Like so many others, money has been tight for my little family this year. I remember being heartbroken this last month as things got tighter than they’d been all year. I was at the point where I didn’t know what to pray for, I didn’t know what the words were to explain what was going on in my head and my heart, but I closed my eyes and just tried to bring my brokenness to His feet. Then, in His gentle, kind voice He said to me: “There are many more ways I provide for you, Katie.” I was brought to tears, and instantly reminded of Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (KJV).
The key phrase here is according to His riches and glory. What are God’s riches? Certainly not money. Gold is pavement in the Kingdom of God (Revelation 21:21). What is the most expensive thing to God then? What would His riches need to be spent on? The human soul. Our souls cost Him His Son Jesus’ life. Our souls cost Him everything, and He paid the price to make us His. As His children, we must trust that our Father knows what we need. The Bible reminds us of this many times:
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:31-33 ESV).
“Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?” (Matthew 7:9-11 ESV).
“For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:9 NIV).
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need” (Luke 12:31 NIV).
“The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:10 NIV).
It is absolutely biblical to pray for God’s provision in our finances and therefore in our food and other things money provides here on earth. Jesus Himself, when teaching us to pray, prayed for the Father to provide His “daily bread”. However, we must be very careful in not measuring God’s provisions for us based on which of the things we believe we need have actually been met. Some days, my children absolutely do not believe I provide for them because they think they need cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know they need healthy meals. It is the same with us. The Lord knows what we need, and He will not deny us those things. He knows best what we need. We must also be very careful not to buy into the lie that wealth is a measurement of God’s favor over us. The Lord makes sure we have what we need, and that is enough. Paul says earlier in Philippians 4: “Not that I am speaking in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13 ESV).
He provides so much more than our physical and financial needs. He provides comfort, strength and peace in all situations. He provides wisdom and He is our source of joy. When Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33), I once interpreted that to mean if I sought the Lord, He would give me more of what I needed and even wanted. I thought it meant my financial situation would improve among many other things. But I have since learned that that was not the point at all. I have stumbled and fallen and tripped along the way as I clumsily but wholeheartedly seek Him. And when I find Him, His presence is fullness of joy. Fear has to leave. I am content in Him, I trust in His wisdom in provision for my life, and I have learned to be content in my circumstances. I have also learned that seeking Him as a means to an end will never reap spiritual nor physical benefits. He is the prize. He is the goal. He knows what we need, but our earthly provisions are just one of the many things He provides for us. So what does the Bible say we need?
Psalm 23 says:
“The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
For His Name’s sake.
Even though I walk through
The valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
They comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
In the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23 ESV).
In this Psalm, David describes the things God gives us so we are not wanting for anything: those things are rest, trust and peace. A sheep has total reliance on a shepherd. Sheep would continue walking until they walked off of the edge of a cliff if the shepherd was not there to lead them and guide them. And so He leads and guides us. He provides for us daily the rest and peace our souls desperately need, and all we need to do is trust in Him. “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
And so recently when the Lord gently and kindly reminded me of the many more things He provides for me, and how it meant that I could remain content in the times of worldly lack because of my trust in Him and His wisdom in His provision over my life, I felt the sweetest peace deep within my soul. Jesus showed us to pray for our daily bread. He told us in Matthew 6 not to worry about tomorrow. I encourage you, dear reader, whether you are reading this from a place of abundance or a place of need, to take one day at a time in the Lord. Rest in Him, enjoy the gift this day is, one He has created, and one that He will stay by our side no matter what comes. He will never leave us or forsake us and He will provide for us in every way we need. If His eye is on the sparrow, His heart is on us.