How Then Can a Christian Say:
I am Not Supported?
(This article was written for Christians in India after they suffered loss by storm.)
The Lord has promised spiritual power in the gift of the Holy Spirit. He has promised the needed temporal things. Can we say as Paul said, "I believe God that it shall be even as he told me?" (Acts 27:25).
We must face life with the assurance that Paul had, "I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13). Then we turn to verse 19 in the same chapter: "And my God shall meet every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." And we read further: "Be ye free from the love of money, content with such things as ye have: for himself hath said, I will in no wise fail thee, neither will I in any wise forsake thee, so that with good courage we say: The Lord is my helper; I will not fear: what shall man do unto me" (Heb. 13:5-6).
Jesus knew poverty, for he said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head" (Matt. 8:20).
Would you say that Jesus was not supported?
We shall not quote the list of Paul's troubles as he tells them in 2 Cor. 11:23-28. None of us has trouble as he had, but he said, "I can do all things in him that strengthens me." There was a group of preachers working together. Paul was one of them. He said, "Ye yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring ye ought to help the weak and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'."
The support of the Lord is not necessarily in American money.
There was war between the Northern and Southern States in the USA. The government was in the North. The South during the war issued its own currency. When the war was won by the North, the currency of the South was valueless. There was no one to help the churches in the South except the Lord, but they grew and prospered. These brethren did not say, "We are helpless." No, they had faith in the Lord. They went to work. There is no verse in the Bible that is better known than John 3:16 -- God loved, God gave. We love, then we give (I John 4:19).
One of the most encouraging things is the fact that despite this terrible storm, some are giving very liberally toward this new building in Kakinada. Some are giving for flood relief. Over against this we have those who, after 26 years, have never been known to give. Jesus said give, not get (Luke 6:38).
Do we realize there is grave danger in not giving properly (Malachi 3:8-10)? James said that they did not have, because they asked amiss, that they might spend it on their pleasures. There have been hundreds and more hundreds of requests for Bibles. We picked out one man and sent him some money for Bibles. We had a letter today saying he got the money and "Send us more money for Bibles." He had no consideration for the hundreds of places that received no money for Bibles. Selfishness is never Christian.
I have work to do in India. The church in Raytown has a work to do in India. That work is not to do your giving for you.
For a moment we can look at John 3:16. That has been called the Golden Text of the Bible. The believer need not perish. What does the believer do? He obeys (Heb. 5:9). With this terrible storm the opportunity to give scripturally is apparent. The widow gave a very small amount, but Jesus said she gave more than they all. She gave out of poverty.
The gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). The power that works in us is Jesus working by our faith. He can do more than we can ask or think (Eph. 3:20).
A brother approached a son of mine not long ago. He said, "Your father is getting old, and you must be prepared to take his place." That cannot be. No one can take my place. No one can take anyone else's place. We each have our own work to do. When life is over it must be as with Paul, "I have finished my course."
If I have taught you faith in Christ, and if you have learned and obeyed, then all will be well. You and I have the power of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit with us, if we believe and obey the gospel (His will for us). We can say as the man said to Jesus in Mark 9:24, "I believe, help thou my unbelief."
J.C. Bailey, 1990, Bengough, Saskatchewan
Published in The Old Paths Archive