In my last blog post (shameless plug here) I announced my internship with International Justice Mission that will be starting this fall in La Paz, Bolivia. Toward the end of the post, I quoted Philippians 4:19, which reads, “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” The last few months I have been raising support for my time in La Paz and have been using this verse as encouragement for myself. But last night, while re-reading the passage again, I realized that encouragement wasn’t just intended for me.
I always assumed that in verse 19, Paul was talking about himself, because, well, God did provide for him. But I never stopped to think about how God provided until I looked a few verses up in chapter 4. When Paul wrote that all your needs would be met, he actually refers to the Philippians, the people who were “sending aid” to Paul and his ministry – aka his supporters. Paul talks about how no other churches gave to him except that of the Philippians (verse 15) and that even when he was visiting other areas, the Philippians still sent him aid when he was in need (v. 16). Verse 17 even goes so far as to say that it was not for Paul’s benefit but rather theirs that they should support him because it provided an opportunity to trust God with their resources. The result for Paul? “I have received full payment and even more” (v. 18). The result for the Philippians? The assurance that their gifts were “an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (v. 18) and that God would meet all their needs in return (v. 19).
That God will provide is not only a promise to the people receiving the support but giving it as well. This was a personal comfort to me because I have felt a lot of unanticipated guilt while support raising. I’ve wondered if it is too pretentious of me to ask people for money when I know we all have our own needs and wants. I find myself worrying more about the people who have supported me financially than about meeting my goal! But this passage has reminded me that it is in meeting the needs of others that our own needs are met. Though I’m sure support raising looked different in Paul’s time (please don’t give me a donkey to travel on or anything), the principles are the same. God won’t leave the generous out high and dry. He wants to provide for the supporters as well as for the people they are supporting.
All this being said, I want to offer another, most sincere thank you to those who have already stepped out and supported me, both financially and spiritually. And if you still want to get involved (come on, you knew this was coming) it is not too late! Visit my “Get Involved” page to learn how to become a part of my support network or give directly online here.
As always, God bless and go Heels!