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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro


Gratitude vs. Greed


"Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless." - Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV


My husband, Joe, has been in the workforce for 50 years, and he is seriously considering retiring in the near future. Now, more than ever, he is surrounded by coworkers who are constantly expressing their fears about not having enough money for their retirement. The interesting thing about this is that many of these people already have more money than they could ever spend in one lifetime. Some of them are collecting multiple pensions, and have a surplus of savings in their bank accounts, in addition to their present ample income.

Whenever Joe talks about these fearful folks, it's plain to see that my husband simply cannot fathom their rationale. In my case, I "get it," because I always think of the above-mentioned Scripture saying, "Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income." The truth is, I pity these people who will never be "satisfied." The more they accumulate, the more they will crave, simply because they "love money." And they will never be happy, because we were designed by God to find contentment, fulfillment, and satisfaction in Him and Him alone.

A few verses down in this passage of Scripture, it says, "We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can't take our riches with us." (Ecclesiastes 5:15 NLT) If we live our lives keeping this truth in mind when we are tempted to envy others, or to strive for more than God knows is best for us, we will be able to maintain the proper perspective and priorities. And our hearts will be filled will gratitude, instead of greed.

I have been through countless trials and troubles over the years, and I have prayed through every one. But I have never seen God work wonders on my behalf like the times I have prayed His precious promises back to Him in faith. And why is this so pleasing to our God? Because not only will we be abundantly blessed as a result, but He will be greatly glorified. As the last verse in this passage from Isaiah declares: "This miracle will bring great honor to the Lord's name; it will be an everlasting sign of His power and love." (Isaiah 55:13 NLT)

Jesus said that we would experience trials and tribulations while we are in this world (John 16:33), so we will definitely have to endure some hard times while we are here. But we don't have to go through them empty-handed. We can hold fast to God's blessing-bearing Word the whole time, knowing that when we come out of our trials, we will have a harvest of joy and victory to show for it. As the Message Bible so beautifully puts it - "Those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest; those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing!" (Psalm 126:5-6 MSG)

The Bible says that we should always be "overflowing with thankfulness." (Colossians 2:7 NIV) How thankful are you today?

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times when I have envied others for having more than I do. Remind me often that when I give You Your rightful place in my life, You will supply all that I need, and I will never suffer lack. (Matthew 6:33; Psalm 34:9) Thank You that as I refuse to love money, and wholly love You, You will give me the ability to enjoy - and be satisfied with - my income and my possessions! (Ecclesiastes 5:19)


- J. M. Farro

 

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