I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but their voices carried quite clearly in the small space. “You’ve had your trials and now the Lord is going to bless you.” They were almost giddy. That is all I heard of the conversation. I moved farther away and concentrated on my own purposes. As I got into my car to head home the theology of the statement bothered me. They were so sure. It was as if God owed them because of what had gone before.
Here are my questions. Is that what we live for? Do we live for God to bless us? Is life only worth living because of what we can get from God? Is life really all about us? Unfortunately the typical American Christian functions that way. We are self-centered and self-sufficient. We don’t need God, but if things aren’t going well it is His fault. We expect Him to make us happy, but our happiness is wrapped up in self-pursuits. It is a lie as old as the garden. Satan convinced Eve that she should have the fruit even if God had forbidden it. After all her happiness was all that mattered. God must certainly be selfish not to allow it. We continue to grasp and demand and whine. God is no longer good to us. He is selfish and uncaring.
So where does true happiness lie? Is it good health, a fulfilling job, close family, friendships and possessions? Psalm 16:11 says “ …In Your presence is fullness of joy.” If that is where real joy can be found might our good health, fulfilling jobs, close family, friendships and possessions turn out to be distractions instead of blessings from God? Certainly God delights in giving us good things, but we forget that the best gift is fellowship with Him. Once we start loving the gifts more than the giver it is time to take serious stock of where our worship lies. Is it on God or the things He gives us.