“Won’t God Do More for You?” How Jesus Confronts Our Low Expectations of God



And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith?

A few years back I sat on a grassy knoll outside a hotel in some sunnier and drier part of the world than Ontario … if my memory serves me right it was Kansas City in spring, Eastertime.

I was on the cusp of making a faith leap in my work, or at least I thought I was. In reality it took me years more to make the leap. But at least I was talking to God about it.

Half the time. The other half the time I just talked to myself.

I took inventory of my life. The freedoms my work had brought me. The money in the bank account. The vacations I got to take and the nice things I could do for people.

In my mind, I budgeted. If I do this thing—if I take this jump, obey God into this void—I can cut back here, and there. I’ll stop eating out. Drive a clunker. I don’t really care about clothes.

The Lord interrupted. “Why,” he asked me in a slightly offended tone, “Do you think I will take worse care of you than you would take of yourself?”

Why indeed.

Look at the grass. The wildflowers. Look at lilac bushes and rose vines and purple-laden crab-apple trees. Breathe deep of their fragrance. Be astounded at their fragile, profligate beauty.

Not even Solomon in all his splendor, Jesus says—Solomon, the king whose reign most typifies the kingdom of God in Old Testament typology, whose reign was gold-paved streets and cedar halls and love songs and free-flung wisdom—not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed so beautifully as the grass.

Won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith?

Won’t He Do More for You?

I’ve pondered that question for years.

Why are my expectations of God so measly and miserly?

Why do I think he’s stingy?

Why do I assume that following God means cutting corners, especially where things like my health, my well-being, and my basic needs are concerned?

We equate ministry with poverty, and I get that Jesus told people to give up everything and follow him, and he doesn’t seem to have walked around flashing purple robes and fat gold rings either. He JUST told us, moments ago, not to lay up treasure on earth.

And yet, he seems to be challenging our ministry-equals-poverty thinking here, hmmm?

I don’t know how all these dovetail. I can’t draw you the Venn diagram where sacrifice and abundance and devotion and provision all meet.

I suspect seasons are involved. I suspect there are treasures not readily apparent to the eye, clothing radiant and splendid that isn’t tangible but is no less real than Solomon’s.

But I also think our expectations of God are generally really bad.

God Isn’t Frugal
Unless you are an aficionado of the prosperity gospel writ large, you probably think of God and money as existing on a frugality spectrum.

God is frugal toward us and expects us to be the same way—toward ourselves and each other.

Except he isn’t.

There’s nothing frugal about the way God lavishes his grace on us. Nothing frugal or measured, nothing careful or balanced, about his love.

I don’t think his provision is frugal either.

Have you noticed sunlight?

I think we use his provision badly. We’re good at choking it out, or not seeing it for what it is. But that isn’t his fault, now is it?

There are three biblical responses to God’s provision. Gratitude. Generosity. Joy.

God clothes the grass more splendidly than Solomon.

Won’t he do much more for you?

(This is Part 75 in a series on the Gospel of Matthew, which you can access here. Unless otherwise marked, quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.)



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