Running on empty? Ready to chase your dreams or start a new chapter in your life, but you can’t see beyond your limited resources? Out of energy, out of money, out of hope?
You know you should put your trust in God, but do you wonder how to trust God will provide?
Sometimes we just feel like our resources have run out on us and we have no way forward.
Trust God to Multiply Your Resources, Even When They Don’t Seem Enough
In 2 Kings 4:1-7 we meet a woman in such a dire place. She’s a widow with debts she cannot pay.
In those times, there was no option of bankruptcy. If you couldn’t pay, the law allowed the creditor to make you or your children indentured servants to fulfill the debt. She has no money to pay her creditors, so they’re coming to take her sons as payment.
Imagine the grief and sorrow of losing a spouse, coupled with the desperation of not having any means to support yourself and your children. This woman wanted to provide for her sons and keep them out of slavery, yet here she was facing the next visit by her creditors who would surely take away her sons, and with them, her chance at any kind of future.
How did she respond to this dire situation? Did she give up on her dream of keeping her family together, of a life beyond this current misery, of a next chapter for her and her sons?
No, she was a woman of faith who took some specific next steps which allowed God to work through her.
How To Trust God Will Provide
1) Acknowledge your need for help and find a trusted advisor
How often do you keep plodding along trying to solve it all on your own?
This woman knew she was beyond her own abilities, so she reached out to the prophet Elisha for help.
We, too, need to look for trusted advisors in our lives and ask for guidance along the way.
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is going to take my two boys as his slaves.” (2 Kings 4:1)
2) Start with what you have
When we’re in such desperate places, we sometimes forget we do have resources and talents within us that can contribute to the solution.
Maybe they’re not enough to solve it alone, but they can form the base.
Elisha told her to start with her existing resources. All she had was one small jar of olive oil. It didn’t seem like much, but by offering it to God it would become more than enough.
Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.” (2 Kings 4:2)
3) Be humble and ask for help
God doesn’t intend for us to go through life’s trials alone. He wants us to develop those relationships with family, friends, and neighbors.
By reaching out for help, the widow was able to include her neighbors in her miracle and be a witness to them.
Elisha asked the widow to ask all her neighbors for empty jars, as many as she could collect. It must have been humbling to ask for help in her situation and bring others into her time of need.
Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” (2 Kings 4:3-4)
4) Pour what you have into what you’ve been given, then trust God to multiply the results
How often do we wait for a miracle or sign from God in our lives, but forget we are a critical component of the equation?
God usually requires us to be active participants in His work. We need to identify and use the resources He’s gifted to us.
Then, we need to take a step forward in faith, trusting He will take our contributions, however meager, and multiple them.
Elisha instructed the widow to take her one small jar of oil and begin pouring it into all the empty jars. It must have seemed an outrageous idea that one small jar could fill even one of the empty jars, yet the oil didn’t stop flowing until she filled all of the jars.
The widow took the first step in faith to begin pouring out the one resource she had. God stepped in to multiply the results of her faith, filling all the jars so that she had enough oil to sell and pay her debts.
She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”
But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.” (2 Kings 4:5-7)
How Will You Trust God’s Provision In Your Life?
Are you facing hard times today? Resources running low? Can’t see the way forward with what you have?
Turn to God and ask for help. Ask for His Great Provision in your life.
Take your own resources, plus what you’ve been given, then add faith and trust in God. Pray with a sincere and humble heart. Then watch as God takes what you’ve offered and multiplies the results.
Mindy Lee Hopman says
She started with what she had… beautiful and true. Recognizing and using our God given gifts is how we live out our purpose for Him… Beautiful writing… May God bless your ministry.
Mindy from Basking in His Light
I love that even though she felt she had nothing, she had enough for God to use. Thanks for stopping by!
Rose @ Walnut Acre says
I love this, especially numbers 2 and 4. Thank you for sharing 🙂
It’s a great reminder – how often do we think we don’t have enough, yet God’s given us enough if we’ll only allow Him to work through us.
Kathryn – I loved this post as today I shared a thought on actively believing God’s Word. I love the equation you shared & I will be sharing it as well!
I completely needed this today. Remembering to ask for help and advice is so hard for me, I usually hide until I’m desperate. (As if I can hide from God!) Thank you for your words!
That part was convicting for me! I hate asking for help and always feel I should be able to fix things on my own. Yet, sometimes we need to allow others to help and allow them to be part of the work God is doing in our lives. Can you imagine the impact it must have had on her neighbors to hear her testimony of how God filled all their empty jars?
: ) This is exciting! His provision and faithfulness are incredible! Thank for sharing!! #TestimonyTuesday
He is a big God, indeed, exceedingly capable of taking whatever meager offerings we give and multiplying them into abundance.
Sarah Knepper says
Wonderful Post! Visiting from #Coffeeforyourheart
Beautiful Truths. When we are ‘at the end’ is when HE loves to say… now allow Me. visitng you this week from Coffee & Conversation link party. feel free to visit back anytime. Bless you indeed, Shandra
Tania Vaughan (@TaniaJVaughan) says
This is so encouraging when we hit empty it is so tempting to stop, to give up but if we trust in God there is always more. It is a great question to ponder that you have left me with. What do I have that I can step forward with?
I’ve been encouraged that I don’t have to know all the answers – or know how I’ll get to that next point. Just have enough trust that if it’s God’s plan, He’ll provide where my own resources fall short.
God is surely speaking to me, Kathryn! This passage struck me a week and a half ago. I thought, “Lord, I bring my empty jars to you and trust you to fill them!” And it’s popping up on me right and left wherever I look now.
I especially like your point #2 and #4. We start with what we have. We put it to work, and God MULTIPLIES results.
I wrote this a week ago, not knowing how much I’d need it myself this week. I think I’m working through all these steps this week. Isn’t it wonderful how God provides just what we need – even putting the right words before us to encourage us.
Betsy, I know your comment is from a year ago, but your quote “Lord, I bring my empty jars to you and trust you to fill them.” really resonated with me. It was exactly the right mantra that I’ve been looking for to convey what I’ve been feeling I need to focus on.
Kathryn, I found your website just a few days ago and have been so inspired. You have a beautiful way of explaining scripture and ideas.
Katie M. Reid says
Stopping over from Coffee for Your Heart. Thank you for this reminder to trust God to provide.
Kaylene Yoder says
Yeah, so number three is hard for me. I don’t like asking for help. But then, that is pride’s ugly head popping up. 🙁 Thank you for this beautiful reminder. My weary heart needed it today. Self sufficiency is not my friend.
Yeah, that’s the one I struggle with the most, too.
Kaylene Yoder says
Kathryn, I will be sharing this post at Grace & Truth this Friday. I’d love to have you share again! Thank you!
Thanks, Kaylene! I’ll be there at Grace & Truth this week – love the community!
Beth Willis Miller says
Kathryn, love this post, great insight, we are empty jars of clay, may He fill us to the brim ❤️ Many blessings to you !
Good thoughts this morning, Kathryn.
Number four (“She poured what she had into what she’d been given, then trusted God to multiple the results.”) reminds me of something that I heard Lysa Terkeurst say one time. That He added His “super” to her “natural”, making it “supernatural.”
Thanks for sharing. 🙂 ~ best to you ~
She has such a way with words! Love that quote!
Thanks! It is very good to read this.
Anastasya Laverdiere says
Powerful encouragement from the Word today! Thank you. Especially holding on to #4 never read this story in the bible before but really spoke to me. Well done! God bless you(as I’m sure you know He will:) in your journey.
Such a wonderful gem of a story. I’d never focused on it, but so God just brought so many lessons to my heart through it here. Glad it encouraged you!
Pat Fenner says
Thank you for sharing such an important lesson! Happy to feature your encouragement on Coffee & Conversation this week 🙂
Have a great day!!
Hi, Kathryn! 🙂 I appreciate these timely words. My husband resigned from his job recently and is currently looking for work. We are trusting in Jehovah Jireh to provide! Thanks for sharing these truths with us at Grace and Truth this past week – you’ll be my featured post!
Jen @ Being Confident of This
Jen – glad these words were encouraging to you! Trusting this unknown path of following God’s plans is so hard – especially when it begins to affect our finances and ability to provide for our families. This was a great reminder for my heart, too. Thanks for the feature!