And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19 (ESV)
If someone approached you and gave you the gift of a winning multimillion dollar lottery ticket, what would you do? It’s very tempting to consider the doors that would open with that kind of cash. For many of us, it would seem akin to when Jed Clampett struck oil and moved to Beverly Hills. Swimming pools. Movie stars. Fast cars. No more mortgage. No more money worries. Kids college paid for. Retirement set. Luxury. Oh, and I’d give some to my church for a new roof.
I once watched a documentary about the effects winning the lottery had on several people. The outcomes were less than joyous. The biggest problem: the windfall fueled greed. Some squandered their winnings and ended up penniless. Some fall into a gambling habit that devours far beyond what the lottery winnings provided. Perhaps worst of all is the loneliness some feel. So many people look at them differently now because they are rich. So many “old friends” crawl out the woodwork wanting favors and money. The ability to trust is eroded.
In short, what they felt was the answer to all their problems was actually the very thing that ruined their lives.
Now, luckily for us, the odds of having this particular problem are quite slim: on average , somewhere around 1 in 12 million. The odds that you are going to be struck by lightning at some point in your life are around 1 in 3000. The point of all this is not to dissuade you from playing the lottery (although, clearly, there are better ways to invest your money – and if you consider the lottery an investment option, maybe this should dissuade you from playing the lottery).
The point is that there are felt needs and perceived needs. Felt needs are the things we think / fell that we need: more money, more security, you name it. Perceived needs are what professional outsiders who have examined our lives tell us we need.
It is easy, when we feel need, to look at a verse like Philippians 4:19 and say, “Oh yeah? Well I don’t have __________ (you fill in the blank). Why isn’t God meeting my need?” That is a response to a felt need, and the problem with felt needs is their perception is tied directly to our emotions which, while important, often lead us away from the reality of our situations. What we really and truly need is what God perceives that we need.
The simple answer to our need is this: wait on the Lord. Trust in Him. Rely on Him. Rest in Him. You have to know that He is working in your life. When you put your trust in God, He will never truly let you down. He may not give you what you want. He may not meet your felt need, or meet it as fast as you’d like. But He will satisfy your true, perceived needs.
Maybe He is working through your circumstances to reach someone else.
Maybe He is imparting wisdom to you by letting you see the effects of your actions.
Maybe He is just trying to teach you something.
Maybe He wants you to see Him through the pain, despite the fear, regardless of the worries.
Maybe He wants you to learn how to trust Him, and not the stuff of this world.
Maybe He is just trying to get your attention.
Seek God first. Fear not. Rest in Him. Know that your every real need is met through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Rest in Him.
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