These days, even the “best” preparations for financial stability can go awry. I went to college on College Assurance Plan, but realized many others were unable to apply it to their college tuitions. Many Filipino soldiers who fought alongside US troops in the war died even without receiving their pensions. Some people can be cheated out of their social security benefits from their birth dad by greedy stepmothers (by people who claim to be born-again Christians!).
I appreciate the reminder in Chapter 15 of the Purpose-Driven Life: While practical, (I’m not saying don’t try to save for the future) to live in the light of financial security based on human-made contracts is short-sighted. We must live in faith that God will keep His promise about the eternal prize:
4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you,
1 Peter 1:4, NIV
Everything we have is God-given. God could also take it away. However, the prize of God’s children in heaven will not be changed by economic changes on earth. Therefore, believers must apply Matthew 6:19-20:
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
-Matthew 6:19-20, NIV
I met a Canada-based Filipina in line at the Land Transportation Office who remarked that Filipinos are “used to” economic hardship, which was why they were coping better with the recession than others. Foreign missionary blogs say almost the same thing – “Filipinos are a happy people. They smile even in the face of hardship.”
Believers should be happy, but they are not happy because they are used to and resigned to hardship as a way of life. They are happy because their security lies not in their jobs but on God’s Assurance Plan. We smile even in hardship because we know that God will take care of us. Mind you, this is not the Your Best Life Now/Joel Osteen plan. This is God’s plan for us for eternity, as stated in the Bible. We don’t expect the financial rewards on earth but in heaven.
Dear God, I trust in you to satisfy all my needs. I know you have prepared a place and inheritance for me in heaven. I pray that whoever reads this that is not yet part of your family, or who thinks s/he is part of your family but is not 100% sure, can realize the short-sightedness of his/her economic plans on earth, to turn away from sin and to rely completely on you, and start a new life in your presence forevermore. In Jesus’ name, Amen.