July 15, 2020
As the global economy takes a beating due to the pandemic, experts predict an impending global recession. In fact, many companies have started filing for bankruptcy, while some have already shut down their businesses.
As thousands of people lose their jobs, there are a lot of ways we could respond. We may find ourselves worrying about the future, particularly about our family’s financial security.
Perhaps, as we get tired of all the bad news surrounding us, we want to shut the world out and be apathetic. We can also scramble to find ways to help us be secure.
But having the right perspective about our source of security and provision will help us face these difficulties.
A few years ago, I saw a nice blanket as I strolled in the mall with my parents. I held it. I squished it. And I muttered, “Ugghhhh, gusto ko talaga itong kumot na ito.”
I checked the price tag and immediately returned it to the shelf. My dad reached for the blanket and handed it to me, saying, “Bilihin mo na. Gagamitin mo naman yan.”
I told my dad that I didn’t have money for it. I was a fresh graduate back then and had just started with my new job.
That’s when he said one of the sweetest things we long to hear, “Ako na magbabayad.”
He bought me the blanket!
I wish every moment with my dad were like that: I’d ask him for something, and he’d purchase it for me. But my earthly dad is limited. He loved us and would like to give us good gifts, but he had limited resources.
How about you? What was your experience with your father?
Did he provide for you in the past? Was he there when you needed something?
Did he play favorites?
Are you fearful of coming to him to ask for anything?
We have different experiences with our earthly fathers, and these experiences affect how we perceive God as our heavenly Father.
Because of these experiences, some of us feel undeserving to approach God. Others feel reluctant to even ask. Others think that God plays favorites because He seems good to others but not to us. Some of us don’t know how to relate with God as a Father, because we never really experienced having one.
We tend to think that God is just like our earthly fathers. But we need to understand that our heavenly Father is incomparably different from them.
Out of all the descriptors that God can use to describe His relationship with us, He chose to reveal Himself as a Father. This is a strong and loving assurance that even though we are sinful, stubborn, broken, and limited, He longs to love, protect, affirm, and provide for us.
How does the Bible describe God as a father?
1. God is gracious.
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
If God, in His loving kindness, freely gave Jesus as a living sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins and for us to be able to accomplish His purpose, He certainly won’t withhold from us anything else. He will graciously give us all things that we need to accomplish His purpose.
2. God is unlimited.
God owns everything––the air we breathe, the rain that falls, the sun that shines, and all creation. Unlike our earthly fathers, His resources are without bounds.
“Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.”
3. God gives us access to His provision.
Now if we know that God owns everything, do we trust that He will give us access to His provision? This passage talks about God being a Father to us. He gives good things to those who ask.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. . . . If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Do you consider God as your Father? We can go on and on about how powerful God is, but if we don’t consider Him as our God and Father, we will go back to relying on others or on our abilities to provide for our needs.
I’m celebrating my birthday as I write this article. I can still remember my 10th birthday when my family had to sing Happy Birthday Tu-Yo.
I love eating tuyo, but that was not the reason we had tuyo for dinner that day. We had tuyo on my birthday because that’s the only thing that we could afford.
If memory serves me right, that was the year we had to sell our house because we needed money for our schooling. Our family business was not doing well, and we were in debt. My parents were trying to make ends meet; it was a tough season.
I remember praying to God and asking Him to be a Father to us who will take care of our finances. I had no idea how hard it was to earn money. My parents had been able to provide a good life for us until things didn’t work out for us anymore.
Our house got sold. We transferred to a public school. Our family business closed down. But God was a Father who provided for our food, education, shelter, and clothing. There was not a day that we missed a meal.
As I look back today, I can say with so much gratitude in my heart that God has graciously provided. I have a good job, more than enough food on the table, and a house of our own again.
Maybe this season for you is like my Happy Birthday Tu-Yo season; the global crisis may have affected your family’s financial situation.
I would like to encourage you that God our Father can and will provide for our needs. His ways of providing may not be exactly how we imagined, but this doesn’t change His identity as a gracious Father who lovingly takes care of His children.
There may be seasons of financial challenges, but God is beyond that. He will continue to provide graciously to His children.