When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don't ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that's a picture of the "prosperous life." At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing. Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. James 1:9-11 The Message
When I read this passage I think about earthly success and eternal success. Sometimes what people think matters doesn’t really matter at all. Professional athletes get paid more than professional teachers – as general rule. That makes no sense to me. Many of us fill our time and use our finances on the necessities. Big houses and shiny cars; the latest, greatest fastest computer; the smallest quickest most versatile cell phone. The biggest, boldest and most adaptive entertainment centers and systems; Distressed jeans that are a steal at $100 or more a pair and tee shirts that are $50. Coach purses, cute shoes, and good coffee - see now it really is personal- and the list goes on and on. Are these things wrong, are they sin? NO. But, these things are not lasting either.
I think God wants me to cheer for the underdog. I think He wants me to treat people well regardless of where they live, who they vote for, how long they went to school, what their check book balance says, or where they work now. I think God wants me to remember that earthy admiration is temporary. It fades away, it becomes a distant memory. And there is hope. I will be tested. But God will be there too. If I don’t give up on God, He won’t give up on me…and I will be more blessed for it in the long run. These blessing may not be easy to see…it might not be a financial or physical blessing. I may still have more month than money, and the aches to prove I am not in my 20's any more. People that take work to love will still come in and out of my life, and my feelings will still get hurt. Things will happen that I don't like or understand. I still live in a fallen world. There is still consequence for sin, and its devastating costs. But one day I will hear “well done, my good and faithful servant” – man, is there any richer blessing than that?
God – today please help me not to focus on the things that fade.
Help me to see what has eternal value and invest there with you. Amen