“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Scrooge … is not Your Father’s Name
by Randall D. Kittle

If asked, most believers today would agree that God is sufficient to take care of them and trust with their future. Yet the lives we live and the prayers we pray portray a different answer. While we know what the right answer should be, we don’t seem to believe it in our hearts. If we did, the things we do, the words we speak, and the hopes we harbor would be quite different.

Why is there such a vast difference between what we say and what we truly believe about God? Why do we know in our minds that God is more than sufficient, but live lives that assert He is not quite enough? The trouble we have with entrusting our lives to God’s sufficiency comes from how we perceive His character. For too many of us, God’s character has been tarnished and diminished by our experiences in this life. Whether it is because of unjustified conclusions we’ve come to because of loss and disappointments, or due to the accusations of the enemy, God’s reputation and credibility has been undermined in many of our hearts.

For God to be sufficient to be entrusted with our lives, He must possess two crucial characteristics. God must be
able to care for us, and He must be willing to care for us. If we have any doubt about either of these traits, we will view Him as less than sufficient. This will cause us to still have some measure of trust in ourselves or place a portion of our trust in someone or something else.

God is Abundantly Able
The Bible clearly shows that God is able to meet all of our needs, for He is rich in love, mercy, and grace. Exodus 34:6 tells us that God is “… abundant in faithful love.” Words are inadequate to express God’s unfathomable love. It is inexhaustible, immutable, and unquenchable. Every other love is dwarfed by its magnitude and dimmed in the light of its glory. Our God is the very embodiment of love. God has declared His love for us throughout the Scriptures, and indisputably demonstrated it at the Cross.

Ephesians 2:4 declares that God is also
“… rich in mercy.” The Psalmist tells us that God is overflowing with mercy toward us. “For you, Lord, are good and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You” (Psalm 86:5). The abundance of God’s mercy has purchased our forgiveness on the Cross. The mercy of God’s forgiveness will never be exhausted or expire, “… for His mercies never end. They are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22–23).

First Timothy 1:14 declares, “… the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant.” How shocked the early Church was to discover that God wasn’t measuring out grace based upon their performance, but was freely pouring out grace in untold measure … “exceedingly abundant.” It is no wonder God’s grace is proclaimed to be amazing, for He is always healing our broken hearts, forgiving our latest failure, and working things out for our good. As believers, we can rejoice in what God has freely given to us, for “… from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16)

Because of God’s vast reserve of love, mercy, and grace, He is well able to meet all of our needs. Clearly, He is capable of caring for us and watching over us. If we are ever tempted to doubt God’s ability, remember that Ephesians 3:20 declares our God to be He “… who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

Is He Willing?
God is able to provide for us, protect us, and pour out more blessings than we can contain … but we still need to know if God is willing to do all this and more for us. In this one question lays the root of most of our doubts about God’s sufficiency. We believe He is capable of blessing us with every good thing, but we often question if He is willing.

If we truly believe that God is
“able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,” we wouldn’t pray such tiny prayers and live such limited lives. How many of us really believe His grace and power are such that we can never ask too much? Most believers act (and ask) like God is reluctant to answer our prayers — as if His grace and power aren’t sufficient to fulfill our needs … let alone our requests.

Scrooge is not Your Father’s Name
This is because many of us have a misperception of God, seeing Him as the divine equivalent of Ebenezer Scrooge. We feel He demands the last ounce of work out of us and then repays us poorly. While that may sound to you like an overstatement, it is a fairly accurate portrayal of how many Christians perceive Father God.

This perception of God as the reluctant giver comes right from Satan and must be resisted by us if we are to rest in God’s sufficiency and experience the fullness of His grace. We should not forget that Satan’s very first temptation of mankind was based on questioning the goodness and the generosity of God (see Genesis 3:1–5). Satan inferred that God was holding out on Adam and Eve, and he is still using the same strategy today.

God is Willing
But the good news is that God is not only able to supply all your needs, He is willing. The Word of God reveals that the Lord does more than just possess abundant love. He lavishly pours it out on His beloved children. “How great a love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

Again, God’s Word shows us that not only does God have exceedingly abundant grace; He lavishes this grace upon us. Ephesians 1:7–8 tells us that we have been redeemed
“… according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.” We must remember that Jesus came not so He could have an abundance but so He could give us an abundant life. “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10).

We must not allow our faith in God to be shaken by our situation or diminished because of the disappointments we have endured. Our belief in God, our trust of Him and faith in Him, can safely rely on His character, who He is, for He is always good and always faithful. He will be faithful … even when we faint and fail and have been faithless to Him. Second Timothy 2:13 has promised, “if we are faithless, He remains faithful.”

Our heavenly father is not like Ebenezer Scrooge. He is not holding back on us. Far from it, He has paid the ultimate price to make a way to bless us immeasurably and eternally. We can trust in His sufficiency, for
“God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good deed” (2 Corinthians 9:8). Amen.

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