Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Provider

What was the last thing you asked God for?

Health?

Finances?

A relationship?

After all, one of the names God revealed for Himself in the Bible is Yahweh Jireh, our Provider, right? And let’s not forget what James wrote: “You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2 NIV).

But how do we respond when God does not give us what we ask for?

When a loved one dies.

Or when a child, raised in the faith, rejects everything he was taught.

When we don’t get the job we need to pay our bills.

Or when a spouse walks out on our marriage.

Do we become angry? Resentful? Do we feel as if He betrayed our relationship with Him because He is our Father and we are His children in Christ?

Let’s go back to the first place in Scripture God reveals Himself as our Provider. It first appeared in Genesis 22:14, where God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. Just as Abraham is about to kill Isaac, God stopped him and provided a ram as a substitute sacrifice.

Abraham sacrificed the ram, and called that place “The Lord Will Provide” (Yahweh Jireh).

We often forget the first mention of God as Provider was not in relation to material things. Rather, this name was first and foremost associated with the provision of a substitute sacrifice, pointing to the time when God would provide a once-for-all substitute sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:11-14).

So here’s the $ 64,000 question for those who are Christ-followers:

If God never granted another one of your requests, would the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ—which restored us to the Father—be enough? Would His provision of our salvation be enough? Would the gift of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit be enough?

Or would we feel cheated if God did not continue to grant our requests? As if eternal salvation is not enough?

When James wrote, “You do not have because you do not ask God” (v. 2), he followed it with, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (v. 3).

Wrong motives. What motive could be more wrong than thinking God “owes” us? The God who provided His own Son has given us more than we deserve: a grace gift eclipsing anything else we could ask for because it’s eternal.

So the next time we find ourselves quoting God’s name, Yahweh Jireh, let’s remember His greatest gift—the one He provided before we even asked.

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14 Comments

  1. Dianna Cone

    A wonderful truth and reminder!

  2. Pat Weimer

    Very humbling. HE is ALL we need! Great reminder.

  3. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Dianna and Pat.

  4. Melissa Henderson

    I pray I always remember to thank Him for providing just what I need.

  5. Ava Pennington

    Me, too, Melissa!

  6. Stephen Lewis

    A-Men Sister great read! God Bless

  7. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Stephen.

  8. Yvonne Morgan

    God is truly all we need. If only we could remember that when life gets complicated

  9. Ava Pennington

    Yes, Yvonne, we all need those reminders.

  10. Candice Brown

    So timely! I was heartbroken and feeling sorry for myself because of my relationship with my teenage daughter. One thing Jews recite during Passover is dayenu, which translates “It would have been enough.” His sacrifice would have been enough but he continues to bless us above and beyond. Thank you for the reminder!

  11. Ava Pennington

    I’m so sorry about your relationship with your daughter, Candice. May the Lord bring restoration in His perfect timing.
    And I had forgotten about the phrase “dayenu.” Thank you for that applicable reminder!

  12. S.A. Foster

    Amen! This is a great post and a great reminder.

  13. Jeanne Ta

    Great post, Ava. And that question is pivotal in our relationship with the Lord, isn’t it? Years ago, he challenged me with a similar question, “Am I enough for you, Jeanne?” AT that point in time, I had to admit what He already knew…I didn’t think He was enough. I’m thankful for His grace and His Father’s heart as He helped me reframe things in my heart.

  14. Ava Pennington

    Thank you for your transparency, Jeanne. I think many of us have had at least one season where we said He was enough, but didn’t really believe it, or at the very least, did not act like it. As you said, so grateful for His grace and the work of the Holy Spirit to align our heart with His!

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