Saturday, 18 May 2013

DOES GOD CARE WHETHER WE MAKE A PROFIT?

James, a plumber in his 50’s, looks worried. “I should have saved up a lot of money when I was younger so I don’t have to face such problems now,” he moans. “I get called by the main contractor only when he has secured a contract.” Plumbing work is getting infrequent and irregular.

His dire financial situation is worsened by the fact he married late. He still has to support his daughter in secondary school. His son has just finished school; he is at his wits end trying to find ways and means to fund his higher education. Osteoarthritis of the knee has limited his ability to take in more jobs. Furthermore, long-term medication for the ailment is a drain on his meagre savings.

                                                                     


Is God’s wisdom only relevant in guiding us along the correct moral path? Has it no relevance to our finances? Doesn't God care for our financial well-being?

Why not? “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). His wisdom, guidance and blessings apply to every area of our lives. And that includes the creation of wealth, gaining favour in the eyes of our employers, how to run a profit-making business and how to effectively manage our personal finances.

In fact, strange as it may seem to some of us, God delights in helping His children make a profit:

Thus says the Lord,
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
I am the Lord your God,
    who teaches you to profit,
    who leads you in the way you should go.
(Isaiah 48:17).


Which father does not want his children to prosper in their jobs or businesses? “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!” (Matthew 7:11).

What He asks of us is that we are humble and willing to trust Him. Are willing to put Him first? Do we treasure God’s wisdom above our own understanding?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
(Proverbs 3:5-6).

If we realise He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, then we can better grasp the fact that God is the One who gives us the ability to generate wealth.

You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth,  that He may confirm His covenant that He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
(Deuteronomy 8:18).

Let us now move on to consider Psalm 37 which is power-packed with references related to our financial well-being.

In Psalm 37, we read that God promises to prosper the righteous if we trust Him (verse 3); if we are willing to wait patiently (verse 7) for Him to vindicate us. But we must forsake the negatives such as anger, fretting and envy over evil men who prosper (verses 7b-8).

The promises of security (verse 3), abundant prosperity (verse 11) and the right to possess the land (verses 9,11, 22, 29, 34) all tie in with the promise of material blessings for the faithful.

However, believers should not compare their wealth with that of evil men as “better is a little that the righteous has than the abundance of the wicked” (verse 16). Let’s be grateful for whatever God has blessed us. Enough is enough. Don’t be greedy. 

God supplies our needs (Philippians 4:19). Sometimes He fulfills some of our desires as well. In fact, one of the most quoted verses is Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

The righteous will not be put to shame during lean times (verse 19). He will be able to give generously (verse 21). Even his children will be a blessing to others (verse 26).

So let us meditate on God’s word, affirm the truth and cling on to His promises. The righteous is like a tree planted by streams of water, thriving and constantly bearing fruit because its roots go deep into the ground to draw water and nourishment:

Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
(Psalm 1:1-3).

RELATED POSTS

HOW TO ATTAIN FINANCIAL FREEDOM
How biblical principles can help us attain financial freedom

DOES FINANCIAL PLANNING NEGATE FAITH?
Financially speaking, is it wrong to plan for our retirement since we are supposed to live by faith?

DOING BUSINESS WITH A HEART
Can companies pursue profits and yet be socially responsible? How do we run our business in a way which honours God?


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