We live in trying, unsettled, unsure times but for those of us who are Christians it is good to know that God is there for us. We trust in God, we rely upon God, we believe that God will provide what is necessary. After all Paul writes in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
But, is there more to living by faith than just believing and trusting? I believe there is!
A friend shared this story with me that speaks to this problem. “A girl brought home her fiance, a theology student, to meet her parents for the first time. Her father was keen to learn what prospects the boy had.
“How do you plan to make a living?” asked the father.
“I don’t know,” said the student, “but God will provide.”
The father raised his eyebrows. “Do you own a car?”
“No,” said the student, “but God will provide.”
“I see. And where are you thinking of living once you’re married? “No idea, but I’m sure God will provide.”
Later the mother asked the father what he thought of their prospective son-in-law.
“Not a lot, really,” sighed the father. “He’s got no money and seems to have given precious little thought to the future. But on the positive side, he must think I’m God!”
You see it is a act of faith to trust in God and trust that he will provide, but God also instructs us that our faith requires some actions to have God work in our lives. James 2:14-16 tells us, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
The attitude of the young man in the story above is not a new concept. It is my understanding that when the Gospel was first preached that people really, really believed that Christ was coming back very soon. They gave up there jobs and set with others in their places of worship and prayed and sang waiting for the Lord to come back, believing that God would provide for them. In response to to that problem, Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 3:10-11, “While we were with you, we used to tell you, “Whoever refuses to work is not allowed to eat.”
I honestly believe that God will provide, but I also am also very committed to the fact that He requires us to do something to make that happen.
If you want your life to be blessed, then work at it, if you want your church to be blessed, then work at it and God will provide the increase.
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.