge even when things looked the worse.
So if any of you are facing difficulties, you can trust Him.
God is worthy of our trust!
PRINCIPLE #5: GIVE GOD THE GLORY
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Cor. 10:31)
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Heb.13:15)
In other words, when you see the mighty hand of God working on your behalf, praise Him and offer thanksgiving!
One of the reasons for choosing this message was for it to be a public praise of God for His provision. Is our story different from yours? Maybe in details, but the truth is that practically everyone here could tell a story or two of God’s provision.
It is good to reflect back on His provisions, because as long as we live we will face new problems, new obstacles, and new opportunities. While it is true we often fail to meet God’s standards, He never fails to care for us or meet our needs.
I believe the following passage expresses today’s truth about God:
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” (Lam. 3:20-26)
We are never too old to be reminded of God’s faithfulness and mercy. I dare say that as we get older, we need to trust God more because we can no longer do the things we once did. So we need to depend on Him more.
- TRUST GOD!
- WAIT ON GOD.
- HIS THOUGHTS ARE HIGHER THAN OURS.
- GOD’S WILL IS PERFECT & TIMELY.
- GIVE GOD THE GLORY.
We have a wonderful God!
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.