living by faith- in a world of trouble

Life is a full plate, on the one hand. So much to try to take in, and so many decisions to make. And it’s not user friendly, either. There are all kinds of ways the world offers “success,” on plates which can spell doom- and difficulty at best. I think of credit cards and student loans, just to name two.

On the other hand, life can be relatively straightforward and simple, at least in theory if not in reality. Simply refuse to borrow except on mortgages. Refuse debt, save money with some put aside early on in something like a 401-K. Be generous in helping the poor; make that a priority. Certainly give to the church, a tithe is a good place to start, or according to one’s faith. Arrange life around those principles. John Wesley’s axiom: Make all you can, save all you can and give all you can.

What ends up being more realistic is a life committed to trusting the Father and seeking first God’s kingdom and his righteousness in following Jesus. And not hedging from that when the inevitable troubles and trials of life come. Knowing that there will be circumstances which are quite beyond us. Being much in prayer, trying to take in wisdom especially from scripture and from other places. Making the best decisions one (or preferably spouses together with godly, wise consultation) can make after that, with the knowledge that some of the decisions will actually not be the best. We are not foolproof in this life, and we will make mistakes. And even sound decisions can have worms in them in this present existence.

Keep reading the Proverbs and be in the rest of scripture. Wisdom means embracing simplicity and shunning worldliness, but not the world itself.

So in the end, there are no easy set formulas. The best answers are like leads which you follow, or offers you take in hand. But they are good only as one begins to live through the experience. The crucial factor is to be committed to a life of faith in God in every aspect of life. To be committed to being unwavering in that. And when we stumble, to accept God’s forgiveness and go on.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[a] your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy,[b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:19-34