"The Provision of Grace"
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God" (I Corinthians 2:12).
The Holy Spirit bears witness to the bountiful provision of grace provided to believers through the Lord Jesus Christ. By His Word, His working in our lives, and the revelation of creation, God's Spirit declares to us that "His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (II Peter 1:3). Conversely, the world, the flesh, and the devil seek to discourage our confidence in the supply our Heavenly Father administers according to His love, wisdom, and purposes. We live in a world of need that affects believers no less than others, and we often feel and experience the challenges that may seem to belie God's promise of provision.
"Seem" is the operative word in the last statement. "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). The Christian life involves a walk in Truth amid countless appearances that God and His supply are not at hand. David faced the challenge, to the degree that in one circumstance he cried out in anguish, "Hath God forgotten to be gracious?" (Psalm 77:9). The Psalmist knew better, of course, but the earthly realities with which we all must contend challenged his heart and mind. Sometimes it looks and feels as if God has forgotten to supply His grace. He never does, of course. Never. However, He administers His provision in a manner that coincides with the glory of the Lord Jesus and our best interests. This often involves a walk of faith wherein we must see that which cannot be seen, even as the writer of Hebrews declared, "Moses… endured, as seeing Him who is invisible" (Hebrews 11:24; 27). We require the walk of faith that characterizes our present experience. Such experience itself constitutes God's supply as He emphasizes the needs of our hearts first and foremost. Indeed, in times when we wonder about seemingly missing "things" of God's provision, He may well be administering His provision to our deepest and truest need, namely, the knowledge of Himself. "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
Only the Spirit of God can assure our hearts of provision when provision seems lacking. He leads us to His Word and to the testimony of fellow believers in such times. These voices bear witness to those freely given bestowals of grace that often shine forth in obvious display, but sometimes do not. God has not forgotten to be gracious, nor can He ever omit the administration of His faithfulness. This is truth. This is reality. This is provision, for this moment and forevermore. The Holy Spirit bears witness, as does the Bible, the body of Christ, and God's creation. May we respond in faith, heeding our Lord's command to "judge not according to the appearance". We rather judge according to our Father's perfect faithfulness in providing according to His loving wisdom and our truest need.
"But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Weekly Memory Verse
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.