Published November 24, 2015

Paul's Epistle
"Every Need Supplied"

Recent years have, frankly, been difficult for us financially. But they most likely have been difficult for you, too. The economy, simply, has become a mess. Everybody's had to cut back.

And yet, through all this, God has provided everything we need. Not everything we'd like, perhaps, but certainly everything we need. The bills somehow get paid. The bathroom scale reminds me I haven't gone without food. We cherish wonderful family and friends.

In fact, during the past few years when someone greets me and asks how I'm doing, instead of saying something routine such as "Fine!" I've often simply said, "Every need supplied." That's how I feel. And I'm content with that.

None of this should come as a surprise. It's a promise from God's Word. Although the Apostle Paul said he had "learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need," he quickly adds, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:12-13). And he makes it clear, "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).

One of the most cherished passages from the Bible, Psalm 23, makes it clear from the start: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want" (v. 1). "Want," in this case, means "have need of anything" – and our Shepherd will surely supply our needs. Psalm 37 says, "I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed" (vs. 25-26).

Jesus put it this way: "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matt. 6:26). In fact, that verse inspired the familiar song, "His Eye Is On The Sparrow."

     Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come
     Why should my heart feel lonely and long for Heaven and home
     When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He,
     His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches over me...1

Jesus said, " not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?' or ‘What shall we drink?' or ‘What shall we wear?' ... For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:31-33). Christ will meet the needs of those who love Him. In fact, He "is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think..." (Ephesians 3:20).

Knowing that, however, one could wonder why we shouldn't expect God to grant us much more so we could live in what society would consider the lap of luxury (surely a relative term given third world conditions). Proverbs 30: 8-9 provide a good reason:

     "Give me neither poverty nor riches –
     Feed me with [just] the food allotted to me;
     Lest I be full and deny You
     And say, ‘Who is the Lord?'
     Or lest I be poor and steal,
     And profane the name of my God."

In other words, the Lord knows how to keep us humble – while supplying all of our needs.

Paul reminds us that "our sufficiency is from God" (2 Cor. 3:5), not from anything we do. That's why, he said, "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content" (Phil. 4:11). And when it comes to what really matters, we should be content because our needs have been supplied.

We can especially count on God to supply everything we need so that we can do whatever He wants us to do. Paul said, "God is able to make all grace abound to you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8).

     Count your blessings, name them one by one,
     And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.2

God is truly faithful. Always has been. Always will be. And we can rely on that. As the hymnwriter put it,

     "All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
     Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!"3

And for that, above everything else, we can — today and always — be truly thankful.

- Paul

1. Excerpt from 1st verse of "His Eye Is On The Sparrow," lyrics written by Civilla Martin, 1905.
2. Lyric from "Count Your Blessings" by Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1897, P.D.
3. Lines from "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," Thomas Chisolm, 1923.

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