Are you putting your hope in God, not wealth?
While most want to live a comfortable life without financial worries, be very careful that ‘all your stuff’ doesn’t become what defines you. Seek first the kingdom of God. Strive to build and maintain a Christian character which allows you to accept life’s storms, knowing who’s truly in control. God.
Placing your hope in wealth, not God, is not spiritually wise. At best material things might give you some temporary happiness. Do you know anyone who is permanently happy? I don’t. Your financial satisfaction can be hindered in the blink of an eye. A job loss, an illness, or a pandemic can change your life dramatically in a matter of a few months.
- To put it simply, your Pastor not your tax accountant or banker, is a better advisor on what really matters in the life (and afterlife) of a Christian.
Your joy on Earth and your eternal salvation relies on being a God-fearing man or woman. Remember, however wealthy you are when you perish you surely can’t take anything you possess with you! Moreover, when it comes time to go to the Pearly Gates, those of low or average wealth are not worst off than the extremely rich. If you follow the scripture below (Matthew 19, 1 Timothy 6) the wealthy can fare poorly in achieving eternal salvation; they’re often ‘camels’ trying to squeeze through the tiny eye of a needle. Your relationship with the Lord is all that matters.
- Do you have an effectual prayer life? Do you pray for others often or just for yourself? Do you study your Bible more than once a week?
WHO gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose?
- The Bible (Matthew 6, Ecclesiastes 2) tells us you can “trade the things you can’t keep (your life, your money, your possessions) for the things you can’t lose (eternal life, righteousness, a relationship with God).” (Weekly Wisdom, May 11, 2020, Christianity.com).
- The key to not being flummoxed by this conundrum lies, I feel, in studying and manifesting the principles in these two chapters.
Seek first God’s Kingdom and know that living a God-centered life puts you on a trajectory of perfect peace, Christian assurance, occasional happiness, and eternal life. Constant happiness, a life with no trials or troubles, is a fantasy. If it were an achievable reality, I suspect there’d be fewer people sitting in church pews on Sunday morning.
- Study Romans 8 and Psalms 34 closely to understand what a Christian can expect.
- The article cited above expressed it this way: ‘Only a fool gives up what he can’t keep to gain what he can’t lose’.
To God be the glory.
- Ecclesiastes 2:1-2,9-11 (NIV)
- Matthew 6:21 (KJV)
- Matthew 6:33-34 (NIV)
- Matthew 19:24 (KJV)
- 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21 (KJV)
And again, I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:24 KJV
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 6:33-34 (NIV)
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 (NIV).
I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?”. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; Nothing was gained under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:1-2,9-11 (NIV)
Photo credits: Jerry Worster/flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), Cross
Chris Smith/flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), Choose Wisely