We recently had the lottery here in the United States. The jackpot got up to 1.5 billion dollars. While this is a lot of money for most of us, it is hard to imagine that 65% of lottery winners are bankrupt within 15 years.
As one winner declared: “I tried to get too much, too fast.” This attitude of “get” is so prevalent in our current society; and yet, when those who do “get” it, they end up losing most of what they had, even to the point of going backwards, losing family, friends and in some cases wanting to commit suicide. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this attitude has permeated the very depths of our society. Take a look at the US National Debt Clock and you can watch the depressing amount of numbers continually streaming away. This is our nation crumbling before us. Will Durant’s quote stands in stark contrast: “A nation is born stoic and dies epicurean.” No longer are people willing to stand up for conscience and truth, but they rather look for the easy way out.
How many times have we in some way wished to win something? How many times have we wished that things would go more easily for us? Maybe our faith has been tested in areas of money, time and patience. Do we immediately lose hope? Do we wish it was instantly better? Or do we look to God and the Bible to start finding the answers that we need? James 1:2-4 plainly states that this is the right attitude that we need to be engaged in.
This time in our lives is our testing and proving ground. We are supposed to learn to be stoic, reliant, steadfast and unmovable with the Word of God as our rock. Look at Luke 21:19; Hebrews 6:12 ; and 1 Peter 1:7. How many times do we read biblical passages like these, think that they are great Scriptures and then walk away and forget what we just read?
As this nation and the rest of the world continue their crumbling decline, away from God and any and all morals, where does that leave us? Christ’s stark words were that the “world hates you” (John 15:18-19). Is this true for us? Do we stand out at times as sore thumbs because we hold fast to the truth? Or do we, for the sake of attempting to fit in, try and become a part of the world?
Our choices are daily. They are in the small things that we choose to do or not do–in the way in which we spend our precious hours. Now is the time to stop kidding ourselves, thinking that we have still much time to overcome, to become more acceptable to God. No, now is the time for deep self-examination, based on the Word of God. Truly, we have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be the first in line for God’s soon-coming Kingdom.
How are we treating this? Hopefully not as those who go bankrupt after winning the lottery because they do not know how to use wisely what they have been given. It just came too fast for them. God is testing us NOW to see how we handle our responsibility, learning to make right choices, so that we can make good decisions when we become God beings.