God’s wisdom is not the same as ours (Is.55:8). I think adversity, troubles and trials will only drive people further from God. My idea is to protect them, make it easy for them, to bless them with wealth and prosperity, and then they will be grateful and acknowledge God. But like the rich farmer in the parable Jesus told he thought it was by his hand that this entire blessing had come to him. Jesus said in Luke 12:18 – 20: "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'” Jesus said the ground of the rich man produced a good crop. It wasn’t anything the rich man created. He took what God created, saw it as his, and then got puffed up with pride and started making plans for his future. “This is what I’ll do”
Jesus said in Mark 10:23: "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" A rich young man had asked what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus said sell all that you have, give it to the poor, and come follow me. This young man couldn’t do it. Jesus touched the heart of the matter. Who do you serve: God or money? Would he have been destitute as a result of this action? No! You can’t out give God. He would have had more blessing and more increase. Who would have had his heart if he had responded by giving it all away: God or money?
Jesus then said in the hearing of his disciples: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." (Mark 10:25-27) Man’s thinking and man’s wisdom will not save us. We think as the disciples did that the rich are privileged and therefore will be saved as obviously God has blessed them. His blessing does not equate with His salvation. It’s impossible for man to save himself. Only God can do that through Jesus.
Did the young rich man fell discouraged? Certainly, he went away sad because he had great wealth. He was faithful to the commandments but this request was overwhelming. At that point Jesus put the young man in a place of adversity. Would he do it or wouldn’t he? He met Jesus face to face and knew the cost of eternal life. He could not simply walk away and return to his life of ease and abundance. He now had an issue of conscience. Obedience in this case required great sacrifice. Would he do it?
Jesus asks the question of people that we never would. We would say well, yes, Jesus requires your all but you could give it away a little at a time. Jesus didn’t actually say give it away all at once. We would compromise trying to make it easier for anyone to enter the kingdom of God. We would make it possible for someone.
But it is impossible for man. This impossibility becomes a place of close fellowship with God. It changes “my self sufficiency” to “I need you”.
(image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)