By Dr. D.A. Doudney
“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by
Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
What a rich and exceedingly full promise is this! Just like the Almighty God, and so suitable to the creature; for who could supply all our need, both for body and soul, but He to whom all things belong, whose also is the power, the riches, and the glory? Should not the children of God take encouragement from such a sweet word as this, and believe that all their real need will be supplied? Yes, sure we ought; and no doubt this promise has been precious to many, while others, perhaps, fear to claim it as theirs, or as spoken to them, because of its greatness, or because they think their need to be so different from others. But that which is impossible with men is possible with God, for the need of all nations cannot exceed the fullness there is in Christ.
But what is our need – our present pressing trial? Is it the want of strength, bodily strength, to fill our position in life? Then the Lord graciously says, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be” (Deut 33:25). Looking to Him each morning for the help and strength needed through the day, we shall realise that He will supply this need; though, perhaps, like our dear Master, we may only have strength enough, and none to spare. Is it guidance we need? Are we perplexed, and know not which way to take? Let us then wait upon the Lord in prayer, and watch His hand towards us. He has said, “I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go.” (Psalm 32:8); and if, like Gideon, we are fearful of taking a wrong step, He will in mercy condescend to our low estate, and confirm us in the right way, in answer to prayer; although it is more God-glorifying, perhaps, if we can, when first assured of the Lord’s will, go forward, relying on His word, as Peter did (Acts 10:20).
Some time ago, I noticed a little girl playing at her garden gate, when all of a sudden she opened it and ran out, afterwards returning with her father. The words came into my mind, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him;”
(Psa103:13) and I longed thus to run and meet my heavenly Father, at the sound of His voice or footstep. “Draw me; we will run after Thee”(Song 1:4). But how far superior is the one to the other! “That little girl,” I thought, “may lose her father by death, and perhaps very suddenly; but not so the child of God. He is the Everlasting Father, Husband, Brother, Friend, and death will be the very means of bringing us more fully to know and love Him.”
Or, perhaps, our pressing trial may be straitened circumstances, for many of the Lord’s people, who are not really poor, may feel this; but the Lord says He will supply all our need. Will He take care of the sparrows, and neglect His own dear children, when He says the very hairs of your head are all numbered? Never! Never! He loves them too well. He may try them, but never forget them. And oh, with what gratitude do they partake of a meal which seems to have come direct from heaven, and in answer to prayer! We may safely conclude their asking a blessing at such a time is no form, though, perhaps –
“Their lips will only tremble
With the thanks they cannot speak.”
Thus the Lord gets glory to His dear Name by the gratitude of His tried people.
Is it wisdom we want? The Lord can supply this need, as He says in James 1:5, He will deign to listen to us if we ask His gracious Majesty about the most trifling things. As the poet says –
“Our life’s minutest circumstance
Is subject to His eye.”
His exalted state in glory does not make Him less willing to aid His people than when He was on earth.
Is it sorrow that presses us down – perhaps heavy family trials? The Lord says, “I know their sorrows” (Exod. 3:7); and, if He knows them, He also feels them, and will deliver, as He did in the case of Israel of old, though perhaps not so quickly as we should like. But we may pour out our hearts before Him, and sometimes even the very act of doing this brings relief.
Or, it may be, we are misunderstood. David knew this (2 Sam.10), and also David’s Lord; therefore He can sympathise with His dear people. How exceedingly painful this must have been to our dear Lord the three-and-thirty years He was on earth; for not only was He misunderstood by the world, but it seems also by His disciples (Matt. 16: 21 – 23); and if sometimes we tread the same path, may we prove it is in sympathy with our once suffering Head; and, if this trial should quicken us in prayer, bringing us more often to the throne of grace, it will be amongst the “all things” that are working for our good.
If we feel to need a broken heart, or tender conscience, or meekness, love, gratitude, and humility, the Lord can supply us with these things. “Ask, and ye shall receive.” He gives a new heart and a new spirit (Ezek. 36:26); and oh, how blessed are those who have the Holy Spirit within, the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is a holy-making Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23).
And, if the Lord supplies all our need in body and soul, through life, we must surely believe He will be with us at death, for that must be included in the “all”. Oh, yes, the Lord will help His dear children then, and give strength when it is needed: “The thing of a day in his day, as the matter shall require” (1 Kings 8:59, margin). Now we require grace to live with; at death we shall require grace to die with, and the Lord has promised both. The Apostle says, “But my God shall supply all your need,” not according to what I may wish for you, or you may wish for yourselves, for the Lord often gives exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, but “according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”(Phil 4:19), and His riches are “unsearchable” (Eph. 3:8).