Philippians 4:19 – And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ESV
This sounds fantastic! Everything we could ever want we get if we follow Jesus?
Nope. That’s Prosperity Gospel and that’s a false line some would want you to believe – that if you choose Jesus your life will be rosy and sunny and you will have plenty and be wealthy and healthy and if your life looks like it’s in the toilet you must be doing something wrong. That just isn’t what it looks like when you make the decision to follow and obey Jesus.
God does bless our lives with wonderful things, don’t get me wrong here.
However, Jesus was very clear that in this world we will have trouble but we are to take heart because He has overcome it already (John 16:33). I’ve personally been through long and really hard seasons and seen many other believers go through some pretty awful life experiences.
So, what does this verse mean?
Let’s back up a second. Paul is writing to his fellow believers who have supported him when he was in prison. As soon as the believers in Philippi found out he was in distress they sent gifts to him. Also, of interesting note, commentary says this group of Christians were not financially well off.
Obviously, Paul was in need when he was in prison. Paul details his regards to need in Philippians 4:11-13: he knows both need and abundance.
Knowing this, Paul goes on to tell them that their needs will be taken care of because they took care of their brother in Christ and were furthering the spread of the Gospel in doing so.
Paul even refers to their gift as a sweet-smelling aroma and acceptable sacrifice (v. 18) – comparing their gift to what the Old Testament priests offered God. His wording is intentional and meant to show their gift to him was as if they were giving to God directly.
I love how Paul makes God super personal – And my God – using the word my. This shows intimacy.
Ever catch yourself referring to God as yours? As if maybe you have some extra special relationship to Him? I have and it feels great! Sometimes I change the words to worship songs to sing to God and not just about Him and I make it very personal.
I do believe Paul knows that no matter what circumstances the Philippians find themselves in, God will remember their graciousness and provide them with whatever they need in the circumstances – not that He will change the circumstances, but that He will provide for the need within in them – spiritually speaking. Not want, mind you. Need. This doesn’t mean material blessings won’t happen, but the guarantee here is on the spiritual side.
Just as God took care of Paul throughout His life, God will do the same for us as we hang on to and follow our Jesus Christ.