Introduction

Introduction

Devotional

Your Love Is Strong

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” . . . Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:30–31, 33)

Jesus wants us to live anxiety-free lives. He wants us to be so consumed with his glory and so convinced of his comfort that we don’t worry ourselves away. He wants us to be sure of his power and nearness, certain of his authority and love.

The Father Who Cares

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

“All these things” include what we eat and drink and wear — all the practical needs of this present world (Matthew 6:25). Jesus says that we don’t have to worry about all these things because we have a sovereign Father in heaven who cares for us.

Just look at the birds and the lilies of the field, Jesus explains. Birds have food to eat because God provides for them. “He gives to the beasts their food and to the ravens that cry” (Psalm 147:9). The lilies are better dressed than any girl on her wedding day because God clothes them. And we as God’s children are more valuable to God than birds and lilies. Jesus’s point is summarized in Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase: “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers — most of which are never even seen — don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?” (The Message).

Everything We Need

Will God meet your needs? The obvious answer is yes. God will take care of his children. He will always do what is best for us — ultimately. This doesn’t mean that life isn’t hard, or that suffering is a foreign concept to the Christian. In fact, it goes much deeper than that. The beauty of God’s care, of his provision, is that nothing on this earth will interfere with our eternal experience of his grace. He gives us everything we need to know him, not merely everything we need to survive.

There may be times when some of his children have no food, as is the very real reality today in some parts of the world. But no lack of food will deafen God’s children to his unfailing, everlasting love. In fact, because of God’s sovereign grace — because God’s love is so strong — the suffering of hunger itself is actually preparing his children for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Corinthians 4:17). The suffering doesn’t diminish our taste of his goodness; it intensifies it. It is intensifies it so much that the suffering we might experience now is not even worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).

So why should we worry? Why do we freak out? God knows what we need. He loves us. And his love is strong.