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Question

What does it mean that God is our sustainer?

God is our sustainer
Answer


Throughout Scripture, God is described as the one who sustains all things (Hebrews 1:3). To sustain something means to give it strength, protection, encouragement, and comfort. God’s sustainment is a holding together with a power that surpasses that of any human.

When a person accepts the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, he or she becomes a child of God as one adopted into His family (Romans 8:15). God sustains His children through difficult times, as Psalm 54:4 says, “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” He strengthens, protects, encourages, and comforts. Our strength will eventually fail us, and God is the only one who can shore up our strength to endure (Psalm 18:39).

Humans are finite, meaning we only have so much strength and energy on our own. God is without limit, infinite (Psalm 90:2), and that means His strength is also without end (1 Corinthians 1:25).

Many psalmists recorded their dependency on God. They expressed a need for God to sustain them, often in times of weariness or distress. For example, in Psalm 63:1 David writes of his enemies trying to kill him “in a dry and parched land where there is no water,” but he finds that the Lord sustains him: “I cling to you; your right hand upholds me” (verse 8). See also Psalm 18:35, Psalm 41:12, and Psalm 89:21.

We may try to gain strength from things in this world, but these things will always disappoint and leave us emptier and wearier than we started. Nothing created can sustain itself, let alone the rest of creation. Only the Creator can do that: “In [Christ] all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).

When we feel we are falling apart or have nothing left to give, we must turn to the only source of unending, sustaining strength. God is the sustainer, and He wants us to come to Him for help (Psalm 55:22). God does not give begrudgingly but lavishly (Ephesians 1:18–19).

Not only does God sustain us as individuals in times of distress, but He also sustains all things in the universe (Hebrews 1:3). The physical laws that hold matter together, keep planets in their positions, and bind people to the earth are all sustained in and through Jesus (Colossians 1:17). The same God who keeps the planets aligned also holds you in His hands. When life is too much for you to take on by yourself, trust in the Lord. We are part of His creation, which means God knows exactly how to hold us together, too.

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This page last updated: November 10, 2021