PART THREE OF A SERIES
3) God is my Preserver and Provider
Have you ever had a “near death” experience? If so, perhaps it involved a motor vehicle, a medication, an allergic reaction, an illness, or a war. And after your life was preserved, didn’t you have a sense of gratitude and a renewed appreciation for life?
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived
by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day
He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven
and sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
Gratitude is rightly directed towards our Heavenly Father, the Preserver of all Life.
The Five Installments:
1) God is my Father Almighty;
2) God is Maker of Heaven and Earth;
3) God is my Preserver and Provider;
4) God is my Protector;
5) God does all this for me by His grace.
How does God preserve life? Sometimes it is through obvious miracles. Many examples from Holy Scripture illustrate God’s power to preserve life through the extraordinary–the children of Israel at the Red Sea, Daniel in the lions’ den, the three men in the fiery furnace, Elijah and the ravens, David and Goliath, Naaman’s leprosy healed, and so on.
Does God still perform miracles to preserve life today? Almost anyone who has worked in the medical profession for any amount of time will concur that miracles happen all the time.
You see, unlike deists—who believe in a god that created the world and then left it up to the natural laws of the universe to dictate the future—we believe in a personal God who can and does produce miracles of preservation every day. We believe in a God who intervenes in the affairs of humans to produce results which spiritually benefit His children.
We believe in a God who intervenes in the affairs of humans to produce results which spiritually benefit
Even things that we may consider ordinary occurrences are really miracles–that is, events which occur only because of God’s causing them. Consider food production and plant growth. Modern science has been able to show how cells divide and seeds grow, but it can’t explain why they do so. The process in which oxygen is used by the human body to sustain life—with the by-products of carbon dioxide to sustain plant life—is nothing short of miraculous.
From that standpoint, every breath and every heartbeat is God’s preservation of life!
Please read Psalm 104. There we have clear testimony to the power of God preserving life as He provides for all creatures. “He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth” (v. 14). In another psalm we find the familiar words, “The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their fruit in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing” (Psalm 145:15-16).
Have you ever heard of the Malthusiasts? They were followers of the ideas of Thomas Malthus, an Anglican economist of the late 1700s. He predicted doom and gloom for the growing human population because food production would fail to keep up and people would starve. We know today that the Earth is capable of producing far more food than is necessary to sustain life. Not food production but its distribution is the issue.
Similarly, Christians today need not panic when they hear cataclysmic talk of a depleted ozone layer, climate change, global warming, acid rain, and the like, because we have the sure word of Scripture that guarantees a sustainable Earth with God in charge. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).
And King David’s words still ring true today, “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread” (Psalm 37:25). Who are the righteous? We believers are those who are righteous; we have been called according to God’s purpose, and all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28).
In the Lord’s Prayer we pray “Give us this day our daily bread.” Martin Luther rightly explains that “daily bread” refers to all that we receive for our bodily welfare—including shelter, family and friends, good weather, and the government—a list very similar to that found here in his explanation to the First Article.
The Savior’s emphasis on “this day” should serve as a regular reminder to not be consumed with worry about how God will preserve us in the future. His grace is sufficient one day at a time. “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; and great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Near-death experiences? We have them every second of every day! Out of love our merciful Father preserves us. Would we expect anything else? “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
This is most certainly true!