Posted: September 27, 2012 at 2:45 a.m.
LITTLE ROCK DEAR REV. GRAHAM: My neighbor says that if I just have enough faith, then God will makeme rich. Is she right? When I pointed out that it didn’t seem to have worked for her, she said it’s because her faith isn’t strong enough yet.
DEAR M.V.: Idon’t doubt your neighbor’s sincerity, and I commend her for wanting to have a stronger faith - but this isn’t what the Bible promises. It’s true that in the Bible, God gave great wealth to some of his servants (such as Abraham and Job), and occasionally He still does. But this is the exception, not the rule.
After all, no one had greater faith than Jesus - because he was the son of God who lived in unbroken fellowship with his father. But was Jesus wealthy? No, not at all. He came from a humble family; Mary and Joseph were so poor they couldn’t even afford the normal sacrifice of a lamb when Jesus was born (see Luke 2:22-24). Later, during his public ministry He said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).
But God does promise us a different kind of wealth when we follow Jesus - wealth of the spirit. He promises us the “wealth” of forgiveness, and the “wealth” of his presence. He also gives us the “wealth” of his promises - and especially his promise to take us to heaven when we die. No wonder the Apostle Paul exclaimed, “O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33).
The most important question, however, is this: Have you discovered these riches for yourself? By faith give your life to Christ, and then thank him for giving you the greatest gift of all - the gift of salvation.
Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org
Weekend, Pages 32 on 09/27/2012