THE BLESSING OF BEING IN NEED
Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, July 18, 1999, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia:
THE BLESSING OF BEING IN NEED
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:1-19
Text: Philippians 4:12
Philippians 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. Introduction: Paul, by inspiration of God, said,
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Yet, just before that he wrote that he knew how to suffer need. The fact that God will supply our need does not mean that we will never HAVE needs. To the contrary, we MUST go through periods of need in order to see God SUPPLY them!
The two basic needs are food and clothing. Yet, when Paul recounted his sufferings he mentioned:
2 Corinthians 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Hunger … and nakedness … Paul experienced times of NEED of the basic necessities.
Some of the godliest people of the Bible suffered times of need. Job was one of the most righteous men of all time, but he lost everything — health, wealth, family, reputation. Peter once said, “Silver and gold have I none,” when he was approached by a beggar. Paul took up offerings for the POOR saints in Jerusalem.
With Phil. 4:19 in mind,
We must realize that:
I. NEEDS ARE VALLEYS IN OUR PATH
Deuteronomy 11:11 But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven:
God told Israel that even Canaan, a picture of the victorious Christian life, was a land of hills and valleys. I remember a preacher at a camp meeting who proclaimed, “I don’t believe in no valleys; I’m a MOUNTAIN man!” I thought to myself, “He’ll hit a valley eventually.” You see,
A. Mountains are PART, not all, of our journey
* Your life is not complete if you do not suffer need.
* You have lived a shallow life if you have not experienced real trouble.
B. Mountains are passing
* Cherish them while they are present.
* Valleys MUST come.
C. Mountains are precious because of the valleys
* A mountain would not seem like much of a mountain were there no valley on either side. It would be just one big plateau, or flat place.
II. NEEDS ARE VALUABLE PLACES
Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
A. Because of the secrets
* There are things in the valley that people on the mountain have never understood.
B. Because of the scenery
* There is a beauty in the valley of need that is not seen on the mountain.
* Some of the sweetest memories any of us have are of times when we were in need.
C. Because of the Savior
* He is the Lily of the valleys (plural).
* He is a man acquainted with grief.
III. NEEDS ARE VIEWS OF POWER
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
A. In the Valley of Needs we see God’s power to perceive (our needs)
B. In the Valley of Needs we see God’s power to protect
C. In the Valley of Needs we see God’s power to provide
IV. NEEDS ARE VICTORY POINTS
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
A. Victory for learning
* In Rom. 5:3-4 it is apparent that experience comes as a result of tribulation. In other words, if you don’t go through trouble, you miss out on an opportunity to learn some great lessons.
* Some of the biggest idiots in this world are people who were born with a silver spoon in their mouths.
B. Victory for living
* Rom. 5:3-4 also says that tribulation results in patience. Once you have been through times of need and seen God supply your need, you are not as apt to panic when the next time of need arrives.
C. Victory for leaning (trusting)
* It is one thing to trust God for salvation.
* It is another thing to trust Him for SUPPLY, after you are saved.
* What a blessing it is to tithe and give to missions, when your income is low and the bills are high, and see God meet your need.
* Once that happens, it is easier to tithe and give in the future, regardless of the circumstances, and trust God to take care of you.