Q: Does God want everyone to be rich? I heard someone on TV claim that this is what the Bible teaches, but I wonder if it’s true. We struggle every month just to pay our bills, and yet my husband and I have always tried to put God first. — A.P.
A: No, the Bible doesn’t promise that everyone who follows Jesus will become wealthy (nor does it promise that we’ll always be free of sickness). Nor is money to be the most important thing in our lives, even if God does entrust it to us. The Bible says, “Though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them” (Psalm 62:10).
After all, Jesus wasn’t rich, nor were his first disciples, not at all. In fact, the only disciple who really cared about money was Judas, whose greed and unbelief caused him to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Repeatedly the Bible warns us against being consumed by money or placing it first in our lives instead of Christ. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. … You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24).
But when we know Christ we are rich, not necessarily with this world’s goods, but with spiritual riches! Think of it a moment. Can anything this world offers be greater than God’s forgiveness? Can anything be greater than Christ’s presence with us every day? Can anything be greater than the privilege of prayer, or being part of Christ’s family, or being used to bless others?
Thank God every day for his blessings, and make it your goal to put Christ first in your lives. Most of all, thank him that when we know Christ, we have “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade … kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.