We often think of prosperity as financial gain and affluence. But in my mind, I believe it means growing in faith. Job certainly had a hard life, he is known for his story throughout the halls of Biblical history. Many people compare their journey to Job’s but I can’t. I have had some hard times for sure. But I haven’t had the people I hold most dear ripped from my grip and left alone. I haven’t had all of my possessions stolen and I haven’t endured the pain of boils. I haven’t endured like Job has.
When it comes to faith, Job’s life is a testament of true faithfulness. When he had every reason to curse and blame God yet he didn’t. He persevered through many circumstances that were heart wrenching. Days upon days of waiting upon God to deliver and restore. Life hurt in Job’s world. Pain came in and totally wrecked him. All of his friends accused him and left him. He lived empty still.
Job inspires me to endure through life longer.
In our world, position, power, wealth or the pursuit of those gains are advancing while doing the things that matter mean less and less. Our homes become safe havens, a covering, or a refuge from others throwing stones at us. We shield our lives and close ourselves off to the world, we hide behind our church attendance smile and say we are okay.
We hide behind our hurts, pains and tend to retreat so we won’t get hurt anymore. We remain hurting alone in our pain.
All the while people are still hurting people, stealing innocence, acting out in anger and responding badly, even in church circles. People are still manipulating others to get their way, to dominate and to control. Our faith is tempted and tested on many levels. And people push our buttons. My point is this, what if we let God prosper us through this. What if God’s great plan for us results in our ability to see Him more clearly? I’m not saying God is causing all the bad in the world, nor allowing it. Please don’t blame God for the evil around us.
What if we let God promote us to a deeper level of faith? What if our part in this life is to only be faithful like Job was? What if we thought about life differently from a heavenly perspective? What if we thought about Jesus more than our numbers or personal gain or place in this world? More than our financial gain or our personal lack? What if we thought about prosperity through perseverance and endurance resulting in or for the sake of enriching our faith?
What if Job’s story is yours? How long would you stick it out in a den of lion’s that were super hungry? How long would you stay faithful to God to live empty like Job did? How long could you endure through a lifetime without?
Miles Monroe said it best…“live empty”. Fill your life with God, pour out and into others. That’s more gain than I can manage most days, but it is the most rewarding part of life, when Jesus’ love is exposed. How are you investing in the lives of others? Are you choosing your investments according to what makes you comfortable or what’s convenient?
Are you living empty? I don’t know your pain, I don’t know your level of sacrifice, I don’t know your level of faith. I do know that God doesn’t ask us to compare. I do know that God doesn’t compare His children. I do know that God is faithful. I know that God is a one who can be trusted to the most minute detail of our lives. I do know that Jesus lived empty while on this earth but yet never sinned and had safe boundaries when it came to relationships.
I know what it’s like to live with pain. I know what it’s like to hold the hand of cancer. I know what it’s like to mourn the loss of relationships. But I also know hope. I know that following God isn’t easy, comfortable, and convenient. I know God’s love endures forever. I also know that God’s love never fails.
I hope in some small way this word encourages you to live empty where you are not. Remember your hope. Reset it if you need to. This prospering, living empty, filling, fulfilling, gaining, losing, learning, and loving is daily journey. One of sacrifice and resetting our hearts on God. It’s truly where our freedom lies and where our hope is. No matter how old you are right now or how long you expect to live. If you are reading this, you have something to give to someone else.
Live empty like it’s your last. Someone needs what you have and they are looking for hope.