What truly matters is not our financial investments here on earth, but the awesome fact that He has invested in us.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
2 CORINTHIANS 5: 1
Ever worry about money?
Okay, let’s try again.
As an adult, do we ever NOT worry about money?
The news, our mailbox, our spouses, our checkbooks, our ATM, the Internet, our e-mail: Life is constantly bombarding us with reminders of our financial frailty.
House payments. Gas prices. Maxed out credit cards. Sinking stocks. Layoffs. Failing businesses. Nations on the brink.
Investment professionals are calling the years since 2000 the “lost decade.” These trying times of financial collapse and corruption have served as a painful reminder of what the Bible clearly teaches:
Do not store up your treasures here on earth where moths and rust can destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
For many of us Christians, we found ourselves drifting in the weeds, chasing straw fortunes while all the time, we were already bathed in eternal riches. For we are inheritors of an investment that is 100% guaranteed to provide maximum returns–forever. With this certitude in hand, shouldn’t our every breath reflect the joy of gratitude?
The “earthly tent” the Apostle Paul is referring in this letter to the people of Corinth is our human bodies–our lives here in the world. He reinforces what Jesus shared with us that as Believers in Him we have an eternal house in heaven waiting for us following our relatively brief time here on this planet.
We should be reveling in this extraordinary promise and yet God takes things one amazing step further:
Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 CORINTHIANS 5: 5 (Emphasis added)
Not only are we guaranteed eternal riches, but the deposit has already been paid as a pledge of what lies ahead! A Comforter. A Guide to help us through the difficulties of our days here before the time of glory.
So do we confront the challenges before us with a glow of confidence? Are we shining beacons on the crest of the hill?
The honest answer for most of us is we have entangled ourselves in the worries of the moment. As we become more distracted, more burdened by our circumstances we fall short of our divine purpose. Without depending solely on God to provide our needs, we begin to go through a progressive cycle of despair.
Even the wealthiest people in the world are going to encounter times when their financial well being is threatened. Just ask Rupert Murdoch. It’s natural for us to be alarmed when we get behind in our payments or financial stresses enter into the fray. The question is: How do we respond? Do we turn to God for answers or do we continue in our worldly ways, digging ourselves a deeper hole?
As we try to solve matters by pressing further in our own strength and depending on the wisdom of the world, we begin to feel defeated and lose hope. We find ourselves depressed anytime we think about our situation, and we become angry.
It started as a challenge we were meant to face through prayer and by turning to God. But in our stubbornness and trying to handle matters our own way, it has spun out of control and is now an obsession. We can’t sleep without thinking about our finances and we are in a constant state of queasiness.
As the pattern continues, it leads to a place where it turns to ugliness. We become bitter, resentful and issue blame to God and anyone but ourselves. We destroy the relationships around us.
Worry is a disease that slowly cripples. The answer is putting our faith in God.
For many people, there are no easy solutions to getting out of debt and escaping the crushing burdens of finances. It can take years of discipline, a radically changed lifestyle, grace from debtors and a commitment to a much simpler, contented life.
But through all of these storms, we should never lose sight of what is of the utmost importance. The longer we cripple ourselves with worry, the less effective we are in our witness to others. In essence, we’re surrendering to the enemy. Paul explains this clearly:
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
2 CORINTHIANS 5: 6-10
We don’t live for here. We live for there. And it’s through relying on the strength of that promise, that heavenly deposit, we are called to shine and proclaim that guarantee to others.
For what truly matters is not our financial investments here on earth, but the awesome fact that He has invested in us.
And that is cause for true joy and celebration.
Looking for more from Michael K Reynolds? You might also enjoy The Evil of Applesauce?
Michael K. Reynolds is a writer with more than two decades of experience in crafting fiction, non-fiction, journalism, copywriting and documentary production. He is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency. He is the author of a series of Irish historical novels published by B&H Publishing Group. These highly acclaimed books are available in bookstores and libraries across the nation and beyond.