God’s Great Supply Promise

Title: God's Great Supply Promise

Bible Book: Philippians 4 : 19

Author: Paul E. Brown

Subject: Provision, God's



We're looking tonight at one of the grandest, most encouraging promises in all the Bible. But first, let's briefly consider the background. The book of Philippians was written under divine inspiration as a letter probably while Paul was in prison at Rome, which means that it was written in approximately 61 A.D.

Here in chapter 4 Paul thanks his friends at Philippi for gifts they've sent to him recently and in the past and it is in that context that he, as God directs him, records the wonderful promise of Philippians 4:19. I call it "God's Great "Supply" Promise." Paul said, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

In order to appreciate and apply that promise as we should, we need to understand the five key elements contained in it. Let's look at them.

I. The Giver of the Supplies

First, Paul points up THE GIVER OF THE SUPPLIES. He says, "My God shall supply all your need...." Paul was saying, in essence, "You treasured friends have been gracious to share what you have with me, and I want you to know that the Lord is going to supply all of your need." Paul's expression, "My God," is indicative of his personal relationship with God, who has revealed himself ultimately in Christ.

Paul is making the point that regardless of the avenue by which they reach us, all good things whatever their nature come ultimately from the hand of God. In James 1:17 we read, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

God uses human instrumentality, and we are to be grateful to those whom God uses to bless us and we should express our gratitude to them, although we give the glory to God. Also, you and I should always be available for God to use us to bless other people.

An elderly lady was praying, asking God for help. She prayed, "Oh, Lord, I desperately need a hundred dollars. Please send me a hundred dollars." Her praying became very intense and loud, "Lord, I'm pleading with you please send me that hundred dollars." Her window was slightly ajar, and a man passing by heard her and was deeply moved. He stopped on the sidewalk outside her house, and took out his billfold. All he had to his name was fifty dollars, but he determined to give that to her. He knocked on the door, and when she answered he said, "M'am, I'm a Christiana member of the local Baptist church and the Lord told me to give you this money." She thanked him, he went his way, and she went back to her knees. She prayed, "Lord, thank you for answering my prayer, but next time please don't send it by a Baptist he kept half of it!"

Well, maybe she just wished for a hundred dollars but actually needed only fifty. At any rate, God is the one who supplies our need.

II. The Recipients of the Supplies

Notice in the second place THE RECIPIENTS OF THE SUPPLIES. Paul said, "But my God shall supply all your need...."

Two things were true of those folks at Philippi to whom that promise was originally directedand, by virtue of the timelessness of the Bible, the promise can be claimed by people of all generations if they meet those same two criteria.

First of all, those to whom Paul wrote at Philippi were saved. Notice that in Philippians 1:1 Paul addresses the entire letter of Philippians "to the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons." Some people have the mistaken idea that only the oldest, most mature, most spiritually discerning Christians are saints. But the fact is that in New Testament usage, a saint is any person who has been born again. Dr. Jim Smith says that there are just two kinds of people, "saints" and "ain'ts." He says,

"Either you are a saint, or you ain't!"

But not only were they saved, they were also givers. As we've already noted, they made it a point to share what they had with Paul and, that being true, it is reasonable to assume that they also shared with others, as well. Every

Christian should be a giver.

Go, break to the needy sweet charity's bread,

For giving is living, the angel said.

"And must I be giving again and again?"

My peevish and pitiless answer ran.

"Oh, no," said the angel, piercing me through,

"Just give til the Master stops giving to you!"

God blesses unselfish Christians. Galatians 6:10 says, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Proverbs 4:27 says, "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbor, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee." Acts 20:35, "I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."

III. The Completeness of the Supplies

Now let's notice THE COMPLETENESS OF THE SUPPLIES. It would have been great even if Paul had said, "My God will supply the majority of your needs," or "your major needs" but he said, "My God shall supply all your need...."

That is a remarkable statement, and some people find it hard to believe because, in their view, it simply doesn't "square" with what they observe or experience.

But usually when folks take that skeptical view they fail to take into account two things, for one thing, they fail to realize that sometimes what we see as needs are not needs in the sight of God and he is the one who is never mistaken. We think we know what we need, and sometimes we're right but so often we're wrong.

The other thing that we sometimes fail to take into account is this - God does not here in Philippians 4:19 or anywhere else in the Bible promise to exempt Christians from life's hard times. However, what he does promise is that in the midst of life's adversities including such things as disease, pain, or heartbreak he will supply what we need in order to get through those experiences triumphantly.

One of the great heroes of the New Testament was Stephen, the young deacon who, in his prime, was stoned to death by a hate-crazed mob. We don't understand why God permitted that to happen. Sometimes he shields Christians from such tragedies, and sometimes for reasons known only to himself he does not. But, even though he allowed that to happen to Stephen, he supplied Stephen's need for inner strength during that horrendous ordeal. In Acts 7:59-60 we read, "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep" [in other words, he died - sleep is often used figuratively in the New Testament to refer to the death of the body].

Stephen went down "with all flags flying." He died with a compassionate, forgiving attitude in his heart, a vision of heaven in his soul, and he left a legacy that would bless people for all time to come. Thus, even as he was being cruelly stoned to death, God supplied him with a spirit of victory.

It's not for you and me to understand at least, not in this life why God shields one from physical suffering and does not shield another. He is the all-wise Sovereign of the universe, who sees the whole picture and never errs and we are finite, sinful human beings whose understanding, at best, is very limited. But we know that all of his dealings with us are in love, even when we're puzzled by life's twists and turns and we have his promise that whatever comes, he will supply our need either by removing the problem, or by giving us victory in spite of the problem.

In a church where Connie and I served not too long ago, there is a precious lady who has one of those very rare diseases which keeps her in extreme physical distress most of the time. She is constantly in and out of the hospital. I'll never forget something she said in a note that she wrote to Connie and me. She said, "My body is in pain practically all the time, but I have peace and joy in my heart."

The bottom line is this, God has not promised to supply everything that we wish for, but he has promised to supply everything which he, in his wisdom, knows that we actually need and in heaven we'll see how it all worked out for the greater good and for his glory.

IV. The Storehouse of the Supplies

Let's notice, now, THE STOREHOUSE OF THE SUPPLIES. Paul said, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory...."

You and I are used to dealing with supplies that sooner or later "dry up." But this promise is backed up by God's inexhaustible resources. Ephesians 3:8 speaks of "the unsearchable riches of Christ." The Greek word for "unsearchable" means "past tracing out" in other words, there is no end to them. Guy King, in his commentary on Philippians, speaks of "The Royal Bank of Heaven."

God's material resources are unlimited. Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein."

His spiritual resources are unlimited. Listen to Lamentations 3:21-23, "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning...." What a wonderful promise. Sometimes we feel that we can't go on any longer. We feel that we're done in, that we can't face another day but then, lo and behold! The next morning God is standing by with a fresh, new supply of spiritual strength which is ours for the claiming.

Not only is God's storehouse full now it will remain full forever! You can count on it!

V. The Channel of the Supplies

Lastly, let's take careful note as to THE CHANNEL OF THE SUPPLIES. Paul said, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Our great God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, tells us that our supplies come to us by the Son. Jesus said, in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." He is the only way to heaven, and he is also the only way to experience the highest and best in this present life. To put it differently, Jesus came not only to be our Saviorwhich was his primary purpose but also to be our supplier.

But he doesn't deliver those supplies to us automatically we must meet his conditions. What are those conditions?

In Matthew 7:7 Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." James 4:2-3, "...ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." James 5:16 says, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

So, in order to receive God's supplies by Christ Jesus we must effectually, fervently ask, and we must be righteous. Jesus put it like this in Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." That means two things, we must have repented of our sins and, by faith, have surrendered our lives to Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior and then we must make it a point, every day that rolls around, to reaffirm and reassert his Lordship in our lives.

We're not talking here about perfection. You and I will never be flawless in this earthly life, not by any remote stretch of the imagination. But the point is this, If we are to pray effectively, we must be not only saved but, as believers, we must be sincerely striving each day to let Jesus be king in our lives that is, to let him rule our thoughts, our words, and our actions. When that's our daily commitment, then as we ask him God will supply our every need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

The late John R. Rice, in his book, "Prayer, Asking and Receiving," told about something that took place in one of the southern states following the Civil War. An elderly black man named Sam had been a slave but had been set free by Lincoln's proclamation. The elderly white man, Tom, who had been Sam's master, said, "Sam, if you will stay with me and take care of me, I will see that you are cared for when I am gone." In spite of the horrendous wrongness of slavery, the two men apparently felt warmly toward each other, and Sam agreed to stay on.

After Tom died, Sam did odd jobs to earn a meager living, but eventually became so limited by rheumatism and age that he could barely get enough work to keep body and soul together. He lived in a little shack, ate the poorest food, and hobbled around the community in old, ragged clothes.

But one day an old friend of Sam's former master said to him, "Sam, you don't have to live this way." He went on to explain that Tom had deposited some money in the bank in Sam's name, and that Sam should go on down to the bank and get money to buy what he needed. Finally he was able to persuade Sam to go the bank. Sam asked the teller whether or not it was really true that Tom had left him some money. The teller asked his name, checked the records, and told Sam that it was true he had been left $5,000, which was his for the asking. Sam wanted to know how he could get it, and the teller told him that he would need to write a check. Sam had never written a check, so the teller offered to write out the check, sign Sam's name, and beside it Sam could make his mark.

Sam asked, "Could I have fifty cents to get me a sack of meal?" The teller replied that he could have as much as he wanted up to $5,000. However, Sam had lived so long in deprivation that he simply couldn't seem to comprehend. So, at his request, the teller wrote out a check for fifty cents, Sam tremblingly made his mark beside his name, and then he took the fifty cent piece and shuffled away to buy some meal leaving $4,999.50 in the bank, untouched and unused.

That's a sad thing but it's also sad that many of us who name Christ as Savior are living in spiritual poverty, when God's riches in glory are ours for the claiming, if only we will meet his conditions! If you've never done so, repent of your sins and, in faith, commit your life to Jesus. Then give him top priority in your everyday life. You will then be in a position to ask and receive the blessings that God stands ready to pour into your life.




Posted in


Scroll to Top