– Philippians 4:19
We are creatures that tend to worry…a lot! I know…I’m one of them. That’s just our nature. Because we can’t see beyond today, we worry about tomorrow. I remember reading one survey that said 76% of things we worry about never come to pass, and of the remaining 24%, only about 8% of it is something we can’t do about it. The remaining 16% are things we can change, so if we’re worried about things that will never happen, don’t sweat it. For those things that we can’t change, accept it, and for those things that we can change, change it! As you can see, worrying is a great big waste of time and energy. Jesus said, “do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing” (Matt 6:25), because “which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life” (Matt 6:27)? We can’t add one hour in our life by worrying, but medical science tells us that we can literally worry ourselves to death. It negatively impacts our health, so again, Jesus says, “do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt 6:34).
When Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray, He didn’t tell them to pray for our bread for tomorrow, but “give us this day, our daily bread” (Matt 6:11). Jesus never once told them to pray about tomorrow’s needs. That’s a matter of trust in God. Besides, God will only give us enough grace for today. We can’t have grace for tomorrow because tomorrow’s not here yet. When it does get here, God will supply your daily bread for that day and for that day alone. It’s like the time in the wilderness where God sent manna from heaven to feed the nation of Israel, but they were told to not store up any of the manna for tomorrow, because when they did, the manna became infested with maggots. God was trying to communicate to Israel the same thing that He wants us to know; God promises to take care of our daily provisions…but only one day at a time.
The psalmist was often in danger and perils because King Saul was trying to hunt down David in order to kill him and secure his throne, but God had already anointed David as the next king, so he simply waited and trusted God in all of this. By the time he wrote, Psalm 37, he was getting up in years and had learned from experience that worry does nothing at all useful. He wrote “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25). In fact, Solomon wrote “The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked” (Prov 10:3). What we must do is to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt 6:33).
The Apostle Paul knew how to deal with hardship. He was often in prison, beaten, stoned, whipped, suffered hunger, cold, and separation from the church, yet he could still write to the church at Philippi, “my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). These were not according to people’s riches or donor’s riches, but according to the riches of Jesus Christ. What does Jesus Christ own? Jesus owns just what God owns and that includes the cattle on a thousand hills, and by the way, He owns the hills too, therefore God is not limited by natural resources or human resources. He owns it all! Nothing is impossible for Him, and that includes your every need. He will supply all of your needs, but not all of your greed’s. God knows better than to give us everything we want, instead, He always gives us what we need. There’s a huge difference between having our needs met and getting what we want. They may not be the same thing, but in God’s wisdom, He knows what we need before we even ask, although we should still ask for our daily bread (Matt 6:11). There comes a time when God wants to test us and this means that things might look very slim at times, as far as our provisions go, but we must never forget that God never leaves us or forsakes us (Heb 13:5).
The Apostle Paul knew what he was saying by writing that “God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). He saw hunger, cold, deprivation, thirst, but he never once expressed anxiety about God supplying what he needed. Paul never had a lack of trust or faith in God. He understood from experience that God will not allow him and His children to starve to death to the point of having to beg for food, so we must trust Him for our daily bread and not worry about tomorrow’s bread. It’s not even been baked yet. Instead, let us rest in the promises of God, like if we seek the kingdom first, He will make sure every need of ours is met, and by seeking the kingdom first, that means we are seeking the King of that kingdom first (Jesus). Only then will He provide for our every need. Even when it looks like we might not have bread on the table tomorrow or even enough money to pay the electric bill. God already knows about it and has planned for it, from before time began, to meet your needs according to the great riches found in Jesus Christ.