Needing a Starving
September 27, 2016
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
The following is from John Phillips’ commentary on Philippians 4:

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

I must add one other thing, however, for it is sometimes true that in God’s sight we have a need for that which is not so pleasant. We need to be disciplined, taught, or tested. If that is the case, then it is also true that Philippians 4:19 is a promise of God to supply the unpleasant discipline and testing.

Early in his ministry Harry Ironside had an experience that illustrates this provision. On one occasion he had acted on faith, as he often did, to preach for two weeks in Fresno, California. But the time came, surprisingly to him, when he was entirely out of money and had no funds with which to eat. He was even forced to check out of his hotel room and leave his suitcase at a drugstore to be picked up later.

There was some complaining and bitterness. When the thought of Philippians 4:19 crossed his mind—“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus”—his spirit rebelled. “Why then doesn’t he do it?” he questioned. It seemed that God had promised, but he was no longer keeping his word.

That night, as he settled down under a tree on the lawn of the courthouse in Fresno, God spoke to Ironside concerning things about which he had grown careless. In his prayer and meditation he experienced a spiritual awakening.

From that time on the work went better. Old friends appeared, first to invite him to lunch and later to provide accommodation. The church to which he was ministering took a collection to help him out on his return journey.

At the end he went to the post office and found a letter from his father, much to his surprise. He opened it, and there staring him in the face was a postscript that said, “God spoke to me through Philippians 4:19 today. He has promised to supply all our need. Some day he may see that I need a starving! If he does, he will supply that.” Ironside says, “Oh, how real it all seemed then! I saw that God had been putting me through that test in order to bring me closer to himself, and to bring me face to face with things that I had been neglecting.” He wrote later that he wished to share the experience with others who may be going through similar times of testing.

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