Seek First the Kingdom of God

Kristina Cooper shares how the Scriptures enable us to deepen our faith and trust in God with surprising results.

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God speaks to us in the Scriptures; and Jesus makes promises that we can rely on. But you only discover this when you experience what happens when you put your faith in God and trust in him.

But, when we have to make decisions in our life about what career we will follow or how generous we should be in sharing our resources, it is a lot more difficult. These promises and doubts creep in through our worldly reason and prudence. I have found through my own experience that when I step out in trust of God, he has a way of sorting things out that I could not always have foreseen. One occasion comes to mind that happened 30 years ago. I had just returned from two years as a volunteer in Panama and was doing freelance journalistic work. My finances were depleted as the work was very irregular and I never knew when my next job would be coming.

One day I received a letter from a young woman I knew who was doing a sponsored walk for her sister who was working as a nurse in Sudan. I felt a prompting of the Spirit to respond despite my limited resources at the time.  I remembered the passage where Jesus says, “Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (Matthew 6:25-26).

Was God prompting me to give the little money I had to this young woman?  I had only £30 in my bank account and she was doing a 30-mile walk. I asked God to confirm this for me in some way. The next day the Scripture reading from my devotional randomly underlined the importance of generosity. I felt God was calling me to trust that he knew what I needed and to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”.(Matthew 6.33-34).  Although it seemed foolish – I had no work and had to pay the rent in a couple of weeks – I wrote her a cheque for £30 and sent it off.

Two days later, I started doubting about what I had done and wondering if I had been foolish. That Friday, however, I received a call from the Universe newspaper whom I had done work for before, asking me if I was available for six weeks’ freelance work. That month I had no problems paying my bills.

I remember on another occasion feeling I should send some money to former neighbours of mine who were asylum seekers and were always living on the edge. It was only £10 and I didn’t think much about it. They contacted me later, however, and told me that there had been no food at all in the house and that one of them had suggested that they pray using the above passage of St. Matthew trusting that the Lord would provide. They did this and the next day my £10 note arrived in the post as a direct answer to their prayer. This edified not just them but me too and underlined for me that we are all connected.

Kristina Cooper