After 394 days of continual hospitalization for my husband, reading God’s promises in the Bible always gave me hope for whatever situation I was facing.
God gave us over 5,000 different promises about forgiveness, blessings, grace, healing, provision, gifts and wisdom.
I found myself encouraged on Sunday mornings thinking about God’s promises but then Monday morning would come, and I would find myself surrounded by stacks of bills and a Mount Everest sized pile of terrifying medical complications and wonder where I was going wrong.
I realized the promises I clung to on Sunday mornings were often missing the pivotal ‘ifs, ands, or buts’ I needed the other six days of the week for those promises to be fulfilled.
Take Matthew 6:31-33: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Did you catch it?
If I wanted to receive ‘all these things’ like my overwhelming pile of needs met, I must FIRST seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness.
If, instead, I focused on striving within my ability to meet my own needs, then I would miss the chance to receive God’s gift of HIS meeting them for me.
When the doctors told me my husband likely wouldn’t survive the day because he had developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and that his organs were failing combined with his oxygen levels plummeting, I found myself struggling with worry, anxiety, and fear.
I was facing the reality of being a single parent to two small children while having to earn a living as a self-employed individual.
It would be easy, even understandable, to worry and not seek God’s kingdom first in this situation. But this promise in the Bible is very clear – seek God’s kingdom and righteousness and let God meet my needs.
God knows my needs — all of them — and asks me to trust Him with them.
He asks me to not worry, not strive, but to simply seek Him and His righteousness even before I seek employment or food for my family. It sounds crazy and illogical.
But, if I truly believe that God knows my needs and is capable of meeting them, then why would I NOT want to focus on His kingdom and His righteousness?
It’s answering this question honestly that shows me how I’ve allowed the lies of the enemy to creep into my heart and mind creating doubt about God’s ability and faithfulness which causes my struggle.
Because of the lies, I want to ‘rationalize’ that in the ‘real’ world I couldn’t possibly rely on an unseen God to meet my physical needs. When I say it out loud, it seems ridiculous, but on the inside, that’s exactly what I think.
As a Christ follower, I have a decision to make: either I believe that God created the world and everything in it, or He didn’t.
And if He really did, then doesn’t that make Him more than capable of meeting my needs?
And if He didn’t, then why am I worshipping such a small and incompetent god in the first place?
If you’re praying for a promise of God in your life and struggling to see it come to fruition, I want to challenge you to go back and focus on the ‘ifs, ands, or buts’ and not simply skip over them like I have.
I want to encourage you to trust that when you do your part and seek God FIRST, you really can count on Him to do exactly what He said He would do — probably not how you envisioned, but “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).
Seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness first.
Seek Him even before you seek a way to meet your needs.
Seek Him before you seek an answer to the problems you’re facing.
Keep trusting that God is a good God who sees you, His beloved child, and loves you as the son or daughter you are.
Keep seeking Him first, and trust Him to add ‘all these things’ to meet your needs in His timing-not yours.