God's Provision – Part 2
Lysa TerKeurst

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

Yesterday's devotion on God's provision may have struck two different chords with people. For some it may have resonated and reassured. For others it may have caused a clashing and clanging that invited honest reactions to bubble to the surface.

Like I said, God and I have had to have some serious conversations about all this. It is hard when you know God could provide but doesn't seem to. That's why I have made the choice - and it is a choice - to park my mind with the truth no matter what.

Easy? Nope. Necessary? Absolutely.

Look at the same passage we looked at yesterday in The Message translation:

1 Timothy 6:17-19, "Tell those rich in this world's wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life."

So many times in my life, I've discovered God's provision in packages way different than I think I need, want or expect.

Let me give you a recent example of this.

Many of you know the story of our adopted son, Mark. If I were choosing Mark's provision, it would come in a package complete with good grades, a college degree, and a professional job insuring he could provide for his one day family. These things speak of success in my limited scope.

However, it's not Mark's reality. No matter how much I have prayed and begged God to work a miracle with Mark's learning disabilities, at this point, college is not going to be in his future.
Recently I was sitting at my kitchen table pouring over an application Mark is filling out hoping to get a summer camp job. To be honest I was beyond discouraged at his misspelled words and misunderstanding of some of the essay questions. The application was a disaster.

Suddenly the phone rang. The lady on the other end was a mom from another student at Mark's high school. Apparently, her son was jumped by a boy in the school parking lot yesterday. Many students stood around and watched her son get pummeled by this angry student. Out of nowhere Mark ran and pulled the boy off her son and settled the situation down.

With a catch in her throat, she was calling to thank me and assure me of what a fine young man Mark is.

I wouldn't trade the depth of character in my son that phone called revealed for all the A's and perfect SAT scores in the world.

Is God providing for Mark?


I just have to change my definition of success to match what I know to be true about God.
And then in God's timing - according to His plan - with His truth firmly planted in my mind - I can see this verse coming to life...

"Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life."

Dear Lord, help me to park my mind on the truth no matter what. Even though I don't always understand Your provision Lord, I will trust You and walk in Your ways. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
If you’d like to read more about Lysa’s adoption story and see pictures of her family, visit her blog

The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained by Lysa TerKeurst

Live out I Timothy 6:18 by sponsoring a child in need through Compassion International

Application Steps:
List out some verses of Scripture about God's provision (see Lysa's blog for some great suggestions).

Commit to memory some of these promises that most apply to your situation.

Verbalize your trust in the Lord every day this week.

Do I trust that the Lord has my best interest in mind?

How might I learn to trust God even more deeply in times of trial?

What are some things right in front of me today that prove God's provision for me?

Power Verses:
Matthew 5:5 "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." (NIV)

Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." (NIV)

Proverbs 11:25 "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." (NIV)

© 2009 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Michelle said...

I read the end of your devotion in tears. It was such an encouragement. I pray for my 12 year old who is also adopted and has learning disabilities. I pray for his future as I watch him struggle to do his schoolwork. I pray that he won't be crushed because of his sweet spirit. I know that God has a plan for him. I know that God will provide. I know that it is so much more important for him to understand who God is and to grow into a godly man of character than to excel at his schoolwork. But sometimes, concern creeps in...what will he be able to do to provide for himself and a family? Will people take advantage of his trusting nature? God created him for a purpose and has a plan for him and I just have to hold onto God's promises as my husband and I help to prepare him for that future. I am so thankful for your reminder this morning to hold on tight to God's truths and the reminder that my idea of success often does not look like God's picture of success. Thank you for the reminder that there is nothing more important than giving him the grounding in Christ and building him up in the Lord each day.
God bless you and your family!

Blogger mary said...

I know that it is a struggle when your child struggles with school work. What I did was to find (this is a trial & error thing)what my son was good at. Was it extracurricular activities at school, music, sports, or volunteering? Sometimes he did things once & some he did long term. He did learn that life has many opportunities. That he was successful at somethings & other not. Isn't that true of all of us? He always loved science, we either bought or rented science tapes. We took him to museums (if he gets bored leave!)took him on hikes. He took a rock climbing course, he was way cool after that! You just need to let your child know that not only you love them the way the are but so does God. God made each of us unique. It is just finding their niche. Blessings & peace on you as you travel this road with your child. It is so worth it. My son is successful, happy & a wonderful man today.

Anonymous Desiree said...

I have no words - only tears!
Thank you! I feel as if a weight has been lifted off of me.
My husband recently lost his job for the 2nd time this year, b/c they were letting people go and he was one of their newest members. He is discouraged, feeling as if he will just be let down again with any new job. I am discouraged but hopeful. He says he feels like he needs to volunteer and give back than maybe something new will come along. I will continue to pray and trust and believe in him.
Thank you!!!

Anonymous rk said...

Sounds as if Mark is a very caring person,to put himself out on a limb so to speak,tells volumes about his character! even in the face of danger to help someone out is an amazing trait,we should all take notice about Mark and his attitude towards others,how many people do we see daily being "beat up" by satan or beating themselves up with drugs, alchohol,sex addiction,gambling,etc. and we stand by and watch or walk away?this devotion should resonate within us all and put us to work witnessing to people about God and His provisions-- provisions we have to share to all people,God bless!

Blogger Unknown said...

This devotion couldn't have came on a better day. I found out some news that we are having trouble with our insurance and that was enough to deal with. A few hours later I find out that the job that I was counting on isn't going to happen. Now I am in a difficult place. I don't know what I am going to do, but I know that I have a God that does know. He is going to take care of me!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a 24 year old woman who all thrugh school i struggled with learning dissabilities and realy bad ADHD, every night and day it was a fight. Homework was a struggle math, reading, and spelling was a nightmare that i couldent seem to EVER GET RIGHT. But i graduated high school amazingly but i had all D's beyond frustrated and dissapointed in myself i became a drug addict and an alcoholic thinking i would never be anything in life why shouldnt i think that. After 6 months of being homeless i meet this awsome man that was in the same boat i was in, a year after that we got married got saved i concieved my first child when he was one year old i went to college he is now when he was 2 i concieved twin girls now he is three and i almost have my associates degree and im shooting for my doctors i want to get into nuro science. Any thing is possable thru God, be encouraged for he takes the weak things of this world and puts the strong to shame. Oh yeh i did get delivered from my drinking and drugs before my marrage, it happend in one night, but thats a diffrent story so be blessed and trust God for the best. Just please tell your son he can do anything he prays about and puts his mind to im living evedence.

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