Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Three Supreme Testings - Poverty And Obscurity

Will you pass the three supreme tests? Let’s find out.

Dr. CI Scofield in a biography about DL Moody said this:

"There are three supreme testings that await strong men in this life. The testing of poverty and obscurity, of prosperity and applause, and of suffering. Many, who enter life conscious, even though dimly, of great latent capacities turn sour and bitter under neglect, narrow circumstances and lack of appreciation. Others who pass the first trial successfully are corrupted or enfeebled by success and adulation. Many who stand erect alike in obscurity and success fail utterly under the testing of suffering."

The first testing he speaks about is the testing of poverty and obscurity. A person can come into this world with great capacity and because of circumstances never reach what their potential could be. Some fail under the testing of poverty and obscurity and become bitter and hard. Others flourish and overcome their circumstances. This can also be the case when someone falls into poverty or obscurity after success and applause. They can become angry, blame it on God or look to God for answers. Anger does nothing but lead to bitterness which ends up poisoning the heart.

Act 8:23 - "For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity."

Poverty does not have to equal unhappiness. Many have found great joy in spite of their poverty. Their joy comes from a saving grace, a hope in a future that is beyond this world. Sometimes in our poverty and obscurity we learn to lean more securely on God for even our most basic needs.

Take the widows two mites in Luke 21; she gave more than anyone by giving her two mites. She put in the entire livelihood that she had. She was not angry and bitter but loving of God and gave sacrificially of what she had. She trusted God and knew he would take care of her. She leaned securely on God for everything and Christ recognized that.

Even if we are in a position of poverty and obscurity we should not be focused on "how do I get out of this" but instead "what would God have me do with what I have". True success comes not from man but from God. Riches will be gone in a short while but the good you do even in your poverty will remain. It will remain in the lives that you touch and the legacy you leave behind.

I suppose you must decide what way you are going to define success. Is success gaining wealth and possessions like the world says or is it taking on the characters of Christ like God says? If success to you is riches and adulation then if you never achieve it you are likely to become angry and bitter. But if your definition of success is when you look in the mirror you see the reflection of Christ, then, when no material wealth comes your way it won't matter. Your joy is no longer dependant on the things that surround you but the things above.

What we must remember, is that our true riches are not here. They are in the next life waiting for us.

Let us not become bitter because of what we do not have, but become joyful for what we do have. Its all in the way we choose to look at it.


Peter P said...


You're such a great writer and can communicate the truth that God reveals to you so well.

I get a lot out of reading your blog!


R.L.Scovens said...

Great, great post! We do have to stop being happy according to our circumstances!!