The Uncertainty of Riches

September 15, 2017 0 Comments

The Apostle Paul, in I Tim. 6:17 writes: Command those who are rich in this world not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy".

Ah, yes--uncertain riches. If there is anything we can learn from these last two devastating hurricanes, it is this: Everything we have worked for our whole lives can be taken away from us in an instant of time. Think of all those thousands of people in Texas and in Florida that lost their homes and everything in them. I can't imagine the awful pain and sense of loss these folks must be suffering from.

Truly, our material possessions are fleeting, aren't they? Jesus said the same when He warned: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break in and steal". In this case, the thieves were named Harvey and Irma.

Don't get me wrong here. There's nothing wrong with having nice things--a nice home, nice furniture, a nice car, etc. Some of the most godly people I know have been blessed abundantly by God with material "things". The Bible isn't telling us that we shouldn't have these things, it is telling us not to TRUST in these things. There is a big difference.

In the Old Testament, Job, a faithful man who feared God and shunned evil, lost all his earthly possessions in one day due to a violent windstorm. Satan was testing his devotion to God. After having lost everything, Job gave this remarkable testimony: "Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord." He is the sublime example of having a truly Christian outlook in the face of devastating loss.

Who (or what) are we trusting in? Is it the material things of this life, or are we trusting completely in God whether we have much or little by way of earthly possessions? The Bible tells us that at the end of the Tribulation there will be a collapse of the entire world's economy (called the Fall of Babylon). People will be weeping and wailing over the fact that all their money has disappeared so quickly. "For in one hour such great riches came to nothing"! (See Rev. 18:17). Harvey and Irma are nothing compared to the devastation that is coming to the world's financial markets at the end of the Tribulation.

Yes, there are some sobering lessons we can learn from these recent hurricanes (other than making sure you have flood insurance). First, realize everything you have is a gift from God, and it is temporarily given to you to enjoy (see I Tim. 6:17 again). Second, make sure you are living for the Lord, and not for the mere accumulation of wealth. Third, trust in God. He will be there for you a thousand years from now, after your bank account is long gone. And finally, do what you can to help those in need. My niece is married to a man who works for Franklin Graham's *Samaritan's Purse" and he is in charge of the logistics of shipping food, water, and medical supply containers around the world to victims of earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. Get involved in ministering to others who are hurting, and God will bless you for it.

Richard Seefried
Harrisonburg, VA
Richard Seefried has a Master’s Degree in Christian Ministry, and is licensed & certified by the NCCA as a clinical pastoral counselor.