If you listen to a lot of preachers on TV, the answer to the above question is obvious: Of course he wants you rich! And if you’re not, then there’s something wrong with your faith. If you went back a few hundred years, a lot of Christian leaders held the exact opposite viewpoint. Jesus wants every believer to live in poverty, just taking enough for our basic needs like food, clothing and shelter. As you might've guessed, the biblical answer is a bit more complicated.
Job certainly knew both the extremes, and as we noticed before, he had exactly the right attitude towards all his possessions. Paul did as well, as we read in today’s passage. No matter what circumstances he found himself in, he had contentment. But this was not something that just dropped out of the blue: he'd “learned” to be content, so it was a process.
Remember what God’s ultimate purpose for me is? No matter what I need, that’s what God will bring into my life in order to make me more like Christ. If what I need is a million dollars in my bank account, then that’s what I’ll get. Regrettably, that’s usually not what I need. What I need is to learn to depend upon my Father, and that usually means I go through some hardship.
What type of God is he, anyway? Is he stingy and tight-fisted, doling out blessings with an eye-dropper, grudgingly giving me things like some miserly Uncle Scrooge? Does the God of the Bible strike you that way? If so, I think you need to read it again. He loves to give good things to his children. Doesn’t every good father? Listen to the words of our elder Brother: “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Again, the problem is that my definition of “good” and my Father’s definition of “good” can be quite different. He has a higher purpose for me than my comfort level. I just need to trust him. And if his thinking and my thinking are different, then it’s my thinking that needs to change.
Lord Jesus, I do trust you, but I need to trust you more. Please, I want to grow up to be just like you.
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