Thursday, August 11, 2011

Trusting in the Provision or the Provider??


Sometimes it is quite clear what God is teaching us. In the last several years, I have friend after friend, and client after client lose their jobs through no fault of their own.

This Great Recession may look like a “recovery” to the economists in Washington, D.C., but here in Shelby County, Tennessee, it looks pretty bleak. I have walked with longtime employees who have had their jobs shipped off to Mexico. Some 20 year workers, who never took a sick day, have been laid off. Professional level pharmaceutical sales people are glad to have a job at a third the salary doing something else.

The ripple effects of the Great Recession are hitting charities, missionaries, non-profits and churches quite severely. It is sapping consumer confidence and has resulted in records deficits and debt for our country. While business is not directly tied to the economy, I definitely see the suffering in the eyes of my injured clients. Families that could have dipped into savings to help them previously, now are struggling with other own bills. Churches’ benevolence funds have dried up. Food pantries and crisis centers have been tapped out, many times by formerly middle class patrons.

So, in the midst of these storms, what can we learn?

The Apostle Paul concluded, “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). We are assured that God will supply our needs (not our greeds) and the reason is given: “His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

But it is hard not to worry. I have often heard that “Worry is the most common form of atheism.” Ouch!

But, it was the Lord Jesus Himself that was so exceedingly clear about anxiety regarding our daily needs:

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? 27 And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life? 28 Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 30 And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? 31 So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:25-34 tells us three times “do not be anxious” (6:25, 31 and 34). Anxiety is foolish because it is futile (vain, useless) in view of the Father’s care and knowledge of our condition and our needs.

He teaches us such worry is the product of being people of “little faith.” He shows such intimate care for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, imagine how He cares for us.

But as the late Dr. Adrian Rogers used to say, “Yes, He feeds the birds of the air, but you notice He does not throw it in their nest every morning…they’ve got to go out and scratch for it.”

Mr. Peel often speaks at churches and civic clubs without cost in between “scratching out” a living handling workers comp, medical malpractice, nursing home, auto accident and disability cases. More articles are available on his website and blogs accessible at