Recently I read through the epistle to the Philippians, asking the Lord to show me something new, and He showed me the context of 4:8, found in 4:7…
“In all things I am instructed both to be full, and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
So often I use that verse to claim the ability for the things I want to do. To an extent that is well and good. But God is specifically telling us here that He gives us the power to do all things, whether easy or hard, desirable or undesirable. No one in his right mind wants to go hungry or suffer need. But sometimes even those things are needful, and God gives strength for such a time as this. He teaches me to abound and to suffer need. Through Christ I am well fed, and through Christ I sometimes go hungry. This is a great comfort because right now I am hungry—not for food, but for companionship. Only now I understand that I can be hungry through Christ, who strengthens me. Knowing this truth also helps me to accept this hardship as coming from His hand, and to know that even when I feel lonely, I am not alone.
There’s a song written in 1926 that says, “I am satisfied with Jesus.” That’s easy to sing, harder to live. What about singing, “I am hungry with Jesus”? Not very poetic, is it? Can I allow God to let me suffer hunger? Can you? Do I trust Him enough to accept the fact that sometimes my need will not be met? At least, not in the way I want. When I am willing to be hungry according to His will, then and only then will I truly be satisfied with Jesus.
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