Farmers just amaze me. I mean, are you familiar with everything that goes into planting crops? Yes, in essence, you put a seed into the ground. The seed grows throughout summer. In the fall you harvest the crop. Ask any farmer, though, and you know it’s a little more nerve-wracking than that.
Now, of course, the farmer carefully prepares his fields. He clears away trees and pulls out stumps and rocks. He drags his discs through the soil, turning over the fields. He watches the water content in each field. Then, when field conditions are just right, he sinks his tens-of-thousands of dollars worth of seed into the ground. Do you know what he does next? He waits.
That’s it! He waits! He puts tens-of-thousands of dollars into ground and can do nothing but wait. Yes, he can provide water by irrigating his fields. He can drain the fields and ensure nothing blocks out sunlight. He can spend $15,000 more to spray pesticide and herbicide. He can do everything in his power to make the seed grow and get his money back— but that’s just it: in his power. He may have the best soil conditions, but he does not possess the power to make seeds grow. He simply trusts that God will provide his income.
Could you do that? Can you patiently wait and trust that God will provide your livelihood at the right time— even when you see no answer in sight? The temptation is for you to rely on the little control you have in life instead of God’s unlimited control over everything.
Jesus gives you a reason to trust him most. Using a mighty miracle, he teaches you to Bring Every Need to Jesus because He deals with you in compassion. Since he deals with you in this way, Trust his power to provide.
Five thousand men swarm the shoreline— and this is just men! There may be an additional 10,000-15,000 women and children blanketing the hillside! And the disciples— well, all they see is a problem. [E]vening approache[s, and] the disciples c[o]me to [Jesus] and sa[y], “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away[!]”If the crowds leave now, then they won’t be hungry all night.
Yet, Jesus fires back: “They do not need to go away.” Is Jesus looking at the same thing they are? Doesn’t he see the same problem? “Jesus, there’s zero food and yet you’re telling us they can stay. Who’s going to feed them all?” The answer? “You! You give them something to eat.”
The truth is: they already tried that. Before they ever Bring Their Need To Jesus, they search for an answer. They scour the area for restaurants. They empty their pockets and see just how much money they have for dinner (Mark 6:37; John 6:7). All they could find is only five loaves of bread and two fish--which, in their estimation, amounts to nothing. “Jesus, we have exhausted all of our options; we have no other solutions. There is no one left to help us. We have tried everything.”
Sound familiar? It’s easy to read an account like this and wonder how the disciples could miss asking the Son of God for help. I mean, Jesus is literally right there, watching the disciples rush around in such needless panic. All they have to do is Bring Every Need to Jesus! But they do not because the disciples trust only themselves.
Do you think the disciples would shake their heads in disbelief if they saw how you deal with trouble? If your marriage is not going so well, are you Bringing Every Need to Jesus? Or, are you sifting through your feelings and taking advice from non-Christian sources in the hope of fixing things? If you want the best for your children, are you Bringing your wish to Jesus? Or, are you mapping the future and scrambling to save up for all the schooling and all the camps and all the programs; are you exhausted from acting that you must provide for your child? If your health bothers you, are you Bringing Every Need to Jesus? Or, are you trusting that you— and only you— hold the key to recovery?
If you experience fear in life, it is because you are trusting yourself. You feel that God is unreliable and will not provide you with the kind of life you want.
So, you turn to someone you consider even more trustworthy than God Almighty: You! You understand you! You recognize your problems and the necessary solution! You know how your challenge must be solved! You feel more reliable than God!
Does that make your fear go away? No. Why? Fear erupts because of the realization that you do not have the power to instantly bring about what you need for life. Fear teaches you: You are not God.
But Jesus is God and Jesus has the power God has. He uses that power for you. Just look at how Jesus deals with the crowds. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them[.]They are like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34). Hordes of people have no idea what happens when they die. They do not know God as a kind Father who loves them. No one has pointed them to a Savior who removes guilt with his forgiveness. No one fills their heart with peace.
So, Jesus’ heart literally goes out to them. This “compassion” refers to deep emotions pouring out from deep down inside. Imagine hosting a house party. Guests grip their punch in one hand, hors d’oeuvres in the other, and chat away in little groups. Off in the background, an infant cries. Tears stream down her cheeks. Her little arms and legs are flailing. All this little baby wants is for someone to hold her, calm her, cradle and coddle her. Yet, no one runs off to comfort; everyone is consumed with satisfying their wants. If your heart hurts [right now] and all you want to do pick up this little baby and hug her, you are feeling “compassion.”
Jesus deals with you in compassion. Not only does his heart go out to you, but his blood pours out for you. It hurts him to see you and me run away from him and rely on our own problem-solving. It hurts him as he endures our death-sentence for such selfish self-reliance. On the cross Jesus deals with your only real need: peace between God and you.
Is Jesus trustworthy enough that you can Bring Every Need to Jesus? Look at the cross. Jesus cares about what you need. He deals with you in compassion. He dies to give you eternal life. And if he does the impossible by removing your consequences for sin, then will he not also tend to the matters of everyday life?
Bring Every Need to Jesus because He deals in compassion. When you Bring Every Need to Jesus, Trust his power to provide.
I can’t help but wonder what must have went through the disciple’s minds as they handed out food. Jesus could have chosen to have the crowds form a line and receive food from him. Instead, [Jesus] directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. Then the disciples returned to get more and then handed more out. And then they came back for more and handed even more out. And then they got more and distributed more. And they came back again and again and again until everyone was satisfied— completely full, filled up, loosening their belts.
Do you think the disciples learned the lesson? Jesus took the bread and fish they considered worthless and proved he had the power to provide.
You know that. Jesus has the power to provide for you. Yet, there’s more to this account than just that. What’s Jesus concerned about here? He’s concerned about what you eat. You could skip supper and still live. Jesus could have snapped his fingers and rained down manna and quail again (Exodus 16). He could have sent the crowds away. Yet, he takes the time to remind you: There is nothing too insignificant for him to handle— even if it is one single meal.
So, what’s on your mind? What’s gnawing at you that makes you afraid? Bring Every Need to Jesus and trust his power to provide.
Do you worry about money? Are you afraid to increase your offering because you might go without? Do you dread getting a letter in the mail announcing a slash to your pension or a reduction in your social security? Are you anxious that you will lose your job? Bring Every financial fear to Jesus and trust his power to provide. He fills your life with financial blessings; not you. Yes, God has not promised to miraculously put money into your bank account, but how do you get money? Through jobs. How does the company get money? Through an economy. How does the economy thrive? Through leaders God has given you and by God blessing the effort of those leaders. God gives you personal abilities and God provides leaders so that you are able to receive an income.
Do you wonder if God really cares about your anxiety? After all, God has so many other things in the universe to worry about (and probably bigger things than health). Does he really care about your aches and pains or what you will have for dinner or how your day at work or school will go? Bring Every anxiety—big or small— to Jesus and trust his power to provide.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus finds it necessary for you to ask: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus wants you to pray: “Ask God to satisfy your needs.” Yes, God has not promised to miraculously fill your cabinets, but that does not mean you must rely on yourself. Where does your food come from? The grocery store. Where does the store get it? The farmer. How does the farmer receive it? The field. Try as farmers might, they cannot control the weather, ground temperature, seasons, or the product. God makes the seed grow. God uses people and their talents to bless you. God uses the kind words of family, friends, and strangers to encourage you. Bring Every Need to Jesus and trust his power to provide.
Trust. It means that instead of relying on our own power, we trust that God will do what he says he will do. A farmer sinks $10,000-plus into the ground. There is no guarantee the seed will grow. The farmer does not have the power to make the seed grow. But God does—and the farmer trusts God to provide.
God provides for you. You will have trouble in this life. Your heart will try to direct you to trust your own decisions. Your heart will doubt God’s care for you and his power to help. So, Jesus says that he cares for you so that you may not doubt his compassion for you. So, Jesus demonstrates his miraculous power to show he cares so that you trust his power to provide.
Jesus does everything necessary for you to run to him first and only in every trouble. Live in peace. Be at rest. Jesus is for you. Bring Every Need to Jesus because He deals with you in compassion. Since he deals with you in this way, Trust his power to provide.