They Key to Multiplication of Resources
When bills pile up, when resources are running short, it is easy to second guess God’s calling in our life and ministry. In fact, sometimes it’s all we can do not to panic.
The disciples were panicking that day when Jesus broke the bread of life to thousands on a mountain above the Sea of Galilee (see John 6). As the day wore on, it became obvious that His audience needed more than just spiritual bread. It’s easy to imagine the disciples’ rising panic.
Jesus could have brought bread from heaven instantly, but to test their faith He questioned the disciples, “Where can we buy bread to feed the people?”
Recognizing the human impossibility of the situation, the disciples responded, “Two hundred pennyworth would not be enough?” (In other words, “Even if there were a place to buy bread, we couldn’t afford to feed all these people!”)
One young boy had five barley loaves and two small fishes. Hearing that food was needed, he unselfishly offered his simple lunch to the disciples, who in turn brought it to Jesus. They brought Him the food, but little faith.
“This lad has given us five barley loaves and two small fishes, but what are these among so many?”
Isn’t this so often our question today? “We have but five barley loaves and two small fishes. God has given us only a little—time, money, talent. But what are these compared with the great need before us? How can we possibly accomplish what needs to be done with such limited resources?”
The disciples looked only at the bread they had in their hands, not at what Christ could do. The lesson Christ wanted His disciples to learn, then and now, is that faith in God multiplies resources. If we have the faith, God has the resources—it’s that simple!
As Jesus prayed over the loaves and fishes, His invisible resources became visible. Faith was the converting power.
Today, outward appearances may be unpromising. We may face what seem to be insurmountable challenges within our family, church, or personal ministries. But we serve the God of all possibilities. He has a thousand more ways to provide for our needs than we can possibly comprehend.
Often, when it seems we can’t move forward or be as successful as we had hoped, we focus on method improvement. While our methods can always be improved, in God’s Kingdom our methods, lack of resources, or lack of talent are usually not the problem. Our problem is our lack of faith. Inspiration boldly tells us, “Every failure on the part of the children of God is due to their lack of faith!”
Faith is one of the most emphasized gifts in Scripture. It is the gateway to receiving all other gifts. The sick are healed by faith (Matt. 9:22), by grace we are saved through faith (Eph. 2:8), we are justified by faith (Rom. 3:28), the disciples worked by faith (Acts 6:8), we carry a shield of faith (Eph. 6:16), the just live by faith (Rom. 1:17), the righteous walk by faith (2 Cor. 5:7), we are children of God by faith (Gal. 3:26), and in the end, the only thing that counts is the faith that works by love (Gal. 5:6).
The foundation of Christianity is built upon faith; the gospel is rendered powerless in our lives without it. This is why the enemy is so intent on bringing doubt and unbelief into our lives! Without faith, our ministries will fail to thrive; without faith, we ourselves wither spiritually.
Ellen White tells us, “When we give ourselves wholly to God and in our work follow His directions, He makes Himself responsible for its accomplishment. He would not have us conjecture as to the success of our honest endeavors. Not once should we even think of failure. We are to cooperate with One who knows no failure.”
How dangerous are doubt and unbelief?
Ellen White warns us soberly: “We have too little faith. We limit the Holy One of Israel. We should be grateful God condescends to use any of us as His instruments. For every earnest prayer put up in faith for anything, answers will be returned. They may not come just as we have expected, but they will come—not perhaps as we have devised, but at the very time we need them most! But oh how sinful is our unbelief!”
The question to ask as we work in these final days of earth’s history is not: “Do we have enough resources, or will our efforts be successful?” The question is: “Will we be faithful to God’s call and use what He’s given us?” If we use what He’s given us and move forward in faith, He will continue to supply our needs. He won’t simply fill our cup with blessings; He will fill it to overflowing!
The key to multiplication of resources? Faith!
The Duke of Wellington was once present where a party of Christian men were discussing the possibility of success in missionary effort among the heathen. They appealed to the Duke to say whether in his judgment such efforts were likely to prove a success in comparison to the cost. The old soldier replied, “Gentlemen, what are your marching orders? Success is not the question for you to discuss. If I read your orders aright, they run thus, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.’ Gentlemen, obey your marching orders.”
“With men this [work] is impossible, but not with God, for with God ALL THINGS are possible” (Mark 10:27).