What You Truly Need (Philippians 4:19)
[And] my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:19
Have you ever wondered why the morning air rings with a cacophony of sparrow songs, blackbird ballads, and robin refrains like an orchestra tuning before an overture? The sun slowly rolls out of bed as the dawn stretches to shake the night from its eyes—awakened by the alarm clock of birdsong. Each morning, my wife and I open our casement window to usher in this soundtrack of the waking world. We marvel that these feathery little music boxes can daily sing such a big song with abandon as if no care could mute them (Matthew 6:26). And yet, Christian, how often our hearts are hoarse with worry when our Heavenly Father has promised to supply our every need. For this reason, we turn to our passage.
As an imprisoned Paul ties a bow on his letter by thanking the Philippian church for their generous financial gift, he in turn offers them a gift of infinitely greater value: a promise from God. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Every need. No height of helplessness He cannot reach and no depth of distress He cannot bend. No care too costly that His riches in glory cannot pay in full. What are these “riches in glory”? Nothing short of the infinite resources that daily shower anew on the sinner who has bathed in the blood of Christ’s finished work. In Christ, there is no need that will go unmet, for there is no need that God lacks the means to meet.
And yet, if you are reading this while bearing the wounds of what seems like lack, this promise might feel more like a bruise than a balm for the soul. The light of His love radiating from such a promise may look dim through the tinted lens of a bare ring finger, an empty womb, or an aching body. But my question to you is this: Are you sure you know what you truly need? The Apostle Paul did. He learned through much suffering that our ultimate need amidst every need is God Himself.
Like hitchhiking across the Blue Ridge Parkway, Paul’s journey to glory was one of innumerable hills and valleys (Philippians 4:11–12). But God met his needs in “each and every circumstance” by meeting him in his needs. God met each need in a manner that would meet his truest need: contentment in Christ (Philippians 4:13).
Dear saint, God always knows our needs far better than we do. Our finite minds are masterful at misreading. In fact, often, what we perceive as “needs” are mere wants playing dress-up. However, the Creator of the universe doesn’t lack a single resource to satisfy each and every need of his people from Eden to the New Jerusalem, nor does the Fountain of Wisdom lack a drop to discern real needs from the counterfeits.
The God who graciously gave His own Son for you (Romans 8:32), the God who has “blessed [you] in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:3), and the God who works all things together for your good (Romans 8:28), is the same God who has vowed to “supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Trust His promise to you. Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16), believing that your Heavenly Father understands your needs best and will supply everything you truly need to be satisfied in His Son—for the glory of His Son. Then, when your cares awaken with you in the dawn, open the window of your anxious heart and join creation’s song.
God is committed to keeping His promise because He is committed to His glory (Ps. 50:15; Phil. 4:20; 1 Peter 4:11). How can this reality comfort you in your time of need?
God’s supply and timing often look different than our expectations (Isa. 55:8–9; Rom. 11:33–36). When needs abound, what additional passages about God’s provision can you wield against the temptation to despair, doubt, fear, complain, covet, and be impatient?
Do you know someone in need whom you can encourage with this week’s passage?
Cody Farthing serves as director of Youth Ministry and Churchwide Communications at Immanuel Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor of Communication for Boyce College, the undergraduate school at Southern Seminary. While in college, Cody met Jesus, the local church, and his wife, Anna, who now serves on staff with Truth78. Since then, they have become the proud parents of two girls—Maya and Nora—and a son, Cameron.