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Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Give Thanks: I Am Thankful For His Provision

Php 4:18-19 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

mp3 audio file

This post was a bit difficult for me to write today. It is humbling to praise God for His bounty and provision when so many are going without. I am in a season of few financial, health, or personal difficulties and I praise God for that. Yes, we have had many struggles, and I have often wondered where God was during those times. But, right now I am truly being blessed and I can not point to any reason other than the grace of God.

As I think about the provision of God in my life I can't help but also put some thought into the people around the world who have far less than I do. There are even many in my own neighborhood who live on the streets or have very little. Living in a country of abundance, it is easy to take all that we have for granted. Our typical American family has a couple of computers, several television sets, cars, and all sorts of clothes and toys. We live in big houses and almost always have plenty of food in the refrigerator.

So when I look at a verse like this one in Philippians, I have to stop and wonder what it might mean to someone living on the streets, or someone living in an oppressed country, or to a little child starving and without water. If I walked into the streets of Haiti today and told them that my God will supply all of their needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, how would they respond?

First, I wish to clarify one thing... I am not an expert on the ways of God. God makes it extremely clear in scripture that His ways are not for me to understand fully. (Isa 55:8) So with that said, I want to share that I am thankful for His provision in my life. This post is not to answer all the questions surrounding suffering and evil in the world, it is to glorify God in the amazing bounty He has bestowed upon me and my family.

One comment I would like to share today regarding Phi 4:18-19 is this. This verse is often misapplied. God allows people to suffer and go through trials for various reasons and at different times in their life. Being in a trial or going without does not negate the promises of God. It often confirms them. Paul, when addressing the Philippians in this verse qualified the blessing with a premise. (See verses 14-18) Often God's promise comes with a premise. (2Cor 9:6-8) The premise was this, "We must be generous to others." The other misinterpretation of this verse assumes that the needs were merely physical needs, (money, food, shelter). This verse does not necessarily refer to just our physical needs, but our spiritual needs as well.

So here is what I do know about the character of God when it comes to meeting our needs. God requires us to serve Him (Mat 6:33). He knows your needs and mine (Mat 6:8). He has the abundant resources to supply every need that we have (Eph 3:20). God often allows us to suffer for a time, and when the time is over blesses us greatly (Job 42:10). Some people will suffer for a lifetime and their abundance comes in eternity. (Luke 16:19-31)

God is good, God is loving, and God shows mercy on His children. I am thankful today first and foremost for the gift of salvation. I am also thankful for the provisions of God in my life.

I pray that you will be blessed by Him as you faithfully serve.


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