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Every Need Fully Supplied
By Berni Dymet
We all need things in our lives. We need food and shelter. We need friends and family. We need a job, some income. But even though they are all things that we consider to be the basics, we don’t each always have the basics. And when our basics are unmet, we can truly say that we’re in need.
Well, what if God is in the business of supplying every need in your life, each and every one?
I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Gaither band. But I absolutely love them, love their music and what they’re on about. They sing a song called One Good Song. It’s all about cutting back all the stuff we have in our lives – all the clutter, all the things we buy and we think is so necessary to our lives. The chorus of that song goes something like this. I’ll just say it, I can’t sing it. It says:
I’m learning how to separate the wants from the needs,
A good life now comes with just a few simple things.
Jesus in my heart, a place to belong,
A few good friends and one good song.
Oh my latest list, well, it ain’t too long,
Just a Godly love and one good song.
I first heard that song quite a few years back now, and the line that really convicted me was the one about learning to separate my wants from my needs. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that I’d started to believe that a whole bunch of my wants were in fact my needs, that all these optional extras were necessary to my well-being and happiness, necessary to life itself.
It’s easy to do because the more the basics in our lives are met; things like food and shelter and our basic health, a job, an income, enough to go around; the more God has those bases covered for us, the more we start looking into the optional extras – a bigger income, a bigger house, a nicer car, a great holiday, oh and this and that and maybe this and that, wow look at that. And when we can’t have them straight away, we imagine that somehow our existence is impaired.
I say all this by way of qualifying what I’m going to be talking about today because we’re checking out what God’s Word has to say on the important, the vital subject of His blessing in our lives. And I want to make something very, very clear, right now, we’re going to be talking about our needs not our wants, our needs.
Everything I’m going to say about God’s blessing in your life today is focused on what you need, not necessarily on your wants above and beyond your basic needs.
Okay, so let’s get into them. As I said at the outset, not everybody in this world has their basic needs met. There have been times in my life (in the life of the ministry in which I work), where there wasn’t enough income to support the ministry and in fact, to support putting food on the table for our family, that’s a need.
And I know that there are people listening today who are desperately lonely, people who are looking for the right marriage-partner and he or she hasn’t come along. Perhaps, you’re elderly and your family is all gone and you find yourself desperately alone. I know that there are people listening today (many of them in fact) who live in war zones around the world, in parts of Africa and parts of the Middle East.
We have lots of people listening to this program today on stations all around the world from dangerous places and you don’t even know you’re going to be safe, right? And here Berni comes on the radio and he’s yabbering on about ‘God wanting to bless me’ again. Doesn’t this joker realise how desperate my situation is? Doesn’t he get it?
As things turn out, I do and so does God and that’s what I want to share with you right now. Have a listen to what the Apostle Paul has to say on having his needs met. And by the way, before I read it to you, let me tell you what the context is. When Paul wrote this, he was on death row chained to a Roman soldier in a Roman dungeon, just so you realise that he wasn’t writing this sitting back on the French Riviera sipping Sauvignon Blanc, right? This is what he said:
I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned for me but you had no opportunity to show it. Not that I’m referring to being in need, for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances, I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. In any case, it was kind of you to share in my distress. You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the Gospel, when I left Macedonia, no Church shared with me in the manner of giving and receiving except you alone.
For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. Not that I seek a gift but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. I have been paid in full and have more than enough. I am fully satisfied now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gift that you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God and my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in the glory in Jesus Christ.
To our God and Father be glory forever and ever, Amen. (Philippians 4:14-20.)
So Paul is out there doing ministry. He’s preaching Christ across the known world. That takes finances, that takes resources. And while we know that along the way he worked as a tent maker to support himself, sometimes he also relied on the generous support of the Churches which he planted and helped to grow, like the Church here in Philippi that he was writing to.
And he especially needed the help right now when he was in prison because when you’re in prison (back in those days), you couldn’t earn money. And they didn’t provide for you very well, you essentially had to provide for yourself. So Paul needed prayer support. He needed financial support. He needed friendship. But it seems that for a while, his beloved friends in Philippi had forgotten him. But now he tells them (and he tells us) he’s so thankful for their gifts which no doubt came in just in the nick of time.
Paul talks a lot about being content (however), whether in need or fully supplied, whether with a full belly or with an empty one, because he’s discovered the secret that no matter what the world throws at him, good or bad, he can do all things … he can get through all things … he can be content through all things through Christ who strengthens him. There’s a huge lesson in that for anyone whose basic needs aren’t covered right now – Christ is the answer.
Notice how boldly Paul says that he’s not a victim here cowering in defeat. He’s confident because Jesus is in that place with him. Just as well, because none of the other Churches that he’d served helped support him other than the Philippians. He could have become quite bitter and twisted over that, but no, his faith is in Jesus. Christ is his provision – come what may.
And that’s the first point I want to make to you. When you’re in that place where your needs aren’t being met and Paul’s needs, I think you will agree were pretty desperate there on death row, Jesus is your provision. You can get through it all. You can get through all things through Christ who strengthens you, even though, like Paul you find yourself in a time of distress.
When the days are black draw close to Jesus in prayer. Pull up and rest in Him and rely on Him and ask Him to bless you. And trust Him to bless you because here’s the bottom line, and this is my second point to you today, He will always supply your needs.
Did you notice how Paul, this death row prisoner, finishes his letter to the Philippians? Have another listen:
I have been paid in full and have more than enough. I am fully satisfied now that I’ve received from Epaphroditus the gift that you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God and my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever, Amen.
Paul’s not writing a theological textbook here. It’s a letter to friends and out of his own real-world experience sitting there on death row, not knowing if he’ll live or die. He’s able to say to them that his God, the God whom he has come to know intimately in these dark days in the dungeon, that God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Notice Paul makes a sharp distinction here between wants and needs. He’s talking about our needs only and based on his first-hand experience of the faithfulness of God. He is able to tell his friends in Philippi (and indeed you and me) that God will supply all your needs.
Credit: A Different Perspective by Berni Dymet