God is all this to you: if you hunger He is bread to you;
if you thirst He is water to you;
if you are in darkness, He is light to you. —Augustine
I once took a list of about four hundred names and descriptions of God in the Bible and divided them into two columns. One column described who God is and the other what God does. In the “who God is” column I put: Holy One, Lord, Mighty God, and Sovereign Lord. When I finished, I had about two hundred of these powerful, imposing, and majestic descriptions.
But they didn’t move me as much as the second column, where I put names and descriptions referring to God’s actions in our lives. Some of my favorites from the two hundred on that list are below. (You can read the full list here. When you do, find several that speak to your neediness today. Look them up in your Bible, and meditate on them.)
- Abba (Father)—Romans 8:14-17
- Comforter—John 14:16,26
- Defender of Orphans—Psalm 10:14
- Deliverer—Romans 11:26
- Father of Mercies—2 Corinthians 1:3
- Father to His Children—Psalm 103:13-14,17-18
- God My Savior—Luke 1:47
- God Who Sees Me—Genesis 16:13
- Guarantee—Ephesians 1:14
- Hiding Place—Psalm 32:7
- Intercessor—Hebrews 7:25
- Light That Leads to Life—John 8:12
- The Lord My Fortress—Psalm 18:2
- The Lord Who Provides—Genesis 22:14
- Loving Ally—Psalm 144:2
- Our Advocate—Hebrews 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2
- Our Peace—Ephesians 2:14
- Redeemer—Isaiah 59:20; Job 19:25-26
- Refuge—Psalm 61:3
- Savior in Times of Trouble—Jeremiah 14:8
- Shelter—Isaiah 25:4
- Strength and Song—Isaiah 12:2
- Strong Fortress—Psalm 31:2
- Unfailing Love—Psalm 59:10
These descriptions of God tell us what He does for us. God tailors His ministry to each of our needs, and He sometimes will even use you and me to carry out His ministry—perhaps in the way a doctor prescribes medication but a pharmacist dispenses it (see 1 Corinthians 3:6-7).
God can use you to reveal Himself in the tangible ways described by His names. The God who says, “I am he who comforts you” (Isaiah 51:12) often uses the body of Christ to provide His comfort. Paul made that clear when he described God as “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, italics added).
So, I have two challenges for you: First, read through the full list here and let God encourage your heart with the ways He serves His children. Second, pray for two people who need God in some particular way, and ask Him to use you as His hands and feet to make Himself tangible in those people’s lives.