Trust in God’s Goodness

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”

“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.

“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”

He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.
(Matthew 15:32-39)

“All the resources of the Godhead are at our disposal!” -Jonathan Goforth
In these verses we see that our Lord felt deep sympathy for the crowds He was ministering to. Being fully aware that His audience was both helpless and harassed like sheep without a shepherd, Jesus desired to do more than simply heal their diseases. He wanted to meet their need of hunger as well. His desire was to provide for their weakened frames with sustenance. Isaiah tells us our Lord is a tender Shepherd who gently and carefully leads and carries the weakest and helpless members of His flock:

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. (Isaiah 40:11)

Human reason dictated the disciple’s response to their Master’s desire to feed the crowd of four thousand plus. How easy it is for us to resort to human abilities and reasoning. However, God is looking for servants who are willing to believe that He can do wondrously great things; things beyond the bounds of human expectation, reasoning, or power.

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. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. (Psalm 145:15-20)
It is God’s desire for us to depend on Him alone. We need to be content with His provision. Relying solely on Him–on His sure sufficiency–this is the way of rich blessing even though it may lead us down difficult paths we would not have chosen. Being content with His provision for us will keep us from being plagued with fear and anxiety which is so prevalent in our day. This means we are able to leave the results in His very capable hands.

Jesus desires our focus to remain upon Him. He wants us to break free from being preoccupied with self. He wants us to soak in His presence, power, and love. It is His desire for us to cease striving and know that He is God. When Jesus tells to His disciples that He wants them to feed these throngs of hungry people, they immediately balk. That is so human nature! And yet, Jesus was about to teach them the lesson of His sufficiency. He wanted to them to rely on His leading and power, preparing them to be His instruments in His world. Jesus is to be our sustaining strength and His peace is to ever garrison our minds. He desires to do the miraculous through us!

In this story, Jesus takes the meager portion of food that was available, blesses it, and satisfies all. There is always enough mercy and grace with Him to fill our greatest desires with abundant satisfaction. We are never at a loss in our Master’s company. It behooves us to remember our past experiences with Him to keep us from present doubting.

I am the LORD your God who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. (Psalm 81:10)

To demonstrate that He not only provides but overflows our expectations, there were seven basketfuls of food left over!

“Faith in God will always be crowned.” -William S. Plummer

Take It to Heart

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Previous  – Next