Presuming in Prosperity

Psalm 30:6 says: “Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, ‘I will never be moved.’”

David confesses here a previous sin in his life, which was an expression of the essence of human pride and presumption.  During prosperous times, it can be our tendency to think that things will continue to be just as good as they currently are: “in my prosperity .. I will never be moved”.  But this is arrogant presumption.    James 4:14 says “you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow”.  Yet so often the case is that we DO presume that we will have the same health, the same income, the same blessings – yea, even the very existence of LIFE – that we do today – but we are NOT guaranteed that!  It is presumption!

I can confess to have personally had this attitude.  I have thoughtlessly assumed that I would always be as healthy as I have been; that I would always have the same income; that I would continue to save money at my current rate, etc., etc.  But I have seen very dramatically in recent days that all of my assumptions can go right out the window with one illness!  It only takes ONE small change in all of the variables in our lives to upset the whole apple cart of our presumptions!

Yet many in our society think nothing of presuming upon the prosperity of tomorrow — it is the basis of the installment purchases which are so common in our country.   But who really knows what their income is going to be in the 6th year of their car payment?  In essence they are saying “in their prosperity, ‘I will never be moved’”, and that their income tomorrow will be what it is, or better than it is, today.

Now to balance that, there are times when we have to make decisions, like buying a home, for most of us, that is based on our best projections for the future.  If something happens differently than what we projected, then we just have to make adjustments the best we can, and go on.

This verse does not teach outright that one should never purchase anything over time.  What it does address more than anything else is our ATTITUDE towards the future: are you even considering the possibility that things will be different tomorrow than they are today?  Or do you mindlessly (and arrogantly!) just “assume” like those God condemned in Isaiah 56:12, that “Tomorrow will be like today, only more so”?

Presumption also has another deleterious effect: it robs you of the blessings of thanksgiving.  When you presume you will have something, then you are not grateful for it when it comes; it is what you “assumed” that you would get all along!

If you refuse to presume, you will have reason to be thankful for more things than you can count, every day.  But if you do presume, you will rob yourself of a thankful attitude, rob God of the thanks He deserved for the blessings that He gave you, and lead yourself to bitterness over things that you “assumed” you would get, but didn’t.

There is much at stake here; this is no “abstract theology”; it deals with some of our most basic attitudes in everyday life.  Live a life full of thanksgiving and joy, as you determine that you will not make David’s mistake, of presuming in prosperity.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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