by Dr. Charles Stanley
Receiving the Good Things in Life
Two extreme opinions about material wealth exist among Christian people. One says that to be truly spiritual, a believer must keep few worldly goods. Proponents of the opposite idea think that prosperity is a sign of God’s favor and, therefore, a desired possession can be claimed by faith. Both ideas are wrong, which leaves many followers of Jesus wondering, What is theright approach?
A hindrance to answering the question is our common view of what constitutes “good things”; usually these are defined as items and experiences that make us feel happy. From God’s perspective, however, the good things in life are those that fit into His individualized purpose and plan for us. His will could include prosperity, robust health, talents, and opportunities. More than likely, the Lord’s plan involves some periods of trouble and need, and He considers those times valuable too.
When our vision of what is truly good clears, we are ready to understand how to receive God’s blessings. The key to receiving life’s good things is to seek the Lord rather than the treasures He has to give. We often approach God with an empty basket rather than an open heart — we tell Him what we need and wait for the bin to be filled. But an open heart says, “God, I just want more of You.”
According to Psalm 34:8, God Himself is good, and James 1:17 says that He is the source of “every good and perfect gift.” Giving blessings from His storehouse is in God’s nature, but He wants His children to seek Him most of all.
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