(We have amalgamated 3 of our devotionals to bring you a 3-point sermon on one page about how God cares for His children.)
Introduction:In an interview with The Reader’s Digest magazine, Grammy Award winning pop singer Gloria Estefan spoke graciously about her year one teacher, Dorothy Collins, who helped shape her early English language skills. Gloria has in fact spoken many times of that period in her life and the challenges she faced (including severe teasing), as a foreign student, particularly due to her inability to communicate in English. However, Gloria received assistance in her language skills and was given the confidence to persevere by her teacher, Dorothy Collins.
Eventually, Gloria won the class reading prize and went on to study languages at University. She also built a highly successful international career in pop music. Said Gloria, “My year one teacher didn’t just teach me the language; she helped me find my voice.“
What a difference it makes when someone cares for us and what a difference it made for Gloria Estefan! On the other hand however, how many people are suffering unimaginable pain today because they feel that no one cares for them. Many people even feel that there is no one they can trust anymore. In fact, situations and relationships around us can change very rapidly, leaving us perplexed and uncertain about tomorrow and the future. I recently heard a gentleman say, “No one cares for me anymore”.
In the midst of all the uncertainties and rejections we face, we can rest assured in the fact that God cares for His children and will never fail us. He has assured us “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)
Proposition: God’s shows His care for His children in many unmistakable ways
In this sermon, I would like to speak about 3 ways God cares for us. They are:
- God cares for us through His provision:
Are you in need of God’s provision today? Is there a situation in your life in which you need to experience His answer to your prayer for provision? God has promised us His unfailing provision in the same way He provided for Elijah through ravens (1 Kings 17:6). We find so many more illustrations of God’s provision through the pages of scripture.
So, let’s look at one more such example of His provision recorded in 2 Kings 4:42-44. We see here how God’s powerful provision came through at a critical time for Elisha and a large group of prophets that were being mentored by him at that time.
If we look at the background to the story in 2 Kings 4:38, we find that the region of Gilgal was going through a famine at that time. This meant that food was scarce for Elisha and his students. As a result, verses 39-41 of this chapter show us that the group had just come through a scary moment of food poisoning, due to the preparation of some wild gourds for one of their meals. Thankfully, they were delivered from this attack of food poisoning due to a mighty healing touch God provided through Elisha ( 2 Kings 4:41).
At this time of a serious food shortage, we find in 2 Kings 4:42 how God provided for His servants. The provision came through an unknown and unnamed man who unexpectedly brought an offering to Elisha. 2 Kings 4:42 simply says, “A man came from Baal Shalisha…” The offering this unnamed man brought in consisted of 20 loaves of baked barley bread and some heads of new grain. Someone said, “God’s provision often comes through unknown people and in unexpected ways!” But there was more sustenance needed and God confirmed His provision by multiplying the food!
Multiplication of the Food and Similarities to Jesus Feeding the 5000:
Since the quantity of food that was brought by the unknown man was insufficient for the entire group of prophets, Elisha, by faith, trusted God to multiply the food. He therefore asked a servant to distribute the food (2 Kings 4:42), just like Jesus told his disciples when feeding the 5000.
The servant’s response however was very similar to that of Jesus’ faithless disciples. He asked, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” (2 Kings 4:43). Elisha’s answer to that question was also very similar to how Jesus responded to His disciples. He said , “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over’ “ (2 Kings 4:43).
As the servant began to distribute the food, a miracle of multiplication began to take place. The Bible says in 2 Kings 4:44, “Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord”. This was indeed what happened when Jesus fed the 5000 as well!
As a result of his faith, Elisha was able to adequately feed all those present, numbering around 100. In a similar way, God is not only able to provide for His trusting children; He is also able to multiply His provision when needed. Trust Him therefore during your time of need and experience the miracle of God’s provision unfolding. He will come through for you!
Psalm 34:6 says, “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; He saved him out of all his troubles.”
Illustration of God’s Provision:
When our second son was to be born, everything pointed to a normal and safe delivery. However, at the last moment, the Doctor recommended a caesarean surgery due to a medical emergency that had arisen. As a result, the hospital bill went way in excess of what we had planned for and what our insurance would cover. We therefore had resources to cover only about 40% of the total bill. We realized we needed God’s provision to settle this unexpected challenge.
As I was in a quandary about how I could bridge the deficit, my thoughts drifted to a rewards scheme that our bank was providing, for accounts that had maintained a certain minimum balance over the preceding 6 months. When I checked my account, I realized that I may be eligible to apply for a reward as I had maintained a small balance for 6 consecutive months.
I therefore hurriedly went to our bank and explained the situation to one of the Managers, not really expecting much of a favorable response. This gentleman did a quick check on my account and to my surprise said, ” Mr Jayasooriya, we can give you so much for the surgery and a further gift for the birth of your child”. The amounts mentioned added up to exactly how much we needed to settle the deficit of the hospital bill! This was how God’s provision was revealed to us.
God’s provision can come through for you too in unexpected ways and through unexpected people or resources. Trust Him today to meet your needs!
For further thoughts on God’s provision refer here.
- God cares for us through His protection:
Like I mentioned earlier, living in an increasingly insecure world has its real challenges. Dangers, terrorism, new strains of viruses, economic struggles and broken/displaced families surround us on all sides. In the midst of these tensions that can crush our peace and increase our levels of anxiety, it’s comforting to know that we can look to our God, the living God, to surround us with His protection.
So,are you in need of protection today? It’s so comforting to know that God has promised us His protection repeatedly in the scriptures. We can refer to passages like Psalm 23, Psalm 121 and Psalm 91, to highlight God’s assurance of protection upon His children. Therefore, In the midst of all the dangerous circumstances in the world today, including disease and threats, we can continue to confidently trust in His powerful protection!
The composer of Psalm 125 gives us a vivid picture of what God’s protection looks like. He says, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore” (vs2). We hear a lot today about ‘surround sound’. This is ‘surround protection’!
Illustration: It is said that Missionary John Paton’s mission house was once surrounded and on the verge of being attacked by hostile natives. As darkness fell and the threat became more serious, Paton and all in the compound, used the only weapon they had; prayer. As they prayed, the attack did not materialize and the threat ended. Much later, as one of the tribal chiefs turned to Jesus, it was discovered that on the eventful night, the attackers had seen a vast army (God’s army) surrounding the mission house with a protective cordon. They realized it would be futile to attack as the compound was securely and strongly protected.
In 2 Kings 6:13-17, the Prophet Elisha was in grave danger in a city called Dothan. The King of Aram was desperate to get his hands on Elisha and sent a strong armed force to surround the city by night. When Elisha’s servant awoke the following morning, he was terrified by the sight of the vast army surrounding the city.
Elisha however was unperturbed and said, ‘Don’t be afraid, those who are with us are more than those who are with them’ (vs16). As the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, the scripture says that “he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (vs17). God had surrounded His Prophet with His mighty protection!
He is the same God today. Doesn’t the Bible say that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8)? The Apostle John further adds, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4 KJV). Surely, that includes anything satan or the world can throw at us? Let’s therefore trust God to surround us with the protection needed for ourselves and our families.
The scripture says, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance”. (Psalm 32:7). No evil can therefore surround us when we remain surrounded by God’s protection!
- God cares for us by lifting us up at times of discouragement.
Are you discouraged today? Have the battles in your life taken a heavy toll on you? Are you ready to throw in the towel and give up? Well, let’s be encouraged by the fact that the Lord delights to lift up the hearts and heads of His children., The scripture says,
“You are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head”. (Psalm 3:3)
Too often at social meetings, worship meetings, and at hospitals, I see people with their heads hanging low, bowed down by the burdens they are carrying. Some of them may have no one to talk to, while others show no hope in their eyes. They are desperately looking for answers. Many more have resigned themselves to the challenges they are battling with.
What about you? Is your head bowed down today because of a burden you are carrying? Are you deeply discouraged? Are you desperate for God to come through? For Him to ‘lift up your head’? To know God cares?
When we are downcast or gazing downwards, our eyes are fixed only on a small area of the floor around us. What we see therefore is a very limited space and satan will do everything possible to keep our gaze on that small space. But, when God steps in to lift up your head, you will see the whole horizon before you; the largeness of what He has created for you to enjoy!
Imagine yourself on a beach at dusk, looking down. You may see a rock, some sea sand and maybe a few shells. However, if you lift your head up, you will see the entire horizon, the beautiful sky, maybe a ship or two in the distance, and the beauty of a setting sun! You then realize how big the Creator God is!!
The Good News is that Jesus is well able to ‘lift up your head’ and He is waiting to do so! Psalm 3:3 says, “But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory and the lifter of my head”(ESV). God, through Jesus, wants to show you a glimpse of His glory and to “lift up your head “. The Bible further says in Psalm 145:14,”The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” Will you therefore call upon the mighty name of Jesus and ask Him for help now? Allow Him to touch you and lift you up. It will change your outlook on your problem and your discouragement!!
In closing let me go over the 3 main points that I have shared today to show that God cares for you. They are,
- God cares through His Provision
- God Cares through His Protection
- God cares through His desire to lift you up from discouragement
Yes, God cares for you. Receive His unfailing love today. God bless you.
(An inspiring sermon on God’s faithfulness can be downloaded here.)