Week 15.  

Last week, I wrote about adversity, a counterpart to prosperity. The wisdom of God teaches distinctions but also inevitability of both.

We tend to think of adversity and prosperity as opposites and not counterparts. Husbands and wives.  Day and Night. Law and grace. One could not exist without the other. They are counterparts. Each have jobs and each have benefits. We left adversity behind last week, but not forgotten. 

Let me add a postscript verse as I transition into prosperity:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

As I read this verse, I thought of adversity and its counterpart: prosperity. Jesus reminds us that He knows we will have tribulation, adversity. He comforts us toward peace, with a reminder that He has overcome the world. Ladies, the word is HAS. He has and we that are in Christ, already have the victory, not only when we are in prosperity! The victory is ours today!

Homes are one of the kindest things God gave to our lives. God knew we would need shelter. Ideally, our homes provide shelter from adverse conditions, not strictly speaking of weather. It is a place we are nourished and loved. Home is where we prepare to meet what is on the outside. It is a place where we learn about relationships to man and to God. It is a place where we should be loved unconditionally. 

When someone forms a new home, by marriage or by moving, I think of a verse that is a blessing, a prayer. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.  Psalms 122:7. This verse paints a beautiful picture of home. 

When prosperity is not enjoyed in light of God’s Word, it can prove to be a stumbling block to our lives, indeed, lead us right back into adversity.  A couple of examples:

And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.  Psalms 30:6  This was written in the Psalms, but I think of the Parable of the Rich Fool. As the story ends he makes his choice. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  Luke 12:19

I hear variations of this said regularly by the unlearned of the Scriptures today. Let me be a little less “poetic.”  I do not follow celebrities, but they do cross my newsfeeds. The security and intellect they express in who they think they are in today’s world is mind boggling and frightening.  Their security is in wealth and the power that seems connected to it.  My, oh my; sometimes we buy into that thinking:

For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.  Psalms 73:3.  This verse reminds me how important it is to stay grounded in right thinking.  Thoughts of envy and desire pass quickly for me when I think of their end. Life passes quickly, the Bible says, as a vapour. Wasted lives will give an account; they will bow their knees to the God they denied and their end… utter darkness and punishment. I cringe for them and silently pray sometimes for their salvation. God loves them and through Him, nothing is impossible. 

For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.  Proverbs 1:32  Prosperity is a deceiver to a fool. The very best way to avoid being in this category is to live and walk among people that love God, with those called according to His purpose. (A phrase from Romans 8:28)

There is no need to fear prosperity. It is a gift and if handled rightly can be seen for what it is: a blessing from God. God, in His Word, teaches stewardship and how to live a life that is able to handle prosperity. 

In Matthew 25, beginning in verse 14, is the story of a man that left his servants in charge of his assets before he traveled. Likely, he had some idea of how responsible they were, but gave all an opportunity to prove themselves. To one servant, he gave 5 talents, to another he gave 2 and to the other, he gave 1.  They were to take care of what he gave them stewardship of; then he left. 

(A talent was a specific amount of money, but my mind drifts to the talents and abilities God has given me. Am I using my talents wisely?)

When the owner returned, he asked for an accounting. Two of the three servants doubled their talents. The servant given 1 talent, buried it. He did not even try. Even if he were fearful to invest it, he could have deposited into what was the equivalent of a bank and earned a little interest. His response was terse, but this is not our story today. The point is that those that did well were rewarded with increased prosperity. God often rewards those that use their resources/talents wisely with prosperity, and it may come in various forms, increased wealth or leadership being two examples. 

When you experience times of prosperity, enjoy it, but don’t be deceived by it. Accept it for what it is, a blessing of God. In doing so, humility will not be a difficult character to maintain. 

Be happy for the prosperity of others.  The first book of Samuel, chapter 25, verse 6 reminds us that we should rejoice in the prosperity of others, wishing them continual blessing, peace. And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast. I have told my friends before that if something wonderful happens to them, tell me and I will rejoice with and for them. As I said last week, adversity is not a curse, but surely envy and jealousy are! Be thrilled when others prosper.

Ladies, I hope that prosperity visits you often because God knows you can handle it. And when prosperity seems far, that God will be your comfort and strength.

 People are usually better in adversity, than prosperity. A prosperous condition is not always so safe. True, it is more pleasing to the flesh – but it is not always best. In a prosperous state, there is more burden. Many look at the shining and glittering of prosperity – but not at the burdens of prosperity. Thomas Watson

 CRUMPETS:

Have fun at home! I am not the most creative person, but often when I see things I am inspired. Today’s “crumpet” is something I already do, but I was reinspired at a restaurant recently. I ordered fresh cheese, paneer, that would be cooked in a clay oven. I have ordered this many times, and have seen it presented many ways, most of which mundane. After all, it is cheese, not a standing rib roast! This restaurant elevated the cheese and I just loved everything about it:

Inspiration: Walk through your house; don’t forget the toybox. Look for things that can be used for serving dishes! A dump truck lined with a tea towel for biscuits or chips. A flower pot or watering can for breadsticks. Gather children’s blocks to spell ENJOY or BON APPÉTIT. I like the crudeness of children’s blocks spelling out something we might consider “a bit glam.”  Keep a sense of humor as you manage your homes. Everyone, including you, will enjoy life just a little bit more. One diversion per meal is enough; advice from someone that does not always follow her own advice.

Have a great week!