Society today classes people according to their material wealth. Whether that wealth is in the form of money/income, things such as the latest technology gadgets or the hottest fashions in clothes, people are automatically classed into several categories.
Where I live, in Canada, I am considered as living BELOW the poverty line. That means, that according to Canadian standards, I don’t make enough money to meet my natural needs.
I am supported by what is called a Disability Pension. I am unable to work because of my many medical conditions. The Ontario government provides people with severe medical issues a monthly income which is supported by the tax-payers on Ontario, including me. Some of the taxes we pay goes toward providing an income for those unable to support themselves financially.
I get roughly $1000 each month in Canadian funds. My rent is currently $465 per month. I get a $40 grocery card each week to buy my food with, and I get about $30 cash each week to pay for my laundry and other expenses. to many who live in Canada, this is not a lot of money and they often “feel sorry” for me. While I sometimes have a difficult time making ends meet, I have a different way of looking at things.
I have taught this to people for the past 14 years of my life. When they hear my theory, they think twice about saying they are poor and they have nothing.
My theory goes:
If you have a roof over your head, whether it is a tent, a mansion, a trailer or an apartment, you are protected from many or most of the elements of nature such as wind, rain, cold and heat.
If you have clothes to wear, whether it is one outfit, 3 outfits or a closet full, you are covered and decent. It does not matter if the clothes are new, hand-me-downs, or 2nd hand. So long as you are covered and dress modestly, you have protection.
If you have even one meal a day, you are far better off than many. I used to eat at a mission because I could not afford groceries. BUT, I ate and I ate well. It perhaps was not the greatest tasting food, but it was food.
Finally, if you have family or friends that are closer than your natural birth family, you are rich in love. Nobody can survive without love. Many may think they can make it on their own, but truthfully, nobody can make it alone.
To sum it up, if you have a roof over your head, clothes to wear, food to eat and people who love you, then consider yourself much richer than many.
When I explain this theory to friends, family and even strangers, they say, “you are right.” Anything over and above these life needs, is a gift, a blessing and wealth.
For myself, I have two computers, a piano, plenty of music books, a stereo, iPods, a phone and so on. My apartment, however small, is full. I clean out monthly what I do not need and give it to a local charity or, if it is no longer any good, I toss it in the garbage. What I would not use myself, I would not give to someone else.
Wealth is far more than money and things. My nephew and niece have things that I didn’t have until I moved out on my own at the age of 24. They have the latest PlayStations, TV’s in their rooms, DVD players, drums, guitars, pianos, keyboards and so on. I shake my head when I think of the THINGS we have today. And yet we are never satisfied. We are always wanting more.
In Ecclesiastes, we are told that those who love money will never be satisfied (5:10). Hebrews 13:5 reminds us to be satisfied with what we have, stay away from the love of money and we are reminded that God will NEVER leave us nor forsake us. Money will come and go, but God’s love will last forever. Again in Mark 8:36 we are asked what we would gain if we owned the whole world but lost our soul. What is more important – to be rich with money or to be rich in the love of God? To have THINGS, or to have our name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Often I have said, I’d rather be poor as I am than wealthy and lose sight of God’s love.
If you have needs that are yet unmet, there is no need to worry. God knows your needs before you are ever aware of them. Jesus told us this in Matthew 6:32-33. God knows our needs and in His right time, He will meet them. You may not get the answer you are looking for when YOU are looking for it, but it will always come in God’s RIGHT time. Philippians 4:19 says that “this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches.”
One of my my favourite Scriptures is Proverbs 3:5-6 which says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”
I live by this Scripture. I trust God for everything, and when I least expect it and am not looking for it, some need is met. I was in a grocery store two weeks ago putting my groceries in bags when a lady came up to me and handed me a $5 bill. Not 10 minutes later a man asked me if I had money to spare. I gave him half of what had been given to me. I needed only $2 to do my laundry up. God met two needs that day through one kind and generous lady.
I have never gone without. Yes, I have had to ask for help from various charities, churches and friends/family. But it takes a humble heart to be willing to say, “I need help,” and ask for it. Those who cannot ask for help are too proud to admit they are having problems. This shows a reliance on self instead of on God.
The beggars in Jesus time had plenty of courage. Many times they did not get the money, but they were blessed by the Word of God which set them free to rejoice in what they had.
In Philippians 4:6 we are encouraged: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”
In Matthew 6:31-33, a popular passage, Jesus teaches us, “So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”
Notice that this is a promise with a condition. IF you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern/focus, THEN God will give you all that you need. And notice He says He will give you what you NEED, not what you WANT. Some preachers preach that if you want a fast and hot car, to claim it and it will be yours. I disagree. That goes against the Scripture of you cannot serve both God and money. What is more important to you – your walk with God, or things?
If you have a need, take it to the Lord in prayer. And when you pray, first offer praises and thanksgiving for who God is, for His faithfulness, and for His love. Make praising God the first part of your prayer. Then, when you pray, try and follow these simple steps I have found on various websites:
A – adoration – praise God first and foremost in your prayer time
C – confession – confess your sins to God and ask for forgiveness and a pure heart
T – thanksgiving – thank God for all He has done for you and for those you love
S – supplication – after all the above, then submit your requests to God, with thankfulness that He will answer your prayer.
And when you pray for people, follow these steps:
The 5-Fingered Prayer
When you fold your hands for prayer, your thumb is closest to you. Therefore, pray for those who are closest to you. This could be family, your closest friends, co-workers, and so on.
The Pointer Finger is next. This reminds us to prayer for those who are teachers, pastors and others who instruct and teach us. Anybody who teaches us something, including doctors, teachers, pastors and others are included here.
The middle finger is often the tallest finger. This reminds us to pray for the leaders of our nations, the leaders of our churches and any leaders that God may bring to your remeberances.
Believe it or not, your ring finger is your weakest finger. When praying, use this finger to pray for those who are in need. This could include the sick, elderly, poor, widowed, orphans and so on.
Lastly we have our Pinky finger. It is the smallest of our fingers. This is the time to pray for ourselves. We should always pray for our own needs, ONLY AFTER we have prayed for the needs of others.
At the end of your prayer time, be sure to offer praise once again for God’s mercies, for they are new every morning. He knows our hearts, our desires, our needs, our fears…what He wants is for us to let Him know that WE realize WE NEED HIM. When we realize that we need Him, this is when He begins to work. If we do not confess our need for Him, how can He ever bless us?
Never worry about money, food, clothing, shelter…remember, the Son of God had no home, no pillow, no daily income and so on, and yet He survived without fear because He knew His Father would look after Him.
Prosperity can be defined in many ways. Sadly, society tends to lean toward money, clothing, THINGS and jobs. These matter little, if at all, in God’s eyes. You are rich if you love God and He loves you in return. You are rich if you have some form of shelter, some clothes to wear, some food to eat and friends or family that love you. Anything over and above these are blessings from the Father of Love.
Don’t go looking for wealth on Earth, but store up for yourself treasures in Heaven. This is true prosperity.
Sheri Liegh Adams
In His Service,
Jesus is my Rock, Music is my Sanity.