2 Corinthians 4.10 as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things.
I was reading the blog of a church website and they were talking about how God provided them with furniture and things for their new children’s ministry classroom. Indeed, God has done that same kind of thing many times over for His children. He is so good and generous towards us. What bothered me was the quote that followed the article, and maybe some of you have heard it. “Where God guides, God provides.” Now, I do believe that God does provide for His children. But I do not believe that we should interpret this phrase to mean that the Bible promises that we will get whatever we want. Nor do I believe that we can interpret this phrase to mean that the Bible promises that we will never lack financially.
The passage above is from the pen of the apostle Paul. Now I am assuming that he is being led by God in his ministry as he seeks his face in prayer. Yet, he writes that in following the will of God, he is poor and has nothing to speak of. Thus God guiding does not always equal material provisions. Peter and John, who also were apostles said, silver and gold have I none. Again, Spirit-led men, about to be used to perform a miracle of healing on a lame man, but not having “a red cent” in their robe pocket.
Of course, these wonderful men of God had had much more than material wealth. These apostles may have been poor man financially, but they made many rich. They may have had no certain dwelling place, but they possessed more than money can buy. They were truly guided and provided for, weren’t they? Jesus said to the church of Smyrna in Revelation 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, but thou art rich. This congregation who was commended by God lived way below the poverty level financially, but they were rich. Commended by God. Guided by Him, yet persecuted and poor.
This is not a blog that is saying that there is any inherent virtue in poverty. I am simply reminding you beloved to filter all Western American church cliches through the lens of Scripture. God does provide all of our need according to His riches in glory through Jesus Christ. It may be money. It may be furniture. But is most certainly will be grace, peace and strength for whatever today may bring.