“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NLT)
Have you ever asked God to supply what you considered a desperate need, but He didn’t? What was your takeaway? What did you learn through that experience? There have been many times in my life when I was desperate, but God has never not supplied a need. So, what have I learned?
Fundamentally, I’ve learned that desperation doesn’t equal need. Often my “need” centered on my lack of money or energy or time. But in most cases my “desperation” wasn’t because God wasn’t faithful to provide, but because of my misallocation of the resources He generously provided. If I make the decision I “need” a new TV, but by buying that TV I don’t have enough money to pay rent or buy groceries, that’s not desperation, that’s stupidity.
A few days ago I saw a shirt an elderly man was wearing that said: “Life is hard. It’s even harder if you’re stupid.” Unfortunately, as I recounted many very “unwise” (aka “stupid”) decisions over my lifetime, I could relate. The point is, God WILL supply our needs, but He doesn’t promise to meet our wants. To the extent we’re willing to live within our means, to that extent we’ll find that God is always faithful to meet our needs.
But what if I’m just not making enough money to meet the demands of my lifestyle? That, of course, is a double-edged sword. If I’ve bought a house I couldn’t afford, then ran up bills buying new things for the house, and now I can’t pay the utilities, that’s painting yourself into a corner that God has no obligation to get you out of.
However, it’s a different issue if I’ve found an affordable apartment, but the continuing increases in my rent are now making it impossible for me to keep up. In cases like that, God will make a way. It may not be a way to stay in that apartment, but He will open doors of opportunity for you to have your needs met.
Elizabeth Elliot wrote: “God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now, we don’t need now.” One thing I’ve learned about God’s provision. The more I invest in making much of Him in and through my life, the easier I find it is to live within my means. When I was younger, I often spent money for things I didn’t need just because I had the money.
Now, in my gratitude to the Lord for His bountiful provision, I understand He’s given me some surplus money, not to waste it on myself, but to invest in His eternal Kingdom by using it to help others. God is generous and I thank Him everyday for how well He’s taking care of me. But I also stay on the lookout for ways to help others who are genuinely seeking to honor and glorify Him, but just need a “grace” gift from God through me.
Jesus wasn’t exaggerating when He said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Some of the greatest blessings I’ve received are those given by the Lord because of my generosity when I couldn’t “afford” to give it. And I’m not speaking simply of financial gifts or blessings. The most valuable “gift” the Lord has given any of us is the gift of time. To be so tired you can hardly see straight, but still go when someone in need calls you, pays unimaginable “dividends.”
So, what needs does God always supply? All of them!
Blessings, Ed 😊