Bishop Dr Wee Boon Hup –was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2012.
He has been a Methodist pastor for 30 years.
"I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.
It seems odd that the apostle Paul should speak about the secret to facing plenty. We know the necessity of facing the challenges of hunger and lack. But why is there a need here to talk about facing abundance? Should it not be something we just receive and enjoy?
Seasons of prosperity can insidiously lead us to slide downwards. Paul was aware of this. Abundance has a way of making us believe that it has come to us because of our own efforts. It will not be long before our efforts and the wealth they produce become what we trust in, moving God out of the picture.
Then Paul gives the secret to facing plenty: “[The rich] are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:18-19, ESV) What we need to do in times of abundance is to look out for others: to extend acts of kindness towards them, to give and to share with them what we have received.
To live through such tough times when we have nothing much requires a particular mindset. First, “my God will supply all [my] needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, NASB). Second, “I did not burden anyone” (2 Corinthians 11:9, ESV).
Ups and downs are part and parcel of life. Some of those downs may come with times of not having enough to survive. While we may have faith in God, Scripture also tells us that “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17). We find ways to keep going, knowing that God will supply.
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