“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
Paul puts together two seemingly opposed descriptions. The believers in Macedonia live in “extreme poverty” and yet have an abundance of joy. Their pockets and houses might be empty but their hearts are overflowing.
This can only happen when our heart’s happiness isn’t gauged by our assets in this world but by our blessings in Christ. Paul used the Macedonians as an example of how any personal lack is eclipsed by God’s provision. As he continues down this line of thought, he leads us into an even greater argument in 8:9. What the church in Corinth possesses can’t be seen merely by physical eyes. It must be grasped through the eyes of faith. The eternal Son of God who is the pride and joy of heaven, who reigns and rules all things here below, and who owns and oversees every resource in both realms is at once their treasure and the Lord overseeing their resources.
Jesus fills up what is lacking. Jesus’ bigness overcomes our smallness. His plenty overflows and brings life into our scarcity and need. We can endure hardship when our hope is in him rather than our circumstances. When we become discouraged by what we don’t have, we look to Jesus and remember all we do have in and through him.
We are helped by drinking deeply of a theological diet rich in the glory of Jesus as King and equally rich in the grace that drove him to give up such glory to rescue us. We must fill our minds with lofty biblical thoughts of Jesus as the Son of God from whom, through whom, and to whom are all things. And then we must fill our minds with equally amazing thoughts of Jesus as the God-man who loves his people enough to not only take on their flesh but to take on their sin. We must follow Paul’s example in directing our attention to what belongs to us in Christ.
When we remember Jesus is ours and we are his, then we have a more secure hope than our bank account and well thought out plans. If Jesus is an endless storehouse for all wisdom, love, and grace then there has to be more rest in him than in vacations and weekends off. When we tally our treasures not by earthly resources but by the presence and promises of God to us, we will then be caught up in joy. That is how believers can be in “extreme poverty” and yet overflow with joy (8:2). It’s how we are made rich in him who became poor (8:9).
When confronted by the things we are weak in or lack in this world, these truths remind us in Christ we lack nothing. Trust God today when He tells you if you’re united with His Son then you have everything you need and will need in and through Christ.
A portion of this article originally appeared at Fighter Verses.