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True Riches

Prosperity is a very normal human desire. Part of being healthy and productive is cultivating a strategy for gaining the necessary resources to provide for yourself, your loved ones and the causes you care about. King David was wrestling with this very question in Psalm 4, “Many, LORD, are asking, ‘Who will bring us prosperity?’” (v. 6) In seeking the answer to this question, David reminded himself and all who read his words that prosperity is about more than money.  A truly prosperous person has developed certain personal traits in his life that cause not only his career to grow but enhances all of his relationships at the same time.
Prosperous people are aware of the presence of God. “Let the light of your face shine on us.” (v. 6) When things are going really well and your personal resources are abundant, it is easy to grow proud and self-sufficient. An awareness of God’s company promotes humility. No matter how much you have, it is not very much compared to the infinite riches of God. Since pride is the number one source of failure in men’s lives, having God as your friend increases your ability to handle prosperity. On the other hand, when things are not going well and resources are limited, the temptation to resort to desperate measures increases. It is comforting to know that God has your back. He is there in the journey and at the right time will provide the opportunities you need.
Prosperous people have an unquenchable joy in their hearts. David’s prayer was “Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.” (v. 7) When people around him were gathering an abundance of crops and experiencing great financial gain, he wanted God to give him joy. He has seen enough people gain riches only to be miserable in their success. He had watched King Saul lead the nation but live in suspicion and depression. He noticed that the wealthy grew weary of the constant demands placed upon them. He had reached the conclusion that being able to say, “I can be satisfied with much or little because the issues of my heart are taken care of,” was the greatest treasure on earth.
Prosperous people sleep peacefully. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (v. 8 ) Fear is our greatest enemy. It robs us of rest, confidence, energy and focus. It is only Tuesday but already this week I have encountered people who are afraid of being abandoned, being taken advantage of, dying, losing their homes, never being happy, not having control, and being inadequate for their responsibility. The people who wrestle with these fears expend enormous amounts of energy worrying, manipulating, talking with others, researching and complaining. Even though they are exhausted they don’t sleep well. A fatigue cycle sets in that eventually limits their ability to be successful and strategically focused. People who have found peace sleep well and tend to be more productive with their waking hours. Not only do they fret less but they produce more.
Like you, I want to be effective at making a living. I want to cultivate an environment in my life that gives me the best chance to provide well for the people I love. It was a good reminder today that this environment includes an acute awareness of God’s presence, joy that goes beyond circumstances and peace in my heart that allows me to sleep well. Bring it on!

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