By Allen White
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Banks and investment firms have changed their tune in the last couple of years. Rather than promising to make us rich, their commercials encourage us to live richly. Interpretation: These are lean times. Tighten your belt. Plan ahead. Don’t blame your banker. After all, the best things in life are free, especially when you’re broke.
But, we can have certainty in uncertain times if our hope is in God. God is always there for us (Psalm 139:7-10). God will provide for all of our needs (Genesis 22:14). God has a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11). God will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Heaven and earth will one day disappear, but God’s Word will remain forever (Mark 13:31). We can trust in His promises (Deuteronomy 7:9, GW). We can take all of this to the bank, so to speak.
But, if we put our hope in wealth, then how is our hope doing these days? “I hope this economy turns around soon. I hope I can make payroll this week. I hope I win the lottery.” Wealth doesn’t care about you. Wealth isn’t looking out for your best interest. Wealth doesn’t care how hard you’ve worked or how well you’ve planned. It comes and it goes. God remains forever.
The test is not to trust God in lean times. When our net worth is becoming a darker shade of red ink, we have no choice but to trust in God. But, what happens to us when the economy does turn around? Will we trust God as much when we’re fat and happy?
The issue is not whether we have wealth or not. The issue is where we put our trust. We can actually have no money and still trust in wealth to save us. It looks more like worry and ulcers than success, but it is trust in wealth alone.
Trust in God produces peace, even when peace doesn’t make any sense at all (Philippians 4:6-7). When we give our worries to God, He gives us His peace – even though we have no right to feel peaceful about our situation.
God doesn’t want our money. And, He certainly doesn’t care much for our tipping. God wants you and me. If wealth stands in the way, God will eliminate wealth. If sin stands in the way, God will make us miserable enough to seek Him and forsake sin. If health and strength stand in our way, then God will allow weakness into our lives until we learn that God’s grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Don’t take these statements as a threat. God is not some neurotic megalomaniac that demands our love. God wants to have first place in our lives (Matthew 6:33). He wants the relationship that we were designed to have with Him. Nothing in this world can compare to God’s love for us.
What do you find yourself thinking about the most these days? What is your number one worry? How does God fit into the picture? Whether you find yourself fat and happy or skinny and miserable, give your worries to God and ask Him for His peace in your life. He won’t disappoint you.
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