“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

The Bible is filled with promises from God that He will take care of us. And if we look back into our past, with its sunny as well as stormy moments, we can see His hand quietly writing our story, undisturbed by the clamour of events.

Despite all the occasions when we’ve seen His goodness rolling over our lives, we still worry when our lives enter a rainy season, covering the beaten paths we trod on together. We start to stumble, as one Christian author observes, among a multitude of “ifs” and “hows.”

No matter what threat or uncertainty hangs over us, God still leads us to “green pastures” and “still waters” (Psalm 23:2), and His peace follows us even in the darkness of the “valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4).

Writing about our need to entrust the future and any troubles that erode our inner peace to God, Ellen White, a well-known Christian writer, says: “Worry is blind, and cannot discern the future; but Jesus sees the end from the beginning. In every difficulty He has His way prepared to bring relief.”

The God who multiplied the widow’s flour and oil in Zarephath until the drought ceased, who sustained the prophet Elijah using ravens, who sent manna from heaven, and provided water from a rock to the Israelites in their desert journey is the same One who promises to carry our burdens and meet our needs.

The God worth trusting in

On those mornings when the pain is so sharp that even getting out of bed seems an impossible mission, Christian author Jeana Stuart shares that she must choose which voices in her mind to believe: the one that whispers that pain will always accompany her, and medical bills will pile up until they’re insurmountable—or the one that reminds her that God remains the same, regardless of circumstances?

In an article focusing on divine promises, Stuart, who suffers from myofascial pain syndrome, lists the multitude of needs that God cares for in our everyday lives.

The God who provides food for animals (Psalm 104:27; Psalm 145:15-16) takes much greater care of our physical needs: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them” (Matthew 6:31-32).

God offers us guidance in all our crossroads, as well as in ordinary days (Psalm 32:8), and the providential way we are led is best observed when we look back on our journey.

Additionally, God provides comfort and help in suffering (2 Corinthians 1:4), strength in temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), peace in every circumstance (Philippians 4:7), and salvation (John 14:6).

One of God’s greatest gifts is rest, says Stuart, underlining that experiencing it is closely tied to trust in God, to the willingness to surrender control of our lives to Him.

The secret to perfect rest lies in complete submission, says Ellen White, insisting on the privilege we have of tasting the joy of heaven even here, in the valley of weeping: “When we enter into Christ’s rest, heaven begins here (…) Heaven is a ceaseless approaching to God through Christ. The longer we stay, and the nearer we approach to Him (…) the more intense will be our happiness.” As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. (…) Heaven is a ceaseless approaching to God through Christ. The longer we are in the heaven of bliss (…) and the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness.” [1]

In an article seeking answers to the question that often troubles us, whether we voice it or not (“Will God meet my needs?”), Pastor Garrett Kell presents four ways to strengthen our faith in God’s care.

First and foremost, we need to rest in the promises God makes to us. If He does not forget even the birds of the air, which have no barns and no stored up provision to rely on (Matthew 6:26), He will take care of us as well—even if He doesn’t do it in the way He cares for others and maybe not even in the way He has accustomed us to in the past, Kell says.

Reminding ourselves of the faithfulness with which God has carried us in the past (sharing this with others or perhaps revisiting our prayer journal) is crucial because days will come when divine help seems to be absent. Circumstances will change, the way God intervenes might be different from what we were accustomed to, but the lesson we have to learn is to trust in Him regardless.

Thirdly, we must be open and prepared for God’s interventions, even if they may seem strange or atypical to us. Consider, for example, Elijah—if he had thought about the means by which he would obtain his food during his time of resourcelessness, probably the last scenarios he would have considered would be those in which an angel prepared his meal or a raven regularly delivered bread and meat to him.

Last but not least, to bolster our confidence in God, we need to be thankful for today’s blessings (the “table” He sets before us), instead of obsessively focusing on the things we fear we might be deprived of tomorrow.

The God who wants to bear all our worries

Perhaps worry is one of the sins we’re least concerned about because we fail to see how subtly it diverts us from a vibrant relationship with God. It’s one of those “respectable” sins, as Christian author Jerry Bridges calls them when he writes about why he believes that worry (along with frustration) has a sinful nature.

First and foremost, worry betrays our lack of trust in God. We know He cares for the birds, the beasts, and the lilies of the field and asks us to cast all our anxieties on Him (“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” — 1 Peter 5:7), yet we doubt He will be with us in the circumstances we fear.

Secondly, worry represents a rejection of God’s providence. We get hijacked by the immediate causes of the situation that worries us, ignoring the fact that all things are under God’s control.

Analysing the passage from Matthew 6:25-34, which addresses the issue of worry, Pastor Kevin DeYoung reflects on some of the reasons why we should not let our hearts be troubled.

“Anxiety is an affront to the kindness of God and the worth of men and women made in his image,” says the pastor, noting that we should let the squirrels and the birds beyond our windows be our preachers whenever the future unsettles us.

Some Christians worry so much that they live as if God doesn’t exist, and they must tightly control the reins of their lives. This is paganism, DeYoung bluntly says, reminding us that God promises to provide not necessarily abundance but what we need to live for as long as it is His plan for us to live. This is worth emphasising all the more because God hasn’t hidden from us the fact that until sin is eradicated, Christians will go through the same troubles as those who reject Him and may even be persecuted and killed for their faith.

God gives us grace today only for the troubles and challenges of today, not for what will happen tomorrow. However, our peace (or lack thereof) will stem from the things we live for, DeYoung says.

If we’ve made comfort, physical appearance, career (or any temporal thing) the purpose of our lives, then our worry has reason to boil over. But if we live for the Kingdom that is coming, then we have the assurance that we will receive the better homeland we long for.

Until that day, the Father’s heart will cradle us with anything He knows we need. For He is the God for whom not only are all nations “as dust on the scales” (Isaiah 40:15), but also the One who tenderly watches over even a fragile sparrow, which falls without anyone else caring (Matthew 10:29).

Carmen Lăiu is an editor of Signs of the Times Romania and ST Network.

[1]“Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, PACIFIC PR PUB ASSN, 2002, p. 283.”

“Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, PACIFIC PR PUB ASSN, 2002, p. 283.”