God's Work Never Lacks God's Supplies :: Gospel Fellowship Association Missions

God's Work Never Lacks God's Supplies

Forrest McPhail
4:09 read

Hudson Taylor, the well-known and loved missionary to China, was a man of exceptional faith. He saw God do many amazing things throughout his life. His stories are riveting to read. God taught him deeply through these experiences about His ability to provide. Hudson wrote:

Depend on it. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. He is too wise a God to frustrate His purposes for lack of funds, and He can just as easily supply them ahead of time as afterwards, and He much prefers doing so.1

God provides for His people. As we generously serve Him, we have this promise: “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, NKJV).

God provides for those who serve Him in gospel ministry. If He has called us to do a work for Him, He will sustain us in that work. Gospel ministry often calls us to a reliance upon God for our needs in a special way, and God is fully capable to provide for those He calls. He is supplying needs for many gospel servants throughout the world this very day.

While God’s provisions are not usually dramatic, sometimes they are. We need reminders that God can supply needs in any way He wants—that He is not bound to provide in ways we foresee.

Growth of Our Souls

When Jennifer and I began to travel to churches and raise support to go to Cambodia as missionaries, we had nothing. The Lord knew we needed to go much deeper in our dependence upon Him. He began that deepening work, and I would like to share a few of those testimonies.

When we were married, we made two commitments to the Lord: (1) We would always tithe from our earnings, no matter what our circumstances, and (2) We would never buy daily necessities on credit. Little did we know how often these commitments would be tested!

The Lord led us to a ministry devoted to housing missionaries, a place to use as a home base as we traveled to churches. Several families were living in trailers around the property then. God has since provided duplex homes to replace those original trailers. We paid no rent, just utilities, which was a wonderful provision of the Lord. The stories I will share come from that time.

I’m not sure when we will leave.

It was Saturday morning. We needed to drive to a church several hours away. We had no cash and no money in the bank. Our car did not have enough gas to get us where we needed to go. We couldn’t leave under such circumstances. Forced to stay home but packed and ready to go, we waited for the Lord to somehow provide. We told no one of our dilemma.

We just sat there in our trailer and prayed and waited. A missionary friend and neighbor came over to chat in the yard. After a while he said, “When are you guys leaving this morning?” I replied, “I’m not sure yet.” He went back home. Sometime later, this brother came back and knocked on the door. He gave me some cash, telling me the Lord had laid it upon his heart to give it to us. We left shortly thereafter. That greatly blessed our souls.

You overpaid.

Another time we were in almost the same circumstance: no money, nothing in the bank, and not enough gas in the tank to drive far. We could not leave for our meeting until the Lord provided somehow. Again, we told no one.

We did not know how we were going to be able to leave. I was out on the property doing something. I heard my name called, turned, and saw the director of the property heading my way. He told me that we overpaid for our utilities from the month before and that he wanted to give me what we overpaid! It was enough to get us to where we needed to go. Praise the Lord! We could not have guessed how God would provide.

Cash on the steering wheel

One Wednesday night, when we had no scheduled meeting to attend, I felt very burdened to visit a newly supporting church about an hour-and-a-half drive away. Again, we had no resources. If I recall correctly, special meetings were being held at the church that week.

I drove out to the church and enjoyed fellowship there. Knowing the gas tank was dangerously low, I had prayed much about the Lord helping me get home. I walked out to the parking lot and arrived at our car. I found it unlocked, which was very strange. Being from the suburbs of Chicago, I rarely forgot to lock my car! I got in and put my hand on the steering wheel—a $20 bill was folded across the top of the wheel! I thanked the Lord and went directly to buy a burger for supper and use the rest for gas. 

How is your car?

After a missions conference in Indiana, our car died. Dead. Not only this, but we had to leave it behind to get assessed by a mechanic as we went on to our next meeting. Our family of three needed to fly that day to a meeting in California. Someone helped us get the car to the mechanic and took us to the airport. The church where we were going had paid for the airfare for which we were most grateful.

We did not yet know anyone there personally, including the pastor. We arrived at the church building for the missions conference and found the pastor waiting for us. After greeting us, one of the first things he asked was, “What is your car situation like?” I said, “Why do you ask?” He said that the church wanted to help us with any car problems we might have. After we told him the state of our vehicle back in Indiana, the church committed to pay for all needed repairs! We were dumbfounded. What a tremendous answer to prayer. Again, we had told no one nor given any previous indication to this pastor of our need. God moved his heart to ask that specific question.

Lessons learned.

For these stretching experiences, we are very grateful. The memories of His provision have sustained us time and time again as we have faced other needs.

Not all of God’s provisions are dramatic or make good stories. Most of the time God’s provision comes through the common things of life, like working hard, saving, or God directing specific details to arrange for our needs to be met. However, we do need to be reminded that God can and does sometimes provide in amazing ways.

God rules over all. He seems to delight in providing for His children in ways we cannot foresee to encourage them to trust in Him. His provision may come in ways we don’t expect. God may provide differently than we assume, but He will provide. Our God is worthy of our trust.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV).

This article was originally published on Rooted Thinking.

1 There are many books and articles written about Taylor. My favorite two books are Hudson Taylor in Early Years: The Growth of a Soul by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor and A Retrospect by James Hudson Taylor.