When I was applying for permanent residence in the US, I sensed God leading me to go to China for short-term missions. I wasn’t sure if I should heed it, but through a series of events and some scriptures, it became increasingly clear to me that I was to go.
This was risky for me because of my pending immigrant application. Going to China also required me to take an extra trip to Canada to get a visa. I did not want to raise support for China, because I found it hard to ask others to part with their hard-earned money. I wanted to pay for the trip myself, but I only had enough for Canada. I was in a wringer, but I knew, without a doubt, I had to go.
Thus I went to Canada and used up most of my savings. The moment I landed back in the States, I received a call from a friend, who told me how God had led her to give me her first, full salary after not working for the last 20 years.
I erupted into tears when I heard this. God’s love washed over me through my friend’s act of obedience and generosity. It was a humbling taste of God’s providence. Not long after, my friend’s husband whom she had been praying for for years, accepted Jesus and became a believer—God’s provision for her went beyond what money could afford.
Two years after China, I went full-time in missions to serve with my husband in Thailand, certain of His provisions. Almost eight years since, we are still in Thailand. We have never been in want.
In Paul’s letter to the Philippian church, we see that when Paul left Macedonia and was later imprisoned for his faith (Philippians 1:13), God provided for his needs through the Philippian church, the only church to consistently do so (4:14-18).
While Scripture leaves us with no record of the Philippians’ financial state, we can be sure that it must not have been easy for them to share in Paul’s troubles. But to the Philippians, it was such a privilege to be in fellowship with Paul for the gospel that they were willing to do so. Paul commends them for it and writes that their generosity was a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God (v. 18).
As a result, in verse 19, Paul encourages them that, “. . . my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory.” As children of God, the Philippians (and my friend) probably rested in the assurance that He will supply all their needs—and that enabled them to give even the little that they had.
So just as Paul assures the Philippians with God’s promise of provisions on verse 19, I encourage you to hold on to that same promise. He will supply “all your needs” (v. 19)—from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. This means an infinite stock of whatever God knows you and I are truly in need of—be it peace in the midst of chaos, assurance in the midst of uncertainty, or anything that we need to live a life of godliness (2 Peter 1:3). His riches will never be inadequate to meet our needs.
The next time God leads you to take a step of obedience—whether it is in giving to others, or in moving out of your comfort zone—I urge you to seize it, knowing that your obedience pleases Him and that He will supply everything that you need to do so.
—By Kezia Lewis, Philippines
Questions for reflection
- What keeps you from trusting God’s promise of “supplying all your needs”? Ask God to help you trust Him in this area.
- Is it hard for you to give? If no, thank God for that courage. If yes, reflect on why? And then ask Him to give you the courage you need to open your heart and your hands to be generous.
- How can you partner with someone missionaries/ministries for the gospel?