I often like to think about food; I am a self-confessed foodie! Therefore it didn’t surprise me that when looking at this verse I began thinking about a story containing food.
It made me think about a something you may know as “The feeding of the 5000”. The crowds followed Jesus out onto the hillside and it’s got late and people are hungry and the only person to have bought food is a child! Andrew brings this child to Jesus, and I reckon maybe this child was thinking “Man I’m hungry, but I’ve got to give my food to this speaker?!” He gives his loaves and fishes to Jesus and a miracle occurs: the physical needs of 5000 are met.
Later, we see Jesus say these words “I am the bread of life”. He is meaning; not only will I satisfy physical hunger but I will supply all your needs.
In £3 instalments the British Public gave their ‘loaves & fish’ and £1,011,718 was raised. Yet in the same week, the Oscars goody bag was described. On the one hand, I was hearing of poverty, hunger and poor sanitation on the other celebrities being given $275 of luxury toilet paper and I thought; how do some have, while others need?
Then I look at this verse:
And I look at the world and I think: Do you Jesus? Do you really provide? I don’t know if I see it – and Jesus says to me: trust me and give from what you have and I say, but what if I end up in need?
This verse is part of a letter written by a guy called Paul to a church in Philippi, Greece. He is, in fact, writing from the provision. You see he is not saying God will provide as if you will never face hardship. In fact, he says he has known need – yet he has learnt to trust God is good and He will strengthen him for and in every situation. God will provide for all his needs. This verse comes directly after he takes the time to thank the church for spontaneously and generously sending him a gift.
There is a theme I see in this and running through the Bible; God can create provision miraculously out of nothing, but more often he chooses to provide through partnering with his people.
How could you as a community, partner with God and trust Him for your needs?
It is not about recklessly giving away but instead relationally partnering with God to ask where there are needs we can help meet. It’s about trusting him, that if we give from what little we may have, He will also provide for our needs.
Last night I sat with my church small group and heard story after story about how God had provided or partnered with them to see needs met in other people͛s lives. As I listened to the stories, I felt a peace settle on me. We are a nation that worries, and yet I can echo Paul “My God will meet all my needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” and I have peace.
Today I can’t ask God to meet each of your needs, you are all individuals with personal needs. Yet He knows them all because He knows you. Instead, therefore, I ask that you would have his peace.