Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Test of Prosperity

Hosea 10:1, “Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself. As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones.”

As Israel prospered more and more, they turned further and further from God. They failed to see that God was the source of every good thing that had happened to them, and they seemed to look to themselves and false gods instead of the true God.

Have you ever considered prosperity to be a test? It is easy to see how a trial is a test of our faith or perseverance, but we often overlook the tests we experience when things are going well.

When our basketball team wins the league championship, we have a test of our pride. Will we give the glory to God? Will we honor our teammates and coach? Or will we promote ourselves and boast of our individual accomplishments?

When we get our first car, we have a test of responsibility. Will we be wise on the road? Will we honor God in the music we listen to and the conversation we have while in the car? Will we use the car to serve others or serve ourselves?

When we get into the college we have always dreamed of attending, we have a test of stewardship. Will we seek to develop our gifts and our mind to the glory of God or to the glory of ourselves? If we are going away to school, will we get quickly involved in a local church and Christian organizations on campus?

When things go well, we can get comfortable. When everything falls into place, we can assume we can take it easy. But instead of taking prosperity for granted, we need to see the opportunity God provides us in these times. Will we be grateful to him? Will we be others-focus? Will we use our prosperity to help others?

Let’s pray for prosperity for each of us, but let’s even more strongly pray that we will pass the test of prosperity when it comes.

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