One after the other, the small-group individuals shared heavy prayer requests: a misplaced job, a most cancers analysis, a damaged relationship. Although I used to be combating to actively hear, my thoughts was scrambling to seek out one thing laborious to share. In spite of everything, nobody needs to listen to a Pollyanna after such a litany of hardship.
As these round me had been being tossed within the storms of adversity, it felt unusual to be sitting beside nonetheless waters. I blushed on the abundance of God’s undeserved blessings on this season. We had lately bought a brand new home, our youngsters had been thriving at a brand new college, and the Lord was blessing our endeavors in work and ministry.
God sends each seasons of hardship and seasons of prosperity. Christians know that we must always attempt to be trustworthy in tough occasions, however it’s simply as essential to be trustworthy within the good occasions.
Listed below are 3 ways to steward your affluent occasions effectively.
1. Climb up the Sunbeam
With a view to greatest obtain seasons of prosperity, we should do the laborious work of distinguishing between the present and the Giver. Whereas good items are meant to be loved, they’re additionally meant to deliver us to deeper data and worship of the King who shares his abundance freely.
In Letters to Malcolm, C. S. Lewis aptly describes the arduous work of transferring past acceptance of the present to adoration of the Giver:
Gratitude exclaims . . . “How good of God to give me this.” Adoration says, “What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!” One’s thoughts runs again up the sunbeam to the solar.
God’s radiant nature emits sunbeams of his grace. Slightly than merely lazing within the heat of such rays, we’re invited to climb up the sunbeams again to the solar, from whom each good and ideal present comes (James 1:17).
2. Construct for the Future
Each time the Lord blesses our household with calm and peace, I consider King Asa. Following a collection of horrible kings, God blessed Asa’s obedience with a season of exceptional peace and prosperity. After years marked by disruptions and raids on each facet, the land rested. However Asa went to work:
He constructed fortified cities in Judah, for the land had relaxation. He had not battle in these years, for the Lord gave him peace. And he stated to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers and gates and bars.” (2 Chron. 14:2, 5–7)
Whereas seasons of adversity are marked by efforts to preserve, seasons of prosperity ought be marked by efforts to advance. Simply as Asa invested his decade of peace to strengthen and develop his cities, we’re invited by the Lord to strengthen our personal souls, households, and spheres of affect.
In seasons of a lot, now we have an opportunity to dig extra deeply into theology, spend extra time in prayer, and construct up relationships. Seasons of adversity will return, and we need to be bodily, spiritually, and relationally able to not solely survive them, however even to thrive.
3. Invite Others into Blessing
God made clear the aim of his blessings to his individuals millennia in the past, as early as his name to Abram: “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2).
God blesses us in order that we would bless others, even these past the fold of religion.
If he has blessed you with a season of relaxation and abundance, make investments it by serving those that are at present being whipped by the whirlwind. Your paycheck bonus may very well be another person’s groceries; your free afternoon may very well be another person’s childcare; your further automotive may very well be another person’s trip to work. Even your vitality—refreshed by the Lord’s abundance—can uphold another person’s sagging arms by prayer.
Subsequent time you end up buying and selling prayer requests—whether or not you’re within the midst of a storm of adversity or sitting beside a sea of prosperity—you don’t have any must blush. Embrace and make investments the season the sovereign Lord has apportioned, realizing that each storms and stillness are instruments in his arms.