"Do I serve God only when good people surround me or my faith is profitable and respected? Do I love the Lord only when worldly comforts come from His hands? If so, then I am nothing but a shameful hypocrite and, like a withering reed, I will perish when death deprives me of outward joys. Can I honestly say that when bodily comforts have been few and my surroundings have been hostile to my walk of grace that my integrity has been maintained? If so, then I have hope of a genuine, living, godliness in me. A reed cannot grow without moisture, but plants of "the Lord's right hand" (Psalm 118:15) can and do flourish, even in drought. In fact, a godly man often grows best when his worldly circumstances decay. He who follows Christ for his money bag is nothing but a Judas (see John 13:29), and they who follow him for loaves and fish are children of the devil. But they who follow him due to their genuine love for Him are His beloved ones. Lord, let me find my life in You- not the muck and mire of this world's favor or gain."
Look Unto Me: The Devotions of Charles Spurgeon
These truths have been on my heart. I know I am guilty of holding on to the treasures and successes of this world too tightly. I often set my scope on money, outward beauty, recognition, comfort, and reputation- but most often on comfort. I don't want sickness, debt, confrontation, or discord. I don't want to fight a single battle- good or bad. I don't want a single bump in the road that I so desperately try to keep straight. And I am even more fearful of a bump in the road with my family.
But my ultimate need, Lord, is to love you with all of my heart. I want my desires to be Yours. Make me more like you, Father, and hold me close. Meet me in Your word and prayer this coming year and use me for your glory. And when I feel exhausted, unappreciated, or unloved at the end of the day- set my eyes on you and the joy of knowing the Maker of the universe. Fill me with Your presence and give me a fullness in heart and mind that will be unwavering! Thank you for your "boundless stores of grace"!