Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 11-13; 2 Corinthians 12
They live in biggest house you have ever seen. They take lavish vacations to the most beautiful and luxurious locations. They have a garage full of expensive and exotic cars. They have the most beautiful “model-like” spouse that has the perfect physique, looks, or appearance. They live a life of materiality and wealth that everyone wants. They “have it all.”
But perhaps the individuals that have these things are not “nice people.” Perhaps they have taken profits when they should have been more generous. Perhaps they have taken advantage and “run over” people to acquire the power and wealth they achieved for themselves. Perhaps they have ruined the lives of their employees, teammates, competitors, or maybe even their own family to achieve the wealth they have.
How is it fair that sometimes the most ruthless and selfish people prosper? Why does God allow this?
Jeremiah 12: 1-3 states, “Righteous are You, O Lord, when I plead with you; Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously? 2 You have planted them, yes, they have taken root; They grow, yes, they bear fruit. You are near in their mouth, But far from their mind. 3 But You, O Lord, know me; You have seen me, and You have tested my heart toward You. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, And prepare them for the day of slaughter.”
It can be difficult for us to see prosperity happen to who we perceive to be “bad people.” Maybe you are jealous because you work hard to do the right things. You live a Christ-centered, faith-filled life to set an example for your children, family, and friends. Yet, you still cannot “get ahead.” Perhaps you are unemployed, deal with financial challenges, drive a “beat up” car that won’t start, and work at a job you hate. What is the reward for living your life following Jesus if you don’t experience “prosperity” or a “life of luxury?”
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul tells the people of Corinth that the “thorn in the flesh” was given to him. Paul was referring to the obstacles, challenges, and burden he carried, even though he was a prophet for Christ. He sacrificed most of the years of his life, and ultimately gave his life for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul said in verse 8, “Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.” Verse 9, “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power for Christ may rest upon me. “ 10 Therefore I take pleasure in the infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in the persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak then I am strong.”
Scripture tells us God sees us. He knows our sacrifices. He feels our afflictions. He is there with us every step of the way. God encourages us to understand “we are our strongest when we are at what appears to us be our weakest.” Let us not seek to be judged in this world but the “next world” in Heaven,” which will be our just reward. Keep the faith that a life following Christ is the right path.