“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” Ephesians 1:11
An advertising blitz for a credit card company once featured two humorous television commercials. One featured Vikings who were defeated by credit card’s low interest rates. The other series of ads poked fun at the apparent difficulty of cashing in on the “other company’s” frequent flier miles. Every one of the commercials ended with the same catchy tagline: “What’s in your wallet?”
It’s an interesting question. The stuff in our wallet represents financial security, purchase power, and prosperity. The question “What’s in your wallet?” is a clever way of planting doubt in our minds about whether or not we have the right stuff to get all the satisfaction we are looking for in life. It prompts us to wonder if we are getting all that we think we deserve. Is there more out there that we don’t yet have? Do we have what it takes to be successful? Of course, the intent of the ad campaign is to make us think that only this particular card will make us satisfied, secure, and significant. And if we don’t feel secure about having the right things in our wallet, perhaps we need to reevaluate its contents. But those who have traveled life’s road for a while will tell you that it’s not really the stuff in your wallet that finally brings the happiness you’re looking for.
Thankfully, God has an announcement of His own about where to find satisfaction, security, and significance! In Ephesians 1:3-14, the apostle Paul can hardly contain himself as he lists the incredible resources that our Father has placed at the disposal of His children. When we turn to Christ by faith, we’re given forgiveness—the joy of a clean conscience before God. We’re entrusted with His wisdom—inside information on how to live life without the downside of our ongoing dead-end experiments. We’re given access to His mercy and grace to find help in the time of need, worship to lift our spirits above the din of ordinary living, and prayer to put us in touch with the One who cares for us and loves us without condition. We find all of this and more in our spiritual wallet!
What are you trusting to bring you joy and satisfaction? What do you depend on to give you a sense of security and safety? Where do you turn for significance? Are you focused on a wallet that’s growing with the “right” credit cards, a thick stack of cash, and the right business cards? Ironically, a full wallet can be carried on a body with an empty heart.
Live for the incredible spiritual wealth and riches offered to you by our loving heavenly Father, who, according to James, delights in giving good gifts to His children. Your physical wallet may be almost empty, but, if your heart is full of all that Jesus offers, you’ve got all the right stuff to defeat the Vikings that plague your life and to experience true joy and satisfaction.
God is powerless?
Read Psalm 145:1-21 and celebrate and praise God for who He is.
How does God’s amazing knowledge and power assure you? How does it help you cope with the pains of this life?
Rabbi Harold Kushner lost a son to a degenerative disease—premature aging syndrome. He later wrote the bestsellerWhen Bad Things Happen to Good People. Trying to maintain his belief in God, he said that God is either not good enough, since he allowed the sickness, or not powerful enough to prevent it. He chose the latter. According to Kushner, God created the world but isn’t in complete control of it. In other words, God hopes for our good and sympathizes with us in our pain, but He’s powerless to do anything about it.
Job suffered a triple whammy, losing his wealth, his 10 children, and his health (Job 1:1–2:13). Job’s three friends, showing concern, came to comfort him (Job 2:11). Believing that suffering is always the result of sin, they took turns to convince Job (Job 4:1–25:6) to confess his sins so that God would bless him once again (Job 8:4-7, Job 11:14-17, Job 15:5-6).
As Job conversed with his friends, he lamented that they were not helping him but adding to his pain (Job 6:14-17). Speaking of God’s unfathomable ways (Job 26:5-14), he extolled God’s omniscience—His ability to know and see everything (Job 26:5-6). And, unlike Kushner, Job didn’t doubt God’s omnipotence—His great power and sovereign rule over all (Job 26:7-13). He also spoke of God’s transcendence—that God’s ways are far above our ways (Job 26:14).
While there’s mystery in God’s ways, there’s no uncertainty about His absolute sovereignty and power. Job concluded that what we can see God doing in this world is “just the beginning of all that he does, merely a whisper of his power.” Awed by Him, Job asked, “Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of his power?” (Job 26:14). Who indeed?