Do we—do I—really trust God? The teaching in the Sermon on the Mount may seem to be too radical, making it hard to “trust and obey. . . .” Yet what Jesus is teaching is not an exception to general Biblical teachings on faith, but consistent with them. Moreover there are people today who, like George Mueller running an orphanage and many schools on sheer faith, are illustrating the validity of these teachings.
The Bible teaches God supernaturally provided food, etc., for his people. When they were wandering in the desert—perhaps 85,000—He provided manna and quails for them. When Jesus fed the multitudes he was also encouraging us to trust in providence. After he fed the 5,000 + in Matt. 14 there is the incident of Jesus, after praying all night, walks on the stormy Sea of Galilee to join the disciples in a boat. Peter wants to step out and join him, but tunes into his circumstances more than into the Lord, and starts to sink. “Lord, save me!” he cries out. “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” says Jesus, reaching out his hand to help him.
Like my old namesake I’ve often doubted, despite repeatedly seeing the Lord’s providential hand. “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mk, 9: 24) This is true throughout biblical and church history: the human story is a struggle between faith and doubt. Herewith some faith-testimonials:
“The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. . . . .The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand, and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Ps. 145: 9; 14-16
“You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.” Philippians 4:19-20, The Message
A Catholic charismatic community in El Paso, Texas, has a holistic ministry to the poor in Juarez, Mexico. When one Christmas they were feeding them with enough food for 125 people, hundreds more came, and they all were fed! The food was literally multiplied—“the ham just kept on coming”, as it was being sliced. There was even enough food for several orphanages! (See eye witness accounts: Viva Christo Rey, on YouTube.)
My niece and nephew-in-law in Papua New Guinea repeatedly saw the providential hand of God, e.g., providing air fare for their sabbatical just one day before their flight from their mission station
An American missionary goes about the Philippines evangelizing. He and his Filipina wife have 12 kids, and although St. Paul was a tentmaker, he hasn’t worked, but has been living on faith for 47 years!.
Do we really trust God? “Everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Ro. 14: 23). But faith is a gift we can pray for (Ephesians 2: 8) One way He answers is to provide creative ways of thinking about our situation.