Why Did You Believe?
Posted May 12, 2019
What is it that made you become a believer of God? Why do you believe in Him? You know that is a very simply laid out question, but it is a question that should not be answered lightly. Does that make sense to you? I feel like all of us, as true and genuine believers, should have deep and thought out answers to this question. (Not because someone may ask you that question but because we must be able to answer that question for ourselves.)
I still have been unable to shake the question that a friend of my brother shared with him. I mentioned this question in last Sunday’s sermon, but I will refresh your memory of the question. “What’s the point of being saved if I am still going to have struggles?” I know for a fact that his friend isn’t the only believer that feels this way because I have been asked questions similar to this myself. So, I want to take another dive into this question, if you don’t mind.
God will make you rich?
In my key verse for today’s sermon, there is a word that really sticks out; you don’t have to look hard for this world – RICH.
We have this idea in our head that there should be no struggles in life with God on our side. I have told anybody that will listen to me that life doesn’t get any easier just because you become a believer. I am but one preacher and one man. The thought or myth that things should be easier for believers of God still persists in the minds of many people nowadays.
Where does this idea come from? I guess you could say that it comes from the fact that God is Lord of all creation, right? So the idea is, surely, if He created all of this, then making life easier on us should be easy for Him. After all, why would God allow us to struggle in the world? (Let’s just forget the curse He gave to Adam – Gen. 3:17).
Does our idea match up with God’s idea of being rich?
God should destroy (or cure) all diseases. God should end world hunger. God should stop the violence. God should stop
Again, I say to you, we have an idea for how the Lord should operate in our heads. This is true whether you believe in Him or don’t believe in the God we preach.
However, I must raise a question in response to the idea that we should not struggle. What is the Lord’s idea of being rich? An even more important question, I feel is, does the idea of being rich in God’s eyesight match up with our idea of being rich?
I feel these are questions that we must answer. There are many spiritual leaders who will lead in a ministry of prosperity in the world. I certainly agree with those that argue we should have a community that prospers and should take steps in doing so. There is certainly nothing wrong with prospering in this world if that is what you desire. However, if I am going to prosper anywhere, I would want to prosper spiritually! We cannot take our eyes off enriching ourselves spiritually!
The blessings of the Lord
With that in mind, I must ask the question, what is being rich in the Lord’s eyesight? We are told in Proverbs 10:22 that His blessing makes us rich but we should pay attention to the rest of what that scripture says. The Lord’s blessing
What does this mean? There are many people who would have you believe that you must labor and struggle to receive the Lord’s blessing – that is far from the truth! The blessing of the Lord comes easily, without struggle, for those of genuine faith. God’s blessing comes without angst to those who truly believe. We must understand that there is a great difference between the riches of the world and the riches of the Lord!
The blessings of the world vs. the riches of God
In the book of Proverbs, you will often see the comparison of two different groups of people: the fool vs. the wise (worldly thought), and the wicked vs. the righteous (spiritual thought). I mention this because this topic of riches leads to scripture that compares the two ideals. We are told very early on in Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Prov. 1:7).
In Proverbs 10, you will notice that Solomon is making these comparisons of both the wise and the foolish, and also the righteous and the wicked. He says in the verse first verse, “A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.” In this scripture, Solomon is speaking through a worldly lens. In the following verse, Solomon compares the righteous and the wicked; he is now speaking through a spiritual lens. I want you to keep those things in mind as we look to scripture to see the riches of the world compared to the riches of the Lord.
Wants gone unfulfilled
2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, But righteousness delivers from death.Proverbs 10:2-3 NKJV
3 The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, But He casts away the desire of the wicked.
These two verses cover a spiritual thought from Solomon. He says that the treasure (or riches) of the wicked will gain nothing. I want you to understand that the treasures of the wicked are of the world and not of God. To get the riches of the world, you have to labor and struggle. Proverbs 10:4 tells us that the hand of the diligent makes rich. If you’re going to get the riches of this world, you cannot do it by a lazy hand – this is something we all know and understand.
Paul wrote a warning on this quest of gaining worldly riches. He wrote:
If gaining the riches of the world becomes your sole desire, he warns that this desire will drown you in destruction and perdition. Understand that Paul is speaking of
This brings us back to what Solomon said, when he says (Prov 10:3), “The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, But He casts away the desire of the wicked.” The desires of those who are constantly seeking the treasures of the world are never truly fulfilled – their greed is a constant! To some, it is good to have such a hunger but, in my opinion, to never have that hunger satisfied sounds terrible.
All needs covered
Paul wrote that the Lord will supply our every need according to His riches (Phil. 4:19). This is the Lord’s riches (blessings) truly defined – to have no needs! Why do you believe? You see, you have to understand the difference between wants and needs.
Unfortunately for many believers, we struggle with letting go of worldly wants. Not being able to let go of our worldly wants is a very great threat to us whether we realize it or not. It leads us to question, “why do I ‘struggle’ if I am saved?”
This question is bathed in the thought that the Lord wants you to struggle and to be broke. The only one who judges you as being broke is, in fact, the world. Therefore, there are certainly going to be many people who will have you believe that you are penniless. Yet, the Lord looks on you and sees you as someone who has His riches already. God says, “I have supplied your every need.”
Consider for a moment just how rich you are to have absolutely no needs. Again, I believe most of us are old enough to know that there is a difference between wants and needs. The Lord will certainly allow you to work as hard as you wish in this world so that you can gain the riches you desire, but we must stop growing angry with Him when we come up short in our wants.
Believed to become rich?
Did you become a believer because you thought the Lord was going to enrich you in worldly treasure? Why did you believe? Well, I have some bad news for you. That fantasy is just that – a fantasy! If you want those riches, God even says, you’re going to have to work hard for it!
I must stress that this way must not become your sole manner in which you think joy will be found. Again, we must not confuse these riches with the blessing of the Lord. The “blessings” of the world comes with great sorrow – that means sadness, depression, heartache, angst, etc. Those whose sole desire is that of the world, Solomon would later write that such a quest is of great vanity and is like trying to grasp the wind (Eccl. 1).
Solomon also said:
15 As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return,Ecclesiastes 5:15-16 NKJV
To go as he came;
And he shall take nothing from his labor
Which he may carry away in his hand.
16 And this also is a severe evil—
Just exactly as he came, so shall he go.
And what profit has he who has labored for the wind?
That is life when you live it solely to have the riches of this world. We pass on and leave those treasures behind. This truly is a sad outcome if one has not built up his or her treasures in heaven for that is the blessing of the Lord – an eternal home in peace. Why did you believe?