I heard a sermon yesterday that I am having a hard time with. You know the feeling when you disagree with what you are hearing and your life experiences back up your feelings but you can't necessarily prove your position? Or is it just me?
The statement was made, "God's intention, his heart is to bless you financially." There was a lot of other very good material in the lesson, but I got stuck on this one and just couldn't move passed it. I disagree. I think God's intention and heart is to shape us and that is usually a blessing but I think it has little to do with financial blessing. I think God's heart is to bless us and that usually lands up looking very different to "financially bless us."
Some of the most faithful, God-hearted people I know are poor and live in conditions that are deplorable in Africa or other areas. Have they somehow not "earned blessings" from God. I don't think so. I know that Old Testament scripture refers to God blessing our store houses and multiplying our fields etc. but Jesus seems to present such a different picture in his ministry. He talks at lengh about giving up stuff, leaving security, how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom etc. He always seems to land on the side of the poor and call the rest of us to a life of "stufflessness."
The idea of God wanting to bless us financially just seems so "Joel Osteen-ish" and that scares me. My life experiences testify to the idea that real discipleship usually costs us something, and the reward is usually a more abundant faith journey, which has little to do with anything financial.
I may be missing something crucial here, so weigh in and help me as I struggle with this.