Today’s passage contains a marvelous promise—that “God will supply all your needs” (Phil. 4:19). Although these words bring great encouragement, we can’t afford to ignore the rest of the verse or the surrounding context.
“According to His riches in glory” (v. 19). This phrase emphasizes the sufficiency of God’s supply, but it also reveals that many of His provisions are spiritual. We usually want Him to provide physically—and He often does. However, He is more concerned with the condition of our spirit. Since He knows that trials assist in conforming us to the image of Christ, some difficulties may remain until they have accomplished His good purpose in us.
“In Christ Jesus” (v. 19). These may be the most important words of the verse, as they give the basis for the Lord’s abundant supply. It has nothing to do with our hard work or worthiness but is based only on our relationship with God through His Son. As our Father, He assumes the responsibility for meeting the needs of His children.
“You have done well to share with me” (Phil. 4:14). The Philippians were generous people who sent Paul gifts when they could. Their generosity enabled him to assure them of the Lord’s provision: “Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38).
Pulling verses out of context can distort our understanding of God’s promises. Resulting misconceptions may lead to disappointment and doubt, leaving us to wonder why God isn’t doing what He said. Knowledge of the context motivates obedience and helps us recognize God’s less obvious provisions.
Bible in One Year: Song of Solomon 1-4