February 17, 2014

True Wealth

“… having nothing, yet possessing everything.”

2 Corinthians 6:10 (ESV) 

People who live with eternity in their hearts get this – “…having nothing, yet possessing everything.” I was struck with this description of the life of one of the greatest apostles that ever lived – the Apostle Paul. He gives a number of paradoxes that describe his life and ministry. Here’s how the Phillips Translation paraphrases it in context:

“We know sorrow, yet our joy is inextinguishable. We have nothing to bless ourselves with yet we bless many others with true riches. We are penniless, and yet in reality we have everything worth having.”

One of my favorite Bible teachers and authors describes those early followers of Christ like this: incorrigibly happy, utterly unafraid and nearly always in trouble. These are the divine paradoxes of the Christian life. Our hearts may ache with sorrow, yet be filled with joy. We may be poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We may own nothing, yet we possess everything worth having! Does that describe your faith experience or are you still living under the deception that having more will make you happier? What a false hope that is! Just check out those who have more. If having more made you happier, then those who have the most would be the happiest. Yet, how often do we read of their empty lives ending in self-inflicted tragedy? Jesus said For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” Mark 8:36 (NKJV) The wealthiest and most powerful King that ever lived had it all and described it as “a chasing of the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2) In contrast, the Christ follower understands what the Apostle Paul means when he says, “…having nothing, yet possessing everything.” You may wonder how that can be true, because as a Christ follower we have everything worth having – the unchangeable reality of His illimitable grace and a rich inheritance that is ours in Christ. Take a moment and read about it in Ephesians 1. You may be surprised at how rich you really are!