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  CHAPTER 19: THE LORD MY PROVIDER
The Lord My Provider

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:19, NKJV)

So now the anxious care of yesterday has ballooned into the pressing need of today. The trouble that was near has come, and the need you anticipated is urgent.

So be it. The life God intends his people to live is one of faith, not one of sight; it's one for today, not for tomorrow. For the most part, he allows us to keep nothing in hand, or it would ruin the simple outworking of our faith.

Like the poor widow who gave the prophet Elisha a place to stay, we're often led to say "Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil." (2 Kings 4:2)

Our dear Lord took note of our daily life of faith when he taught us to offer this daily prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread." (Matthew 6:11)

The apostle Paul wrote a grateful letter of thanks for a gift he'd just received from the Christ-followers in Philippi. He had given them spiritual help, and they gave back material help, which he called "a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God." (Philippians 4:18) He knew he couldn't match their material gift but instead he taught them truth and offered a precious prayer: "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

Let your soul anchor itself on this truth: God is my God. And though the winds may blow, or the waves may surge, or the skies darken, you will not be moved. Your needs may be great and urgent, and harsh demands may press in on you. Your resources may have run dry. But if the believer takes hold of God, fully focused and fully dedicated to him, none of these threats will matter. God is your God—in a forever covenant, in Christ Jesus, in a thousand past troubles—he is your God and your guide even to death.

God has sworn to meet our material needs and he's able to meet our material needs. He wants us to know and deal with him as the Provider-God, as well as the God of grace. God's promise is "His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him." (Isaiah 33:16)?

Has he ever failed you? He may have brought you to the edge, when your pantry was nearly empty and you had "nothing in the house but a jar of oil." Yet he knows your need, and in the end he will supply it. Your faith may be sharply tried, but without a doubt it will triumph in the end. As Jacob promised his sons in his last words, "Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him, but he shall triumph at last." (Genesis 49:19)

In our battle against painful trials and circumstances, faith may face temporary defeat. But like the tribe of Gad, it "shall triumph at last." God will supply all of our material needs because he has made a covenant commitment to us and because he has inexhaustible resources. We just need to trust him.

Above all, the Lord is our spiritual Provider. If he provides for the body, he most surely will provide rich and ample resources for the soul. "There is grain in Egypt," as Genesis 42:1 reminds us. There's also a rain of manna and a gushing rock in the desert. All the supplies from the grace covenant, all the fullness we find in Christ Jesus, all the boundless resources of the triune God…are there for the believer's benefit.

Do you need more faith? Jesus is the author of faith and he will increase it. Do you need more grace? Out of God's fullness we can draw "grace for grace," as John 1:16 puts it. In the original Greek it literally means, "wave on wave."  Do you need more love? Feed its flickering flame at God's altar, and while you're considering his wondrous love, your fire will burn.

So take that list of all your needs to your heavenly Provider, and he will supply. Not according to your meager desires, your unbelieving expectations, or what you personally deserve, but "according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

What need shall not our God supply
From His abundant stores;
What streams of mercy from on high
An arm almighty pours?

From Christ the ever-living spring,
These ample blessings flow;
Prepare, my lips, His name to sing,
Whose heart has loved us so."
    (P. Doddridge, 1755)

SPECIALS
The Lord My Portion


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