We feel overwhelmed when we are over-worked, over-worried, over-burdened, and overly in debt. We long to live more simply and untangle the complicated web of our lives. How do we do so? We can only live simply when we trust God deeply. Over the next three weeks we want to understand and live into this trust. We simply rest when we trust that God can take care of the world even when I’m not working. We simply work without worry when we trust that God will reward that work regardless of how people might perceive it. And we simply give when we trust that “God is able to make all grace abound to you” (2 Cor 9:8). What does God promise to give as we simply give?
First, God gives abounding grace for every good work as we give (2 Cor 9:6–9). Paul celebrates the growth of the Corinthians challenges them to excel in the grace of giving for the needy in Jerusalem. He summarizes the promise that, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (9:6). Generous giving brings a generous harvest! We should not give because of the smallness of our resources; we give because we see the greatness of ou rGod.
Also, God supplies our needs as we give (2 Cor 9:10-11). Stinginess does not preserve more for ourselves; when we neglect God’s purposes we never find that we have enough (cf. Haggai 1:8–11). Yet as we seek first God’s purposes, then we find God’s abundant provision, since we will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way (2 Cor 9:11).
Finally, God is glorified as we give (2 Cor 9:12–15). People’s needs are met and overflow “in many thanksgivings to God” and “glorify God” (9:12–13)! People see God through our giving.
But what do we do when we don’t want to give generously? Sometimes we hear a call to give and force ourselves to give out of guilt and shame. But the antidote to our struggles in giving is not forcing ourselves to obey but to marinate our souls in the lavish generosity of our God. We give out of our “confession of the gospel of Christ” (9:13). We give as we gaze at “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” (8:9). May the generosity of our God increase our hearts and capacity that we might give out of the abundance that God has given to us! Let us give simply, trusting in God’s abundant ability to provide!