Rags to Riches

Why does life have to be so hard? In Jeremiah 29:11, God says He has plans for our prosperity, hope, and a future. In Psalm 138:8,  He also promises He will fulfill His purpose for our lives.  Have you ever wondered when you will actually see the fruit of these promises?  I have!  And believe me; I’ve done my share of whining. 

We may think we’ve had a difficult time and don’t understand why God has allowed sorrow and setbacks in our lives.  Read Genesis 37 and 39, and observe the heavy stuff Joseph had to deal with, such as ridicule, rejection, slavery, loneliness, challenging responsibilities, temptations, betrayal, slander, and prison.  I don’t know about you, but that makes my life look like that place called Easy Street. 

Sometimes God must take us through a time of “poverty,” in order to prepare us for His plan to prosper us.  Most of the time, we don’t understand His reasoning or His timing as we struggle with unknowns and disappointments.  The question is, are we willing to give up our blueprint for success in order to gain a mature faith in the person of God Himself, trusting His promises for our good? 

Do you sometimes feel you’ve lost your focus, your vision, and perhaps even your desire to do what you believe God has called you to do?  Are you weary from trying and not always seeing the results of your efforts?   Remember this:  God never holds any good thing from us unless He plans to give us something better.  And watch out for the Esau syndrome.  Heb. 12:16 from The Message explains this as “trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite.” 

To avoid gripe sessions with God, perhaps we could benefit from the following thoughts on what He will do for us when we trust Him with every detail of our lives.

  • When we avoid selfish ambition, God will lead us to rewarding pursuits. 
  • When we turn from our own way, God will help us understand His will. 
  • When we trust Him with our pain, God will comfort us with His grace. 
  • When we give Him our worries, God will grant us peace of mind.
  • When we refuse to give up, God will give us hope. 
  • When we denounce selfishness, God will enhance our relationships. 
  • When we release our anger, God will replace it with joy. 
  • When we trust Him with our disappointments, God will fulfill our desires.   
  • When we snuff out apathy, God will restore our vision.
  • When we give up laziness, God will jump start our motivation. 
  • When we confess our sins, God will purify our hearts. 
  • When we refuse to settle for mediocrity, God will show us the way of excellence. 
  • When we give up pride, God will grant us humility. 
  • When we avoid self-indulgence, God will reward us with true contentment. 
  • When we trust Him with our weaknesses, God will infuse them with His power. 
  • When we let go of our obsession with success, God will replace it with a fruitful life. 
  • When we give Him our fears, God will replace them with faith. 

Do you think we can progress from our worn out rags of self-effort to the place where we can enjoy the depth of the riches God has for us?  Of course we can!  We can do this when we come to the point where we desire His will more than our own.  When we make knowing and trusting God our greatest goal, we will graduate from rags to riches.

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Comments
5 Responses to “Rags to Riches”
  1. Katie Payne says:

    Mom, have you been reading my journal this week?!? 🙂 I have been looking at “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Loved your insights and I love you!

  2. Millie says:

    Mom! AWESOME entry this week! So timely for a few friends of mine so I’ve passed it along! Love the bulleted list and how incredibly insightful and practical it is!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE that you’re blessing so many with what we’ve been so spoiled to have for a lifetime! 🙂 LOVE YOU!

    • Thanks again for the over-the-top encouragement. I needed it because I didn’t *feel *very confident about this one. I told your dad if this blog only blesses our girls, it’s worth it all. Love you back, Mom

      • Millie says:

        Mom — that would mean we got a DOUBLE BLESSING then b/c we’ve already gotten to have you bless us one time around….granted — the blessing never really stops! 🙂

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