|“You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read.” –John MacArthur
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” Psalm 106:15
The line between hope and greed is real but invisible. Sometimes you cannot tell when you have crossed it. The Bible encourages you to hope for temporal things. You take your risks in the direction of your hope. You hope that your beloved will marry you, or that you will get the job you desire, and you take the risk of asking. If the risk you take provides what you hoped, you tend to consider it to be the will of God. If you fail in your quest for the temporal, you can easily conclude that you were guilty of greed. For example, if you invest in a stock and it multiplies ten-fold, you can easily conclude that God led you. Conversely if you lost your investment you can easily conclude that you shouldn’t have been so greedy. But is this conclusion biblical?
When you conclude that you didn’t get what you wanted because “you asked amiss,”377 it doesn’t mean that your conscience condemned you, of if it did, that it was legitimate. You may have merely experienced regret over the loss. For this reason greed is more easily identified when you get what you want than when you fail in your expectations. For example, both you and your sister have desired your mother’s china since childhood. If your sister inherits it, you will have difficulty distinguishing between regret and covetousness. But if you inherit the china, and the Holy Spirit convicts you of greed, you have a clearer indication that you have sinned.
You probably will never completely be able to distinguish between hope and greed as you walk by faith. But be careful that you don’t allow regret to confuse you. You will always regret losing the object of your hope. During such moments, avoid condemning yourself for being greedy unless the Holy Spirit specifically convicts you of it.
377 James 4:3
Isaiah 65-66 1 Timothy 2 (New King James Version)
1 Timothy 2
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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:2
Devote yourselves to Prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The Prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
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