Monday, April 11, 2011

For Richer or Poorer?

Why is it that we put so much hope in money? We dream about winning the lottery. We fantasize about how we would spend our sudden fortune to make our lives more comfortable, or even how we would bless the people we love if we only had vast riches at our disposal.

But ask yourself this question, "What is the quality of life that we dream of having if we only had such great wealth?" Obviously, if you or I had millions of dollars in the bank we would have all that we need right now. We would have no fears about tomorrow. We would be able to rest comfortably and enjoy our lives completely. Such is the fantasy we imagine enjoying "if only" we had great wealth.

However, Jesus confidently assures us that, if we will change our perspective, we can enjoy exactly the same sort of life right this very minute. He tells us that we already have all that we need for our life today. God has already provided each of us with our daily bread. Just as God cares for the daily needs of sparrows, He cares even more for us.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" - Matthew 6:25-26

Jesus also tells us that we do not need to worry about tomorrow. Why? Because God has everything - absolutely everything - under complete and perfect control.

"So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:31-34

Of course, if God is in control, that means that you and I are not. This is what most of us really struggle with. We're not too concerned about God being in control, but we don't like it when we're totally out of control. But we can't have it both ways. If God is in control, we are not. That's why trusting God is so important. Without trust, we are filled with anxiety and strife. But if we can let go of everything and trust that God is good, that He really loves us, and that He really only wants us best for us, then trusting Him is the only response that makes sense.

So, who is the truly rich person? Isn't it the person who has all they need right now and who has no fear or anxiety about tomorrow?

If you and I are true disciples of Jesus, then we have all that we need for today, and we have no cause for worry or anxiety about tomorrow. Our Heavenly Father has given you all you need for today, and He has tomorrow under complete control too.

According to Jesus, the wealth of this world does not compare to the "true riches" of the Kingdom of God. Seek first His Kingdom and do whatever you have to do to obtain it, because the Kingdom of God is worth more than anything - and everything - you currently possess.

"So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?" - Jesus (Luke 16:11)

Thank you, Lord, that I have all I need for today and tomorrow is under control.

"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

-kg

2 comments:

Alan Knox said...

Keith,

This is a great reminder of the fleeting satisfaction that comes from money (or really, anything or anyone besides Jesus Christ). Whenever I find myself discontent (and it still happens much too often), I try to remind myself of Hebrews 13:5: Be content with such things as you have; for he himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Such is the key to contentment: God is with me; what else do I need?

-Alan

Traeshawn said...

For me it's more of maybe too much attachment to what I presently have and see. Trusting God can be scary, at least to me, I've never had food delivered to me from the mouth of a Bird, or been led to a brook. Everything comes from my refrigerator using the money from a paycheck, although only by his provision. It's the lingering doubt, FULLY trusting God is new to a lot of people and it can seem quite terrifying I think because you can't see tomorrow. I don't I'm rambling. Thought Provoking read.