Many today seek the idol of money for their assurance of a bright, rewarding future. They depend upon wealth to provide not only security but joy, peace, and deliverance. When you examine the truth about massive wealth, I am sure you will find it associated with corruption, lust, deceit, and excessive and unjust power, things that are only temporal, that, in the light of eternity, have no lasting power or benefit. What drives a corrupt, ineffective government to become even more corrupt and ineffective? What can take the love of man for mankind, and turn it into resentment and even hate quicker than greed or covetousness? When you study the lives of affluent men in this world who have given their lives to a holy God, you will see that they have also given the control of their wealth to Him. In a worldly sense, wealth can also be a god, and many men of this world have allowed money to rule over them. It becomes a shame when man allows the monetary blessings of God to overrule the power and will of God for their life. That is why so many of God’s family go through life without experiencing many of the blessings or favors that God wants to give them. God truly wants to bless His children, but He will not allow those things of the world to come between Him and His children. He knows what is best for us, and He will not burden us with those things that are ready to destroy and defeat us. I have been made aware of those who have gained massive wealth through games of chance or the lottery. Many have said later in their life, that gaining that wealth did not make their lives any more successful or less stressful, but only succeeded in compounding their problems. Some have even said that they were happier and more content before they became rich, and some have cursed that day and said they wish it had never occurred. You may say that most people who inherit or win great wealth are happy and content for doing so; but, no matter the case, if they are not caused to grow and to mature by gaining that wealth, their inheritance has not been beneficial. It is disheartening to see how so many spend every waking hour of their existence dreaming for something they do not have; and, in most cases, will never obtain. What a waste of valuable time coveting the improbable, when you could have used that time doing something constructive or truly beneficial. It is not a sin to dream about something you do not have or have not experienced, but to continually waste your valuable time doing things that have no eternal value is spiritually foolish and destructive. Spending time doing things to make your world a better place, or in helping a friend through a difficult time, is far more rewarding than any worldly profit you may acquire. God will honor our giving to the poor and needy, but our financial attainment, in most cases, will gain no further reward. To gain in the spiritual realm, means riches or rewards that continually go on giving, while in the material realm, they are only short-lived gains. If enormous wealth is the perpetuator of true happiness and contentment, why are so many wealthy people depressed and demoralized? When talking to a wealthy man one day, I asked him, what more he aspired to achieve. The answer was, “One more dollar!” It seems that, in the lives of most individuals, all is never enough, and they end up sacrificing everything sacred for the trivialities of this world. We are to be thankful for what God has given us, and find daily contentment in His eternal presence in our lives. God has promised to meet our daily needs. What else is there that we really need? “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”, Philippians 4:10-11
If we do not have the peace of God in our soul, we will never be truly at peace with our earthly condition. God is the only one who can give us those things we truly need, and, in His deep love and desire, He wishes to provide for us. The true wealth of this world is in finding God as our hope and provider. As we continually place our trust in Him, He will make us to know the true joy that only He can provide. Life can be simple, and life can be rewarding, if we just give everything to Him, and allow Him to supply that eternal peace He has promised. The problems and difficulties in life often arise when we place a barrier between God’s eternal goodness and ourselves. Holding on to those temporal things that we deem as necessary minimizes our faith and halts Gods continual blessings. Sometimes wealth can prove to be a blessing, but only when it is handled appropriately. Contrary to popular belief, God never said that money was evil. His only statement was that the love of money was the beginning or the primary introduction into those things that are corrupt and destructive. “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10). God Himself has promised great wealth to those who honor and espouse His principals. Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth forever. Psalm 112:1-3
I heard it said, by a so-called psychologist, that gaining enormous wealth will not make you something you are not; it will only make you become more of what you already are. That is to say, if you are a generous individual, you will become more giving, while if you are miserly, you will only hoard the more. If this is true, how is it that the gaining of wealth is to be considered as life changing and altering? God truly will bless His children when they are obedient. He will see that all their needs are being met. To doubt this fact is to deny God’s promise and sincerity. Don’t you know that God has blessed you with much so that you can, in turn, share those blessings with others? When you do, don’t you know that you’re only giving it back to Him? “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:20-21). I once knew a family that had amassed great wealth and possessions. They were kind, considerate people, hospitable and caring. Even though they had been blessed with many belongings, they were not made comfortable or fulfilled by them. One of their possessions was a house that in earthly terms would be considered truly magnificent. I can remember one day being invited over to meet them, and was truly impressed when I got to enter. The house was truly impressive; but, when I found out that they refused to live in it, but rather chose to live in the basement that was unfinished and barely adequate, I was astonished. It was not my place to judge; but I begin to wonder what good their wealth was affording them. Having what some people would consider a mansion and not being willing to make it your home to me seemed foolish and wasted.
The uncertainty of the times might cause us to question God’s ability to provide, but God’s power has not been diminished, and His desire for His children is that they become willing to exercise their faith in Him. In your true expression of love for your family, do you not desire to give? Do you not desire to see that those you love are not forced to live without? The act of charity is truly an attempt at gaining real joy and fulfillment. What man, having plenty, can find true satisfaction or fulfillment in what he has over what he can accomplish by sharing? I would say in my heart that a man who has no intention of sharing is truly miserable. True satisfaction never has to say, “Look at me.” To gain happiness and contentment, one must only look into the thriving, unblemished part of their inner spirit. When you have done or are doing something that makes you happy and fulfilled, that fulfillment was not given because of what others thought, but because you knew that your actions were unselfish and needed. “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8). We cannot out-give God, but if our actions are to be applauded, it should seem to others that we, in all humbleness, are attempting to give as God gives. He has called our attention to the widow’s mite, instead of to the large offerings of the affluent. His blessings are for those who give out of a loving, tender heart, instead of a show of arrogance and pride. And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, “Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Mark 12:41-44
True, sacrificial giving is an affair of the heart and will not go unnoticed or unrewarded. God will not only bless the giving heart with His abundance, but He will shower His peace and joy upon it. Money put to the good of humanity is not only beneficial but is also necessary. While on earth, there are many instances where we need money to survive, but there has never been and will never be an instance where money played a part in obtaining our eternal security. True salvation comes only through the ardent love of a gracious God, provided by the redeeming blood of a willing Savior. It can never be obtained by any price other than that price Christ paid on the cross. The purchase price of our salvation was paid by Jesus, the holy Son of God, and is given to humanity as a gift of His eternal undying love. Jesus might have died, but His willingness and ability to provide for our salvation did not. The only wealth involved in our salvation was that wealth in the person of God’s Son. For the wealth of this world to be compared to Him means that we here on earth are extremely poor and are in total need of His assistance. Life without Him is exceedingly worthless and empty, and worldly wealth cannot replace or substitute for His presence. To have it all does not mean that we must be financially elite, but to possess many worldly treasures, and not have Him, does place us in the realm of the needy. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26
By far the most important bit of information that you will ever possess while on this earth will not pertain to the stock market or the lottery. It will be where you will be spending eternity. What will it really matter, whether you win the lottery or the stock market goes up or down, when you don’t even know, spiritually speaking, whether you are going up or down? Just as you are furious when the market takes a plunge, you should become even more enraged about the possible plummeting of your eternal soul. A large bank account or a magnificent portfolio does not determine the true value of life; the spirit of God that reigns inside of you will determine it. True wealth is spiritual, and it will last for eternity. Earthly wealth has little value because you cannot take it with you when you leave this earth. Think about it. The devil doesn’t even want it. He only wants your soul. Why do you suppose Satan, the enemy, makes so many people lust for wealth? Could it be that he is causing them to make wealth their god instead of trusting in the only God who can give them what they really need? Truly, this world has many gods. If you look closely into the life of any individual, you will see that they worship something, someone. They have made something in their life a priority, something they are willing to sacrifice everything to possess or indulge themselves in. Wanting to give value to your existence is not a sin, but to gain that importance or value from any source other than the One who created you is sinful. Jesus is the only One who can give a soul the peace it is searching for. He is the only One who can provide those things that we truly need. Money will never buy your way into heaven or out of hell, but you can be assured you will go one place or the other. When you look at money with spiritual eyes, of what true value is it?
I would not be entirely honest if I did not admit that I have had this same struggle, the struggle of my earthly wealth and God’s willingness and ability to provide. From the time I was born until this present time, I have never had a moment when I did not need to depend upon God for my daily needs. This bill is due. That situation must be resolved. Where is it all going to come from? I know now the answer has always been the same, but when I was growing up, it didn’t seem that simple. There is only one source for it all. Wealth in any capacity, material or spiritual, must come from God. We talk about the complexities of life when, in truth, life is never as complex as we allow it to become. When I say I need this, I must consider, do I really need it, or is it just a passing fancy? If it is a need, then God has promised to provide it. I need to give it to Him and trust that He will do as He has said. When you think of God, you must think of Him in all that He is, not just what you need Him to be at the moment He is needed. God must be many things, but no matter what He is, He will do it much better than you or I. If you allowed God to become your banker, do you think you would ever do without? You have given Him the control of all your physical wealth. God is now your banker, but He is also your provider; your sustainer; and, most importantly, your Heavenly Father. Wow! How can it get any better than that? You can now sleep at night knowing that everything is all right. You have given it all to the Lord. As I ponder what to write next, I am given this thought. Maybe we do not need to ask God to provide us with wealth as much as ask Him to make us good stewards of what He has already given to us. In every facet of our lives, there is this thing called personal responsibility. I have known many in life who put their wants before their responsibilities, and God will not be held accountable for our misjudgments. When God has kept His promise, we should be willing to do what He has required. We must distinguish between wants and needs, greed and necessities. If God has chosen to be honest and faithful to us, and He has, do you not think He will require the same in return? Taking advantage of a friendship or misusing our blessings can never be considered using wisdom. Do you not think that God demands discretion and responsibility in all that we do? God wants to be everything to His children, but like our salvation, it must be something that we sincerely ask of Him. And I say unto you, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Luke 11:9-10
Everything God does is for our betterment, but until you are willing to view things the way God intends for you to view them, your soul will never be satisfied. Why not take that time you spend in doubting His Word and get to know Him better? Get to know Him for who He really is. There will always be trials in life, but there will never be a problem when you see God in His completeness and realize that all He has done was for your good and your salvation. Do not listen to what the people of this world have to say if it goes against God’s Word, because if you do, you will only begin questioning the One to whom you should be listening. When God created the earth, many articles of His creation possessed worldly wealth. It was never His intention that we take our eyes off of Him and value His creation more. He is the true wealth of life. He is the one who gives us what we truly need. He is and will always be our only security.