Do you have a “Life is Good” T-shirt? It seems like all of my kids and grandkids do…they have shirts that celebrate golf or bubble baths or hiking or skiing. I remember a few years ago getting the news that our twelfth grandchild had been born while I was sleeping. He was a healthy, robust, baby Texan. Life was good.
When I got to work that same day, however, I received an email from an old friend and colleague. His eleven-year-old granddaughter was dying. She was in a coma in the ICU and her young parents sat powerless. Suddenly, the t-shirts seem mean-spirited and unkind. Suddenly, the joy over my gift was tempered by the sorrow I felt for my friend.
Life is not consistently good. Life can be capricious and often confusing. The presence of sin and brokenness and evil in our world makes it a scary place to be.
When we actively believe that God owns it all, we have nothing to fear because we have nothing to lose. In light of the sorrow and confusion in the world, though, how does that work? Do we really have nothing to fear if we place it ALL in God’s hands? Do we really have nothing to lose when life is so unpredictable?
Yes, and let me repeat myself…YES. The reason for my conviction is this: I believe that I have nothing to fear because I believe that God is good. When we marry our belief that God is good with our understanding that life is difficult, we can be at peace in surrendering our resources to Him. For me, the best way to learn of God’s goodness is to spend time in Scripture with Him. Reading His grand story of redemption and hearing Him speak to me personally reinforces my ability to surrender to His goodness, whatever is going on in my life at the time.
Let me mention here that belief is very different than knowledge. Additionally, belief is very different from emotion. Our knowledge and our emotions can lead us further into self-reliance and self-promotion. Knowing that God is good and He owns it all or feeling that God is good and He owns it all will take me to the end of my knowledge or my emotions and leave me stranded there when life gets hard. Only when we get to the end of our knowledge and our emotions and come to a place of surrender (belief) do we transfer our trust to God and begin to rest in His goodness and His sovereignty in our lives.
Stewardship starts with relationship. I want to encourage you to examine your belief about your relationship with God. Do you believe His goodness toward you? Have you surrendered to His mysterious goodness in the midst of blessings and trials? These are deep things that happen over time and in process with the Lord. Trust Him this week to speak to you as you seek Him; also, ask Him to show you in Scripture and in life where His goodness contradicts and redeems the pain and brokenness in your world…financial and otherwise.
May God’s peace encourage you as you pursue financial freedom and depend on His Truth.