9 Ways to Really Trust in God's Provision
By Cindi McMenamin, Crosswalk.com
Trusting God for our daily provision looks different than just mouthing the words. In the aftermath of a pandemic, when the economy looks bleak and rising costs are greeting us everywhere, how we live says it all about whom we trust to meet our daily needs.
What a comfort to know that God promises in His Word to take care of those who are trusting in Him. Matthew 6:8 tells us our Father knows what we need before we even ask Him. Yet He still wants us to ask, rely on Him, and bear witness to others of the many ways He is Jehovah Jireh – the Lord who provides.
What we do – or don’t do – says more than our words about where our trust lies. Here is what it looks like to really trust in God’s provision.
1. You honor God with the first of all you have.
My husband and I lived on a small church pastor’s salary for about 25 years – including a few years in which my husband supported our family of three on a couple of minimum-wage paying jobs. I can honestly tell you that God has always provided everything we have needed and so much of what we’ve wanted. We believe it is because God is faithful to His Word, and He honors those who give Him the first of what they have.
God expects us, as followers of His, to be good stewards of all that we have – our material possessions, as well as our money. And we can do that by acknowledging that He is the owner of everything; we are simply managers of the money and possessions He has entrusted us with. My husband and I have found that this mentality keeps us in perspective, keeps us humble, and keeps us from living beyond our means or spending money on something God would disapprove of. Then, as we heed the guidelines outlined in His Word about not getting into debt, not living beyond our means, and not going into business with someone we can’t trust, we can be confident that God has our backs when it comes to everything we need. Acknowledging that all you have is God’s anyway makes major purchases and investments a matter of prayer since you’ll want to consult the owner about how He would like you to manage His funds! And anytime you make God the primary decision-maker and master of your life, His blessings follow.
Whether you tithe ten percent of your income or “tip” God (as you would a hairdresser or food server – and today’s standards would be to tip 18-22 percent!), God wants your giving to be deliberate and intentional, planned out ahead of time, and never an after-thought or an obligatory gesture with what you have left at the end of the month. As you honor God with what you have, you can be confident He will honor you.
2. You don’t stress about your day-to-day needs.
This one took me years to learn, but I finally had to face the obvious truth: If a loving God can take care of my eternal life – through the atoning sacrifice of His only Son – then certainly He can take care of my everyday life. And truly believing that means not stressing about having all we need, paying the monthly bills, or being able to handle an unexpected expense.
Jesus told His followers in Matthew 6:25-26: “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
That sounds like a pretty clear “Don’t worry about it” statement from the Son of God, who is assuring us He’s got our backs. Because you have a God in control, don’t you feel you have to be! Trust that He is working on what you need, as you can let go of the stress and depend on Him.
3. You take God at His Word and believe in His promises.
Ask any believer, and they’ll likely tell you, “Of course, God keeps His promises.” “Of course, I believe His Word.” But do we really? Or do we stress and strive, instead, thinking that God is sitting this one out when it comes to our immediate or long-term needs?
Psalm 121:1-3 tells us, “My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who watches over you will not slumber.” And believers are assured in Philippians 4:19 (NASB) that our God “will supply all [our] needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
One of the best ways to show that we truly trust God is to take Him at His Word and depend on His character and faithfulness to provide for us.
4. You expect the best from a God who always comes through.
Do you ever find yourself worrying that the worst will happen regarding your finances? When you and I do that, we are not giving God credit for being the good and loving Father that He is. In Matthew 7:11, Jesus said if we, being human and having limited resources, know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more does God know how to give good gifts to those He loves? Furthermore, in Psalm 37:25-26, David sang:
“I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging for bread” (NASB).
I recently shared that truth with my daughter, who is desperately trying to find a home near her career job in Southern California, so she doesn’t have to commute more than an hour every day and pay more than $6 a gallon for gas. We concluded that it would take a miracle for her to find a home at this time, but we serve a God of miracles who always takes care of His own. She was especially encouraged with Psalm 36:5-6 in The Message translation:
“God’s love is meteoric,
his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.”
When you live with that big of a perception of God, your trust in Him and His provision will be evident, even down to the tiniest detail. And you will live confidently, in great expectation of how He will come through.
5. You help provide for others as God provides for you.
Sometimes we think the more money we hold onto, the more we’ll have. But the opposite is true in the Kingdom of God. The more we give away, the more God gives us back so we can keep on giving. In Second Corinthians 9:6-11, we are told that as we give generously and cheerfully, “God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” (verse 8 NLT).
As you live generously toward others, Scripture promises God “will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous” (verses 10-11). Trusting in God’s provision means we are generous with what we have, so we will always be able to help others in need.
6. You can’t stop talking of the ways He provides.
In Acts 4:20, after Peter and John were ordered not to preach or teach anymore in the name of Jesus, their response was to boldly proclaim: “we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
That’s what it looks and sounds like to be trusting in God’s provision. You begin to see Him provide everywhere you turn, and you can’t stop talking about it. Everyone deals with financial concerns at one time or another. When you encourage them by telling them your stories of God’s provision, you are a living testimony to the God who provides lovingly and generously for His children. When you truly trust Him for your provision, you can’t help but speak about the wondrous things He does to provide for you.
7. You rest peaceably – and don’t strive – when it comes to your finances.
Although God wants us to be productive and to have a good work ethic (Proverbs 6:9-11), He doesn’t want us to work like we’re on our own when it comes to our provision.
Psalm 27:2 tells us we are wasting our time getting up before the crack of dawn and going to sleep past midnight, toiling and striving to make things happen because the God of the Universe “gives to His beloved even in his sleep” (NASB).
The next time you think you have to work through – or worry through – the night because of your financial needs, remember that God has a way of working it out if you just rest in Him – literally. Throughout God’s Word, He commands us to rest, and by trusting Him to provide while we get the rest we need, we are being obedient to, literally, “do our best and trust God with the rest.”
8. You live confidently that God has you securely in His hands.
In Psalm 16, David sang, “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure…with [God] at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (verses 5, 8).
When we trust in God’s provision, realizing He is our inheritance (Psalm 16:5-6), our “stability” in these changing times (Isaiah 33:6), and the One in whom we trust, we will not be shaken – not by a stock market crash, or a job loss or a sinking economy or a bad financial forecast. When we trust in God’s provision, we are assured that He is our stability and security.
9. You trust His ways – and timing – are so much better than yours.
We’ve all had our purchase plans, vacation plans, financial plans, and maybe even retirement plans, and then something happened to shake those plans and leave us feeling disappointed or even panicked. Yet, trusting in God’s provision means we are at peace with God doing things His way, not ours. Isaiah 55:8-11 tells us His ways are higher than ours. If He can control the vast complexities of the universe, He can control the circumstances and events in our lives to provide us with everything we need.
Psalm 18:30 says, “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in Him.” When you really believe that God is a far better manager of your money and a far better provider of your needs than you or anyone else, you can rest assured that He’s got this and that the best is still to come.
For more on trusting God with your finances and your provision, see Cindi’s books, Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs and When Couples Walk Together, (which she co-authored with her husband, Hugh).
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker, Bible teacher, and award-winning writer who helps women and couples strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is also a mother, pastor’s wife, and author of 17 books, including When Women Walk Alone (more than 150,000 copies sold), When God Sees Your Tears, Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs, and When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts. For more on her speaking ministry, coaching services for writers, and books to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.