But my God shall abundantly supply all your need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:19(Darby)
"My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus," is a verse we all love to quote as we rejoice in the abundant supply of our generous God Who is overflowing with gracious-mercy and bubbling over with loving-kindness. He does not make any promises that will be broken, and the super-abundance of His generosity covers all things. It covers anything and everything that we need.
What we want is not always what we need, and the Lord graciously steps into our prayers in order to translate any inappropriate desires that may be in our heart, and He intercedes on our account in order that our prayers are translated into divinely bestowed blessings which will be for our benefit and for the greater glory of God. He does this by providing all that is best for us, rather than all that we think we want.
So many of the things that we need are the imminent necessities of life which are confined to this transient world and the fleeting life-span of time and space, which flows from birth to death. God knows our daily needs before we even ask, but too often this verse is interpreted as a free-for-all to squander our money and other God-given resources on selfish desires instead of acting as wise stewards of God's provision. But God’s perspective of what we need has eternity in view, and not only embraces the bread we require today but the eternal blessings that are ours in Him, which lie beyond the grave and into the eternal ages to come. And God also knows that the more we trust Him to supply our needs, the stronger our faith becomes and the more we grow spiritually.
But as much as we rejoice that all good things come from God and delight to quote this verse as an encouragement to one another and as a testimony to God's gracious provision, it is important to read this verse in its correct context and discover why Paul gave this great promise of abundant supply to his readers.
It is as he draws his epistle to the Philippines to a close, that we find Paul applauding this struggling little church for the generous financial gift they sent to support his missionary work. Indeed, it is because of this sacrificial giving in support of the gospel, that Paul promised that God would supply all their needs according to His riches in glory - in Christ Jesus.
Paul reminded them, "Now you Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but only you... and even while I was in Thessalonica, you provided for my needs not just once, but twice." We discover that the little church at Philippi was the only Christian community that sent financial aid to support Paul's ministry.
Unlike certain other Christian ministries, Paul had made the decision to use his tent-making skills to support his missionary work, and unlike many Christian ministries, then as now, Paul did not appeal for donations or ask for any financial support from local churches. Nevertheless, the believers in Philippi recognised that all Christian work necessitates financial expenditure and that a Christian worker is worthy of his hire. These believers understood that Paul's ministry work generated certain financial costs, and they were ready and willing to make some personal sacrifices to donate to this worthy calling.
The Philippians sent their financial gift to Paul via Epaphroditus, a brother in Christ, and Paul referred to their gift as "a fragrant offering - an acceptable sacrifice, which is pleasing to God." Because of their sacrificial giving, Paul promised the Philippians, "and my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
All good and perfect gifts come from our Father in heaven Who is our great Provider. Indeed, not one of us could draw another breath without His provision and grace, but God is no man's debtor and Paul wanted these dear believers at Philippi to KNOW that their generosity to Paul would be honoured by the Lord Who would supply all their needs according to His riches in glory - in Christ Jesus.
May we never translate our wants into our needs. Rather, may we live our lives on earth knowing that this life is fleeting and that our eternal home is in heaven. May we be contented with all that we receive and give God both the thanks and the glory for all His ongoing and abundant supply. May we also rejoice to be children of our great and generous God and be ready and willing to honour the Lord with all our possessions and finances. And may we become cheerful givers for the cause of the gospel, knowing that this honours the Lord Who will never fail to provide everything we need.
Loving Father, I stand amazed at Your gracious bounty, knowing that You care about both the little things that I need today, as well as the eternal blessings that are being laid up for me in heaven, for which I praise Your holy name. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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