Our newspapers and TV channels today are filled with endless reports on how hard times are. It seems like every problem on earth is being somehow traced back to the price of oil. One of the things I regularly pray is that God would use difficult times like these to cause people to trust in him and not the uncertainty of riches.
While times of scarcity and pain are difficult, it’s often prosperity and success that is more dangerous for the spiritual life. One of the passages that we prayed through last Sunday was Deuteronomy 8, which warns the Israelites not to forget God when they enter the land of prosperity. The big danger of success is that we are tempted to take credit for things that really can only be credited to God. Here’s an excerpt from the text:
Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness…Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this 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.
May we be people that trust the Lord in the midst of difficulty and prosperity!