"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." (1 Timothy 6:17)
Joanna looked at her dinner and tried to be thankful for it. The soup smelled like dirty socks, and the bread was crusty. Just once it would be nice to have enough money to go out to eat, or to have dessert – maybe chocolate cream pie! She elbowed her brother Joel, who was sitting next to her, and whispered, "Will you eat my bread?"
Joel looked at her like he thought she was crazy! He had already decided that his soup and bread was really a wonderful banquet. He knew that there are many children in other places who do not have any food, or who have no family with whom to enjoy a meal. Compared to them, Joel felt like a rich man, and he knew he had God to thank for that soup and bread.
God knows what we need. He is also powerful enough to provide anything He wants to provide for us. Sometimes He gives us what we think we need or want; sometimes He does not. Sometimes, He has us wait for a while before He answers our prayers.
Joanna and Joel had the same soup and bread set before them. Did you notice that they responded differently to the same provision? Joel remembered that, ultimately, his food was a gift from God, and he was able to be thankful. Joanna tried to be thankful, but all she could focus on was what she wanted but could not have. Joanna thought she deserved a little better, and she forgot how blessed she was.
This verse in Timothy warns us that our trust should not be in God's gifts but in God Himself. He provides what we need – physically and spiritually. Joel and Joanna did not have a king's dinner served to them, but they had enough to eat, and they had enough to praise the God who provides. We may not always have what we want, but we always have what we need in order to glorify God.
We do not need anyone or anything else as much as we need God. Is God what you need to be truly happy? Or are you depending on earthly treasures to make you happy? Do not trust in "uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy."
Whether you need food to eat, or a grateful heart to help you eat your food, God can provide what you need. Rejoice in God's provision, and trust in God. He always provides what you need to be able to rejoice in Him.
God provides what we need in order to glorify Him as we should.
» Should I change how I think about God's gifts?
» What should I do when I need something only God can give?
Truth In Real Life
Emily Chubbuck Judson
“Time and eternity are here.”
Emily Chubbuck was born in New York on August 22. Being part of a very poor family, Emily was forced to work in the mills by the time she was twelve years old. She wanted to learn as much as she could, however, so she went to school during the winter and she worked during the summer – leaving no extra time to be a “normal kid.” She became a teacher when she was just fifteen years old.
When she wasn’t working her other jobs, Emily found that writing was one of her favorite things to do. She enjoyed writing and publishing books for children. She was especially good at writing poetry and wrote under the pen name – or “pretend name” – of “Fanny Forrester.” Her Sunday School books were a big help to Christians around the world.
Everything she did was for God and for her family.
The missionary Adoniram Judson – whose wife Sarah had recently died – heard about Emily and asked her to write Sarah’s biography. Emily wrote the book, and the authoress and the missionary developed a special friendship. Judson ended up marrying her later that year. They returned to the mission field of Burma where Emily served Jesus Christ alongside her husband. She might have become famous for her writing and made a lifelong name for herself, had she not chosen to go to the mission field instead.
Later in his life, Adoniram Judson got very sick and he left on a boat to get medical help. He died on the boat and it took four months for Emily to get the news that her husband was not coming home. She continued to work and pray, trusting that God would take care of her all the time.
Emily often spoke about the importance of using her talents for Jesus Christ. She genuinely desired for God to use her talents to spread the Gospel.
What talents and gifts has God given you that could be used in God’s work?
Colossians 3:23 – And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.