Tuesday, 7 March 2017
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
The words “my God” here are emphatic. He is making a stress based on what he just said concerning “God.” If read together, the stress becomes more evident –
“Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
The offering they made was acceptable to God, who is Paul’s God. He will then draw the two thoughts together in the next verse. For now, he says, “And my God shall supply all your need.” In Greek, it reads “And my God will fill up all the needs of you.” It is not just a single need that they will have filled, but all needs, both physical and spiritual. Whatever is lacking will be made full. However, this is not a promise for prosperity. Needs do not equate to desires. God gives us everything we need, but it is not always what we want.
The Christian who stands ready to be executed for his faith in Christ does not stand and say, “I claim that BMW at the car-lot.” The prosperity gospel is no gospel. The needs of that person are met in his life, or in his death, by God who has promised us so much more than this temporary, woe-filled life. All that He gives for our needs are “according to His riches.”
There is no limit of God’s ability to give. He can and He will provide abundance to each according to the need, but He will also provide so much more at times as well. In our eternal state, we shall never lack or have want. The riches of God will flow like a never-ending river to satisfy His people. Again however, we need to be careful to make a distinction between what is a need and what is a desire lest we fall into the false teaching of the prosperity gospel.
Paul continues by saying that each need is given according to His riches “in glory.” What is on Paul’s mind with the words “in glory” is debated. Some scholars tie this to the word “riches.” Others will connect it with the word “supply.” And then even that can be subdivided between “supply your need with glory” meaning “with glory to you,” or “with His glory.” It is hard to be dogmatic, but Vincent’s Word Studies gives a good, well-rounded thought with, “The need shall be supplied in glory and by glory; by placing you in glory where you shall be partakers of glory.”
No matter which is correct, Paul finishes with “in glory by Christ Jesus.” The word “by” in Greek means “in.” Therefore, it is provided to God’s people by their union with Christ. And so, he is not making a statement to anyone except those who are of the faith. God does not meet the needs of people “by” Christ Jesus for those who are not “in” Christ Jesus.
Life application: It is important to make the distinction between what is a need and what is a want. When we confuse the two, our hope and trust in the Lord may be weakened when we don’t get what we want. Let us understand that God meets all of our needs according to His wisdom. We will never have a time when our needs are not met. But our needs are what He determines, not what we feel is correct.
Glorious Heavenly Father, You have promised to meet all the needs of Your people. Help us to be wise enough to know the difference between needs and wants. If we believe that we will get everything we want, but then that doesn’t happen, our trust in You may falter. But when we realize that our needs are always met, then our hope and trust in You will remain strong at all times. Grant us this wisdom and help us to have a correct knowledge of these things. To Your glory we pray. Amen.