"To Be Full and To Be Hungry"
Songs In the Night
Songs In the Night
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3).
God's promise of abundant provision presently involves overflowing supply related primarily to the heart, and to the "life and godliness" whereby He enables us to honor the Lord Jesus Christ in all things. Earthly blessings are certainly included in such grace, but not to the degree of "all spiritual blessings."
The Apostle Paul confirmed this truth in his testimony of contentment declared to the Philippians: "I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry" (Philippians 4:12). The Paul who so well knew the power and promise of Christ's gospel discovered no assurance that a full purse will accompany our earthly sojourn. A full heart experienced in both abundance and hunger instead comprises our Lord's present provision.
While presenting a great challenge, this way of Christ known in every contingency actually offers opportunity to experience the power of God in greater measure than a purse always full might provide. Indeed, it is one thing to know the joy of the Lord Jesus when all is well, and the coffers are overflowing. It is quite another to know that same joy when all seems wayward, and bare cupboards present themselves to empty bellies. We require a far greater presence and and experience of God's power in the latter contingency. This raises the question of conviction regarding how we perceive the Lord Jesus. Is He able to fill and fulfill our hearts in all things? Do we believe He possesses such ability?
In both doctrine and anecdote, the Bible affirms a heart filling and fulfilling Savior regarding every contingency and possibility life involves. Moreover, the history of the church records countless testimonies of a cup that "runneth over" even when cupboards are bare (Psalm 23:5). From venues of want, loss, pain, imprisonment, and illness, songs of praise and thanksgiving somehow ascend in the darkness unto the throne of God. The Lord Jesus ever meets His people as a "very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). In the hearts of those who respond in faith and submission, He composes "songs in the night" of our need (Job 35:10). We sing them, as led and enabled by the Holy Spirit, discovering a Christ so amazing that both fullness and hunger elicit grateful praise.
In eternity, we will not experience want of any kind. Presently, however, we will. The former blessedness promises wonders beyond all imagining as God will one day away every tear wept because of earthly need. The latter, conversely, also offers wonders beyond all imagining, but known because of our tears and our needs. In this life, we discover glories of the Lord Jesus that cannot be known in Heavenly abundance. Let us therefore expect in this life to meet Him in empty as well as full cupboards, discovering His filling and fulfilling of our hearts by both.
"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. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
(II Corinthians 12:9-10)