3 He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
Despite all of His promises to provide for His sons and daughters, there are going to be seasons wherein God does not provide – where they may even be lack. But this is not because God is unfaithful or indifferent. Neither is it necessarily because we are
doing anything wrong. It may be because God has to chastise us as those whom He loves – to bring us to where He can freely bless us materially for our spiritual health.
God has wrapped up all things He has for us – material and spiritual – in His Son. Generally, material provision comes along as we live from out of Christ as our life; as the source of all spiritual provision. But who among us has any idea what that really means – at least in the beginning? If God simply provided for our material needs abundantly we would never know anything about spiritual life in Christ. We would not truly rely upon God – and might even come to expect and demand from Him. Thus, God may, “suffer us to hunger,” so that we may come to know what it really means to seek first His kingdom and live from out of Christ.
If we can live from Christ and trust God even when His material provision is not flowing – if we can live NOT by bread alone, but on the basis of His life – then God can eventually provide for us and it will not undermine His spiritual purpose.