30 Days With Wesley – Day 18: Money & Happiness

money-happiness(Optional Reading: 1 Timothy 6:6-10)

Happiness and money. These two words go together in the minds of a majority of people. Most of the time, people assume that if you have more money you will have more happiness. This then fuels this inner pursuit for more money. Sometimes, the idea of money can be replaced by things. We think, “I need more money. Then I can buy that new “thing”. Then I will be happy.”

I am an Apple Mac user. I love mac products and all the technology they have created. Just this last week, Apple held a keynote to introduce the new iPhone and also revile their new product, Apple Watch. Apple understand the concept of wanting the best. At one point the keynote speaker even referred to us lusting after the new iOS operating system. Apple gets it. People believe they need money to get the newest and best product, so they’ll feel happy.

Paul write to Timothy about this idea in 1 Timothy 6:6-10. Paul writes,

Actually, godliness is a great source of profit when it is combined with being happy with what you already have. We didn’t bring anything into the world and so we can’t take anything out of it: we’ll be happy with food and clothing. But people who are trying to get rich fall into temptation. They are trapped by many stupid and harmful passions that plunge people into ruin and destruction. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some have wandered away from the faith and have impaled themselves with a lot of pain because they made money their goal.

Money is a tricky thing. Personally, I have found that the more I seek after it, the less happy I become.  There is an old adage, “The one who dies with the most toys… still dies.” Jesus doesn’t want us to spend our lives seeking after pointless treasures that we leave here on earth when we die. Rather, Jesus says: “Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

May our focus not fall away. May we stay true to what Jesus calls us to. For money, toys, smart phones, gaming consoles, tables, TV’s, cars, etc. will all fade away, but our relationship with Christ and the kingdom of God is forever.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days with Wesley – Day 15: Grave Opener

grave(Optional Reading: Ezekiel 37:12-14)

One the biggest and toughest questions to answer is: “Why do bad things happen?” Today, we see pain and destruction all over the place. We see broken families, countries at war, people being taken advantage of and hurt. Why?

Sadly, I am not able to answer that question. Some say that God puts hard times in our lives to help shape us into who He wants us to be. Others would argue that a loving God would not choose to allow terrible and evil things to happen to someone. Which is the right answer? It is not perfectly clear. 

I believe that evil in this world is a result of the cause and effect nature of our God given free will. Every choice we make has an affect on others around us. We never make decisions in a vacuum.

Paul writes in Romans 8:28, “We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” I can say with confidence, wherever you are and whatever you are going through, God can use it to bring good about in your life.

I don’t want to say this is the cure all and just glaze over every evil and hard thing that someone might be facing and say… Suck it up… God will turn it to good. Just because God is going to work for the good doesn’t always make enduring the evil easy. but may this truth possibly bring a sliver a hope to you if you need it today.

Ezekiel writes of the God who opened the philosophical graves of Israel and restore them to their fruitful land. Perhaps you are in a situation today where you feel emotionally dead. May you know that God is seeking to open up the grave of your heart and restore you to your fruitful self. Know that, God is working to bring about good from your situation.

Before, I finish this post with the Lord’s prayer, it should be said that I believe God also works through other people who can help individuals in different situations. If you are someone reading this and you are in the midst of a situation that you need help (bullying, abuse, harassment, etc) or any personal/emotional struggles (addictions, depression, etc), please seek professional help and support. You do not need to face these struggles alone.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.