We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
– 2 Corinthians 6:8b-10
As I was reading 1 Peter 1:5-7 this morning, Peter said, “In this [the living hope we have], you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in prise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” The Christians to whom Peter was writing were joyful, yet sorrowful. They were exceedingly glad that God has elected them, caused them to be born again to a living hope and eternal inheritance, and that they are being guarded by God’s power. Still, they were sorrowful for going through trials and tribulations.
With this dichotomy from 1 Peter on my mind, I flipped over to 2 Corinthians 6 to read about how Paul described himself and the apostles. Two of the clauses jumped off the page: 1) “as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” and 2) “as having nothing, yet possessing everything.”
The first one is for the obvious reason that it related to 1 Peter. Is there ever true, undefiled rejoicing in this world without some sort of pain and sorrow attached? Of course not. We need to live on the fine line of knowing how to rejoice amidst pain and suffering.
The second for reasons that have become so much more evident to me over the past nine months. I work for Campus Crusade in Nebraska. I’ll be in Africa this summer for a month and then again for a year starting in January. I have to raise financial support. I don’t make much money. People in my own family think that I am wasting my life and time with what I’m doing. Others on the outside hear “ministry” and they think that I’m just some religious nut who will never be able to mortgage a home because I make peanuts for a living. In the world’s eyes, I have nothing. I buy clothes from Target and Wal-Mart. Eating out means going to Subway. Truly, I have nothing — in one sense. But in an altogether different sense, I have never been richer in my entire life. I have seen people go from death to life, darkness to light, and from a purposeless life to a living hope. I have developed deep, meaningful relationships that will continue throughout my life. I have grown with the Lord in mighty ways so that I now truly taste and see that he is good. I might not have a large bank account in this world, but my savings account in heaven is no doubt growing by the day.
God deserves all glory and praise and honor. How blessed is it that he invites us undeserving people to be a part of what he is doing in the world. For those in the economy of God, though we appear as if we have nothing, we are really more wealthy than could ever be imagined.
2 responses to “I Have Nothing, Yet I Posses More Than I Could Ever Imagine”
I would just like to say that this blog has been very inspiring and thank you for posting it. It is so true, and I have found countless passages of Paul writing about “joyful; yet sorrowful.” I wish you the best of luck with Campus Crusade. I have several friends who are very involved with this ministry and have traveled all over the country with this organzation. I plan to be a part of it next year, and can’t wait to see what God will use through it.
Anyways… I just wanted to encourage you to go by God’s calling and not man’s. Do not worry if other people think it is a waste of time or even if you are religious- you know what you are; a follower of Jesus Christ. Keep your head up high and follow what you know is right: God’s calling. I wish you the best of luck on your travels and I hope that God uses you in a mighty way!
Thanks so much! Where are you going to be involved at with Cru?