What then can we say in conclusion about provision and wealth in the Bible?
If we are wealthy, we are to be grateful and thankful for the blessing of wealth and seek God’s guidance how to handle this wealth without harming ourselves, others or the environment. We are to learn to be content with what we have and as God’s trustees, put our wealth at his disposal through acts of giving, wise investment and responsible spending. Recognizing the dangers of riches, we should ask for God’s grace to not become proud, corrupt, self-sufficient, exploitative or complacent. And perhaps most of all, we are not to imagine that we are especially favored by God.
If we are poor—or struggling to provide enough for our needs—we are to ask God for guidance and help. Resisting the urge to be overcome by anxiety or despair, we can look for God’s grace to remain generous and joyful, even finding a way to be more content with less than we desire. Most of all, we should ask God for his grace not to imagine we are less valuable to God or are being punished by him.
If we feel we are neither rich nor poor—just getting by, as it seems—we are to express gratitude for what we have received and ask for God’s guidance how to use it well. Being on the guard for worry, we should rejoice in the opportunity our economic situation provides to trust God daily for our needs. We are called to learn contentment and practice generosity beyond what we feel we can afford. Even when we feel uncertain of our own security, we are called to work for economic justice, though it might seem to threaten our own prospects. Together the practices of thankfulness, contentment, generosity and justice may show us more clearly the difference between what we feel we need and what is truly best for us. Perhaps they will prepare us to trust God’s promises to provide for us.
Rich, poor or somewhere in-between, we can look forward in confidence to a future where there is no more struggle and none will lack anything. We will live in abundance in the renewed earth. God’s vision for us and for his world will be fulfilled.