I have to be careful to not fall into the trap that anything I have is the result of something I have done. It is a dangerous way to think and Jesus challenges me to change my mind about that. Thinking and acting that way causes me to miss God’s goal for my life. I am getting clear on that.
If wealth makes a person proud, then he understands neither himself nor his wealth. “But you shall remember the Master your God; for it is He that gives you power to get wealth” (Deut. 8:18). We are not owners; we are stewards. If we have wealth, it is by the goodness of God and not because of any special merits on our part. The possessing of material wealth ought to humble a person and cause him to glorify God, not himself.
It is possible to be “rich in the world [age]” (1 Tim. 6:17) and be poor in the next. It is also possible to be poor in this world and rich in the next. Jesus talked about both. But a believer can be rich in this world and also rich in the next if he uses what he has to honor God. In fact, a person who is poor in this world can use even his limited means to glorify God and discover great reward in the next world.
Trust God, not wealth. The rich farmer in our Master’s parable thought that his wealth meant security, when really it was an evidence of insecurity. He was not really trusting God. Riches are uncertain, not only in their value (which changes constantly), but also in their durability. Thieves can steal wealth, investments can drop in value, and the ravages of time can ruin houses and cars. If God gives us wealth, we should trust Him, the Giver, and not the gifts.
Enjoy what God gives you. Yes, the word enjoy is in the Bible! In fact, one of the recurring themes in Ecclesiastes is, “Enjoy the blessings of life now, because life will end one day”. This is not sinful “hedonism,” living for the pleasures of life. It is simply enjoying all that God gives us for His glory.
- 1 Timothy 6:17 — 17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
- Luke 12:16–20 — 16 And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17 “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.” ’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’
- 2 Kings 19:11–13 — 11 ‘Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, destroying them completely. So will you be spared? 12 ‘Did the gods of those nations which my fathers destroyed deliver them, even Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the sons of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 ‘Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, and of Hena and Ivvah?’ ”
- 2 Kings 19:21–28 — 21 “This is the word that the Master has spoken against him: ‘She has despised you and mocked you, The virgin daughter of Zion; She has shaken her head behind you, The daughter of Jerusalem! 22 ‘Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? And against whom have you raised your voice, And haughtily lifted up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel! 23 ‘Through your messengers you have reproached the Master, And you have said, “With my many chariots I came up to the heights of the mountains, To the remotest parts of Lebanon; And I cut down its tall cedars and its choice cypresses. And I entered its farthest lodging place, its thickest forest. 24 “I dug wells and drank foreign waters, And with the sole of my feet I dried up All the rivers of Egypt.” 25 ‘Have you not heard? Long ago I did it; From ancient times I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass, That you should turn fortified cities into ruinous heaps. 26 ‘Therefore their inhabitants were short of strength, They were dismayed and put to shame; They were as the vegetation of the field and as the green herb, As grass on the housetops is scorched before it is grown up. 27 ‘But I know your sitting down, And your going out and your coming in, And your raging against Me. 28 ‘Because of your raging against Me, And because your arrogance has come up to My ears, Therefore I will put My hook in your nose, And My bridle in your lips, And I will turn you back by the way which you came.
- Jeremiah 48:7 — 7 “For because of your trust in your own achievements and treasures, Even you yourself will be captured; And Chemosh will go off into exile Together with his priests and his princes.
- Revelation 18:7–8 — 7 “To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’ 8 “For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Master God who judges her is strong.
Source: Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 238). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.