Ed and I had a discussion about this a couple days ago. We were in the kitchen waiting for the dinner rolls to come out of the oven when the mailman came. We received a letter from a supporting church stating that they're going to drop their support. We had three churches lower support but this was the first one to drop. We got to talking about finances – pinching (most of us are), but we are still doing good. Some missionary friends are struggling more and have lost more supporting churches. We said, “God’s been good to us.” Wait a minute! What about the ones that are struggling, God’s not good to them? This led to a longer discussion. Ed said, “Man shall not live by bread alone… but these rolls are really good I could live off them.” Hahaha!
We did our devotions that night on Psalm 1. The “blessed man” is very clearly feasting on God’s Word on a daily basis, day and night. He delights in it. Four things about him in verse 3:
- He is steadfast (even in the midst of trials).
- He is fruitful (not stuck in a rut kind of living).
- He is refreshing (he does not wither).
- He prospers. The word “prospers” is not material blessing or success measured by man. Success in church planting in Thailand can not be measured by comparing success in church planting in South America. “Prosper” means spiritual fruitfulness as we abide in God’s Word (Gal. 2:22-23).
Perfect example is Job. Everything and everyone in his life was stripped away from him but he was still a blessed man. All he had left was God. That was enough for him. The blessings that he received at the later time of his life were, I would say, God’s reward to him for delighting in His Creator. When God gives us blessings, they are not merely for our own enjoyment… they are given to us so we can GLORIFY God by meeting other people’s needs, whether they are material, emotional, or spiritual needs. That's what we are here in Thailand for! -ddw