When the Future Feels Stressful, Trust Your Provider
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions.’” (Exodus 16:4, NLT)
Sleep escaped me as I lay in the darkness, filled with worries that grew bigger and bigger in my mind as the night dragged on. When sunshine peeked through my bedroom window, I finally began to pray, pouring out my concerns to God as I had done countless times before.
My marriage had fallen apart a few months earlier, and suddenly my future was not as secure as it had once seemed. Money was scarce, and I was struggling to keep a roof over my head and provide for my children’s needs. My stress was further worsened by a myriad of other adversities that constantly stole my peace and sleep.
But on this morning, as I continued to pray, I began to notice a pattern in my pleas. No matter what circumstance or concern I mentioned, they all seemed to share one underlying theme -- fear of lack of provision.
I felt God convicting my heart to stop fearing the unknown future and start trusting Him with the future instead. Then I heard a gentle whisper in my spirit, which simply said, “I alone am your Provider.”
Feeling somewhat startled, I knew this was from my Father. With eyes closed and tears threatening to emerge, I mumbled the words, “Yes, Lord. You are. Forgive me for doubting Your provision, and help me to fully trust You. Please fill me with peace. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know You hold my future and will provide for all my needs. Amen.”
Today’s key verse reminds us of a situation in biblical times where God’s children were also facing an unknown future and struggling to trust if He could or would provide for their needs. Exodus 16:4 shows us God’s response despite their doubt: “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions.’”
The people of Israel had been slaves to the Egyptians, and after God set them free, they had to fully trust Him for all their needs -- which apparently they were having a difficult time doing. Although they were physically free, they were still mentally enslaved to their habit of looking for provision from people and things rather than from God.
The Israelites were convinced they would starve to death in the wilderness. Even after the Lord promised to provide for every need, they were discontent at having to “wait and see” if He would stay true to His promise of daily manna. They failed to trust Him, didn’t obey His instructions and constantly complained. Athough their complaints were directed to Moses and Aaron, they were essentially complaining against God as well.
After my sweet encounter with God in the early-morning hours, I realized I had been doing a lot of complaining, too, not only to my Provider but against Him. I was not trusting in His sovereignty over my life.
Feeling as if I, too, were in the wilderness like the Israelites, I now had to fully depend on the Lord’s provision above all else. He was the same Lord who had always provided for me in the past, just in different ways, and the only One who I could trust to do so in the future.
Acknowledging my need for His provision alone and committing to trust Him with my future -- despite still sometimes doubting -- lightened my heart and changed my perspective and attitude from that day forward.
Over the past few years, God has miraculously provided for all of my needs in more ways than I can list, and He will do the same for you. Although it takes a daily recommitment to trusting God when stress and worry sneak in, trusting Him with our future helps us endure those stressful times with peace in our hearts.
Lord, I have been feeling enslaved to worry and doubt. Help me remember You are my Provider, and give me strength to fully trust You with the future. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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If you’re struggling with fear of the future due to shifting circumstances in your life, check out Tracie Miles’ new book, Stress-Less Living: God-Centered Solutions When You’re Stretched Too Thin. Pre-order your copy of the book and receive a FREE Stress-Less Living Companion Journal! Click here for more info.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Philippians 4:19, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)
Have you been trying to figure out all of your problems rather than trusting God has everything under control?
What needs have you been most stressed about, and how might committing to trust God bring peace to your heart today? Let us know in the comments!
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