Sunday, May 22, 2011

Generosity Amidst Poverty

Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity
II Corinthians 8:2

This verse always stuns me...severe trial, extreme poverty...overflowing joy and rich generosity.  Those phrases just don't fit together, do they?  In God's economy they do.  Here we live in the richest nation that has ever existed in the history of mankind and people grumble and complain about not having enough. 

Our problems are due to our excesses {obesity, heart disease, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.}, not our lack of anything. All our needs are met, but not all of our wants, so there is deep dissatisfaction.  Very sad...

Maybe our true lack is spiritual.  People are running around trying to fill that emptiness with stuff, experiences, pleasures, food, etc. but it leaves them empty.  God is the only one that can fill that emptiness.  He makes all things new.  When we have Him, we have everything.  Let Him fill you up and you won't leave hungry or thirsty anymore. Out of you will flow rivers of living water so you can refresh others with true life whether you are rich or poor materially. 

You can also be generous with your food, time, and stuff even when you have very little, because you do reap what you sow. He wants us to be generous. He owns everything.  He is our provider and sustainer.  When we have little materially and we still are generous with it, that is when we see what an amazing provider the Lord is and how He keeps His promises.

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Acts 20:35