God will generously provide all you need. (2 Corinthians 9:8 )
If you didn’t know better, you’d think the apostle Paul worked for Norman Vincent Peale. Some of his writings seem to come right out of the The Power of Positive Thinking. Look at this one from his second letter to the Corinthian church:
“God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” (2 Corinthians 9:8 ).
Or this one from his letter to the church at Philippi:
“I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need” (Philippians 4:11-13 ).
Either Paul was a hopeless optimist, or he knew something that most people don’t. You and I know it was the latter. Paul defined his reality by God’s power, not his own abilities or shortcomings. And that made all the difference in how he perceived his circumstances. He knew that his future was in God’s hands, not his enemies’. He saw the bigger picture. He understood that poverty was just another opportunity to see God’s miraculous hand of provision. Paul trusted in God’s sovereignty more than he feared his own weaknesses.
Ever known someone like that? Ever had a friend who always seemed to be able to rise above his situation? Ever known someone who had a hard life but never let it get her down? People like this always seem to be able to see the rainbow through the clouds. They always know the sun will rise the next morning. No matter how bad things get, they always focus on the light at the end of the tunnel—even when they can’t see it. These are the kind of people that God is looking for. That’s what God wants from his followers. He wants us to rise above our own doubts and frailties and see the bigger picture. To see that he is mightier than our circumstances. To believe that all things are possible through God.
2 Corinthians 9:8 ; Philippians 4:11-13
When it comes to your future, are you a hopeful optimist or a hopeless pessimist? How would God have you pray in light of today’s lesson?
“‘Eating directly from God’s table,’ he told Abdullah, ‘was something I never expected in this lifetime.’” (The Remnant, 107)