12 | Rich In Joy
Good morning, and thanks for journeying this far with us through the Advent series. We have absolutely loved soaking in the promises of scripture each day, and feeling our heart impacted as a result.
If you have time to do so, I’d really encourage you to read the whole of 1 Timothy 6 as a background to today’s post, as it’s SO challenging and incredibly fulfilling. It speaks to the generous and provider heart of God, and how we don’t need to cling to the empty promises of the world around us – because we have something so much greater.
It might not feel all that festive to land on a passage about money – but actually, it’s a solid reminder to us to think about where we’re placing our hope. Let’s refocus on today’s verse:
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
The promise here is that God will provide for us, in every way, always.
In the Bible, one of the names given to the Lord is Jehovah-Jireh – which translates as ‘The Lord will see to it; He will provide’.
We don’t need to be slaves to the uncertainty of human wealth, and that feeling of always wanting a little bit more. Instead, we have access to the ultimate Provider – who will see to it that we are never left wanting.
1 Timothy 6 goes on to say this:
18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way, they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Being told to ‘share’ reminds me of toddlers being taught to play nicely with their toys. When you’re a young child and you’re taught to share – you really don’t want to. Many toddlers panic (cue lots of screaming) and hold on to the toy, terrified of having it taken away from them.
Maybe they don’t like being interrupted. Maybe they don’t like the feeling of having less than they’d started with. Maybe they’re scared of having nothing left to play with.
Do you see places where you are holding on tightly to something in your own life?
For lots of us, we don’t yet have big possessions like houses or cars; but I bet we still know the feeling of wanting enough to feel comfortable. It’s actually fairly irrelevant what our material circumstances are, because what 1 Timothy 6 is getting at is making sure our hearts are right.
God knows what’s best for us: He’s guiding us to build ‘a firm foundation’ for our hearts; giving us open access to ‘the life that is truly life’ (v19). What a significant promise that is.
1 Timothy 6:6 says: ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
Earlier this month, we lost our Granny. In the world’s eyes, she did have material possessions (including a crazy shoe collection!) and a lovely home. But endlessly more meaningful than any of the things she left behind on earth was the faith that carried her through into eternal life with Jesus.
Standing side by side with my family on the day of her funeral, we sang the words of the most incredible hymns and listened to the rich and beautiful scriptures that she had based her life upon. Of course – nobody was thinking about earthly wealth, but entirely on the power of the gospel.
Jesus had come into this world to save her, he died on a cross to win her, so she could access relationship with the Father – and now she has the perfect assurance of eternal life in His presence. Can you think of anything richer? Anything more joyful?
It’s not often that we get these moments of crystal clarity about what really matters in life (and the frenzy of Christmas might make this doubly hard!), but just think how much richer our hearts and souls would be if we pressed into the truth that all we need is found in Him.
We’re promised life to the full; a joy that makes us richer than this world ever could; and a life walking in relationship with Jehovah-Jireh: the God who provides. Let that be your life-long, Christmas joy!
Lucy founded More Precious in her first year at Durham University and has had the privilege of overseeing it ever since. She now lives in London with her husband James and is part of the church family at Holy Trinity Clapham. Lucy is super excited about journeying through this Christmas series!