Do We Have a Need to be in Need?

I don’t know if you’ve thought about it, but have you ever considered that our basic needs are often the very things God uses to bring people to Jesus? The need for water brought the woman of Samaria to the Jacob’s Well, where she met Jesus one hot afternoon (John 4:4-7). The need for food brought the same crowd Jesus had fed by multiplying the five loaves and two fishes, to the other side of the Lake of Galilee the very next day to find Jesus (John 6:22-26). The need for health and healing brought huge crowds to Jesus from many places (Matthew 4:24-25).

There are those who might look to encounters like these in the Gospels and say, “See, God promises health, wealth and prosperity to those who come to Him.” But, that is far from what following Jesus is truly about. But that isn’t to say, that God doesn’t care about our basic needs. Indeed, He has promised to supply our needs, if we are generous with whatever resources He entrusts to us. It is to the generous but poor church of Philippi that Paul says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19 NIV].” And that, I submit sometimes includes by the way, your need and mine to be in need. For if you never had a need, how would you know God could and would meet it, if you trusted Him to provide for it? I suspect that this is why the apostle Paul declared,

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13 NIV

Perhaps Jesus might have had the same idea when He began the Sermon on the Mount, saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3 NIV).”

Our needs, rightly seen, are simply the opportunities God grants us to trust Him for what He has promised to grant us.

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Ed has had over 30 years of ministry experience, sixteen of them at Greenwoods Community Church in the southern Berkshires of Massachusetts. More recently he has fulfilled an extended transitional interim assignment for the Alliance Southeast of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Leesburg, Florida. In addition, Ed has had nearly 13 years of experience in the field of geriatric healthcare. Ed’s is happily married to Lynn, having recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Lynn is a true partner in ministry, having served Greenwoods Community Church as its Children's Ministry Coordinator for over ten years. She is a decorator, colorist, instructor in furniture painting, and an artist in her own right. For over 20 years she had her own business, Whimsical Brushes, teaching and traveling throughout the Northeast. Lynn is also active as a women’s outreach speaker for Stonecroft Ministries in Florida. God has given Ed a burden to be a mentor pastor, developing leaders for the church in the 21st Century. One way in which he is fulfilling that calling is through Rockbridge Seminary, where he serves as an adjunct professor of Spiritual Formation. Ed has earned degrees from Cairn University (B.S. 1971), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M. 1979), and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min. 2007). He has published several articles on the Spiritual Heritage of Litchfield County, Connecticut, and led several tours of sites associated with the Village Revivals that spawned the Second Great Awakening in New England. In his spare time, you are likely to find Ed at the piano or pecking out a blog on his blog page

One thought on “Do We Have a Need to be in Need?”

  1. Well said Dr. E! I find many folks (myself included) allowing the line between our wants and our needs to get fuzzy, thus confusing some about whether God will meet what they feel their needs are.


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