Along with praise, God loves it when we thank him. But what about the things we’ve accomplished on our own, such as holding down a job or raising well-behaved children? The Bible shows us that we’re given the strength and ability to do things like that.
First of all, we don’t know the future. The Bible in Basic English renders James 4:13-14 this way: “How foolish it is to say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into this town, and be there for a year and do business there and get wealth:’ When you are not certain what will take place tomorrow. What is your life? It is a mist, which is seen for a little time and then is gone.”
We tend to glory in our strength but God is the one who gives it to us. Our attitude is as foolish as the examples in Isaiah 10:15 (KJV) which reads, “Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.”
The truth is that without the power and gift of life from the Lord, we’re helpless. Jesus said in John 15:5 (KJV) “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Also, our society despises weakness but God works best through yielded people without the might to do much. Look at what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV). “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Tragically, the people who mentored me when I was a new Christian didn’t understand this. They wanted to wield the power of God for their own aggrandizement and taught me to want the same. My How I Was Razed book shows how futile that was and how the Lord is glorified in our inabilities.
One objection I often hear from non Christians is that we who believe in Christ teach a pie-in-the-sky religion. It does nothing good for us now and it only makes its adherents miserable. We know differently but they don’t. Therefore, I want to point out a few scriptures to refute their assertions.
As adopted children in Christ’s spiritual family, we are provided with what we need in this world. Look at what the Bible in Basic English says about this matter in Mark 10:28 to 30. “Peter said to him, ‘See, we have given up everything, and come after you.’ Jesus said, ‘Truly I say to you, There is no man who has given up house, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or land, because of me and the good news, Who will not get a hundred times as much now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and land–though with great troubles; and, in the world to come, eternal life.'”
But what of Christians who have families and haven’t left home? The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:19 (KJV) “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Since this is so, why are some believers dirt poor? This isn’t because of a lack of faith, as charismatic preachers claim, but God always gives us what we need, not what we think we need. As Jesus said to the crowd in his Sermon on the mount in Matthew 7:11 (KJV) “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
I once believed that the heavenly Father was stingy because he wouldn’t give me 20/20 vision. I wanted it so I could give him glory and so I could find a job easier. Now I know that he gave me much more spiritually and even physically than I could have imagined back then. I wrote about this marvelous transformation of my soul in a book called How I Was Razed. Read more about this miraculous testimony at Amazon.