The Lord Provides (2 Cor 9:9)

(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.” (2 Corinthians 9:9, KJV)

In the last devotional, I shared about my early days as a believer and the lesson of faith God gave me in the area of giving. While the lesson was powerful, there was still much to learn. Years later I started a small business. My wife was working as a retail sales clerk and her entry level salary was not enough to take care of all our needs. We still needed a significant amount of money from my start-up business to get by.

Things worked well for the first six months after starting the business. However, after the first six months, I lost a major contract and had no business revenue for six-months. Things were getting tight, very tight. I watched our business account and personal savings go to zero. I asked others to pray for business to come in, but nothing happened, at least immediately. Then someone would give us a Christian handshake. One was with a $50.00 bill, another a $20.00. Finally, when we were at the bottom, I got one job that provided a $1000.00 paycheck. You know the toughest tithe check I ever put into the offering plate was from that thousand-dollar paycheck. I knew how vital that little one-hundred-dollar tithe was. Yet then the work started coming in and soon our business capital and personal savings were replenished.

However, one year later, we went through another six-month dry spell. Yes, I had no work for six months Again we ran the business account and personal savings to zero. When my wife stated that she thought God was to supply all our needs, I stated he already had and sold a 1977 MGB that I restored in order to purchase food and the excess from the sale also went to zero. Then I started getting business again. God proved faithful. It was not easy, but we made it.

Shortly thereafter, the Lord had me start a small church on a college campus reaching college students. I received $100.00 per month in that first year. He also put it upon my heart to quit trying to get new business, but to trust Him to provide. It was amazing as I look back on it. We would see our savings and business account approach zero and every time, I mean every time, I would get a call from someone who wanted some work done. Often the work was something that they could do themselves. I would even tell them that and offer to talk them through the process by phone. But they would insist that I travel to their location and do the work.

Through these experiences I learned that God will provide in many ways. He freely gives to us. Sometimes it is in work. Sometimes it is in abilities. Sometimes it is in keeping our old stuff working longer than expected. Most times it is in ways that we do not even realize. God provides.

All this prepared me for my next great adventure. The Lord called me to a church that had dwindled down in size. The board of that church warned me about their financial situation three times before I accepted the call. They told me that on their current financial trajectory, they could only keep me on as their pastor for six-months. Yet I knew the Lord wanted me there and I knew that somehow the Lord would provide. After my first six-months I asked them, “How much longer do I have?” They stated, “We think another six months.” I ended up serving there for ten-years in one of the most financially prosperous times they could remember. The Lord provided.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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