October 22, 2014

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

People tend to have one of two faith problems with this verse, and then there is a third, more subtle problem they have with it. The first problem is the obvious one, of really believing that God is able to make everything abound to us. We see God through such a human filter that we don’t really believe He is omnipotent. Humanism is generally at fault here, because it is so focused on mankind that anything impossible for a person is seen as impossible, period. Then there are the people who believe God could do anything, but they just can’t bring themselves to believe He would do what they need. This is again focused on the human end of the transaction, failing to understand that grace is really what the dictionary says it is: unmerited favor. This attitude places God higher than the first one, but it still doesn’t place Him high enough, and so is unbelief. The third, more subtle problem is the failure to grasp that God supplies what He does so that we may abound in good works. This is the attitude that sees God as Santa, giving us stuff strictly for our own pleasure and enjoyment. Ultimately, it’s the most self-centered of all. God’s provision always has a purpose, or really multiple purposes, and only one of those is for us to feel good. God delights to bless His children, just as any good parent does, but He knows better than anyone that spoiling children is not kind, it’s cruel, because a spoiled person becomes blind to anyone and anything other than what they want. When our focus is on using God’s provision to do His will for His glory, then we discover that there are no limits to that provision at all.

This is something I have known intellectually for some time, but it is still working its way through me emotionally and otherwise. I have seen God’s provision in some remarkable ways, but I have had to learn that it is on His schedule, and the more demanding I become, the more worn out I am, to no effect. There are certainly things I would like to see right now that aren’t in evidence yet, but I’ve got to trust God and His timing. At the same time, I’ve got to keep myself obedient and responsive to Him, not thinking or acting like anything belongs to me, including my own physical body, but recognizing that it all belongs to Him, and I am simply a steward, and as Paul pointed out, it is required of stewards that they be faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2) After all, God is certainly faithful!

Father, thank You for this reminder. With pension funds coming in now there’s the temptation to focus on the financial, and that is a real trap. Help me focus on Your purpose for Your provision, not just materially but in every way. May I be a good steward of the truth and insight You provide, sharing it with whom You intend in the ways You intend. May I be a good steward of the comfort and encouragement You provide, lifting others out of the pits they find themselves in so that they too may rejoice in You. May I be a good steward of the time You give me, accomplishing Your will on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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