What is the good of stuff?

27 Mar

What is the good in things?

Some might think the answer to that question is easy. When we have a lot of money we feel secure. When we have nice things it makes us look important and people pay more attention to us and what we say. When are able to save money every month we feel like we can leave something nice for our children.

Paul tells us in 1 Timothy the real good in things is a little different.

“For everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude, for it is sanctified by means of the Word of God and prayer.”

God created things to be gratefully enjoyed and we use things the way He designed when we use them as an opportunity to delight in God. It is not just that we enjoy the things, it is that we use the things as an opportunity to praise God. We set the things apart, sanctify them, make them holy, through our response.

All things were created for us first that we might recognize the One who gave us those things and give thanks for His kindness towards us.

Second, Paul tells us in Ephesians 4 that we are to work hard with our hands that we might have to share with those in need. I am happy to have more things then because having more things is an opportunity for me first to give praise to God and second to serve others.

That’s the good in stuff.

And when you know that, it helps you hold more loosely to it.

This is so beautiful. Because when the Christian has things, he says to himself, now that I have all this money, what’s it for, what’s the best part of it, the best part is not security because I already have that in God, the best part is not identity because I already have that in Christ, the best part is not my children’s future good because God can take care of that better than I ever could, no the best part of having more things is the fact that it gives me opportunity to enjoy God and His mercy, it is merely a tool for thankfulness and gratitude and service.

But if God decides to takes that away from me, if he strips me down financially, you know, I can be sure He will be happy to help me enjoy Him and serve Him some other way. That is His goal for me after all. I know this is what God wants, my joy in Him and for me to serve Him, so if He doesn’t allow me to enjoy and serve Him through material possessions, He may allow me to enjoy and serve Him through suffering. But the main thing either way is enjoying and serving God, that’s what I want most, and God knows the best way I can do that at this moment. It may be having possessions. It may be suffering and if suffering is the best way I can enjoy and serve God at this moment, then I am right where I want to be. Why would I want to be anywhere else?

Or as Jeremiah Burroughs once put it, (and so much of what I have already said is borrowed from him) “If I may do God as much service by suffering, that is by showing forth the grace of His Spirit in my sufferings as I did in my prosperity, I have as much of God as I had before. So if I may be led by God in my low condition, as much as I was in my prosperous condition, I have as much comfort and contentment as I had before.”

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