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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of April 8, 2019

In every situation, there are always two stories—the story you see and the story God sees.

Sometimes life seems to be taking us down a huge detour and everything looks like it's not going our way. In those situations, our life and our story seems to be a disaster.

This is exactly what happened to Joseph, whose story is found in Genesis 37-50. Joseph's brothers jealously hated him and sold him into slavery. Joseph was wrongfully put in prison for raping Potifer's wife, when really he refused to compromise his integrity by sleeping with her. Then, Joseph helped get the chief cupbearer out of jail; however, when the cupbearer had an opportunity to return the favor and get Joseph out of jail, the man forgot about Joseph. Joseph ended up spending thirteen years in jail for something he didn't do.

At this point Joseph's story was going haywire, but God's story was right on track. That's because God had an amazing plan for Joseph's life; God was going to use Joseph to save Egypt and the surrounding lands for seven years of devastating famine. What looked to Joseph like a huge detour was really a great plan of God to provide food for countless people, including the very brothers that had sold Joseph into slavery.

At the end of this, Joseph realized that God had a bigger plan for his life, and after his brothers come to him for food, he tells them: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20).

All along, God's story was right on track.

This same principle is also true in the life of Jesus. To the disciples, it looked as those Jesus would be a great king who would rule Israel and return the nation to greatness. They hailed him as a great leader. So, when Jesus was being crucified, the story they saw looked like a major train wreck—this great leader whom they had followed for the past three years was suddenly dead. However, God's story was at its peak—God was in the process of connecting humanity to himself.

There's what you see and what God sees.

When your life seems to be a major disaster; know that God has bigger plans to use your life for great things. The story you see may not reflect the long-term story God has planned. Therefore, trust God, knowing that he works for good in all circumstances (Romans 8:28).

Are you so hungry to own more money that your money owns you?

In Matthew 13:44-46, Jesus says, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it."

Jesus tells about two men, both of whom sold everything for the kingdom of heaven. To those men, God's eternal kingdom was so valuable that they were willing to give up everything they had in order to invest in it.

That's exactly the same attitude God wants us to have toward wealth. Money is an excellent servant but a terrible master. Unfortunately, many people in society are mastered by their money, unable to control their greed.

Yet God is more important than all these things in the world. He requires that we be willing to sell all for Him.

Mark 10:17-22 tells the story of a rich man's encounter with Jesus: As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good -- except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'"

"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy." Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

He owned great wealth, but really his wealth owned him. Remember that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).

This man's heart was so attached to his money that his money owned him. His attitude is very different than that of the two men, who sold everything for the kingdom of heaven.

If, like this man, you become so hungry to own more money, be aware that really your money will own you.

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