I struggle with what is “right” for a believer. There seems to be a great deal of subtle emphasis in Christian circles on the cookbook approach to finances. “If I tithe and am faithful with what God has given me, He will make me financially comfortable.” I do my part, and God is obligated to do His.
Personally, I haven’t found this to be true. He said He would provide for our needs. He determines what our needs are. Paul reflected this by saying if he had food and clothing with that he would be content. Even more, he had learned to be content without those basics. In “nakedness, peril, or sword ” we are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us”.
When the scriptures talk about “God works all things together for good”, what is the good God works towards? Not necessarily what we consider “good”. He means to make us look like Jesus in the end. He means the cross. Not comfort. He means death. Not good health and long life. He means remaining faithful in the face of adversity. “Having done all, to stand.” And if Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered why should we think we can learn obedience through comfort?
But what is the payoff? In my own situation I suspect the Lord is working a contentment with Him along the lines of Psalm 73. He gives Himself. And isn’t He better than stuff? As it is written, “God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”.
Q. 104. What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
A. In the fourth petition, which is, Give us this day our daily bread, we pray that of God’s free gift we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them.