by K Neill Foster
for September 15, 2019
|The Happy Instruments of Our Fiscal Power|
Text: "And now brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy, and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity." 2 Corinthians 8:1-2
The Macedonian churches, not far from Corinth, were known for three things: severe trials, overflowing joy and extreme poverty. But their severe trials, rather than causing them to be self-centered and self-protecting, somehow produced a bubbling fountain of generosity.
Generosity out of poverty? Apparently trials do not need to hinder the grace of Christian giving. Rather, they can enlarge --even extravagantly multiply --an outpouring of love, mercy and generosity.
These three rivers find their source in the inexhaustible grace of God. Trials, joy and poverty seem like an eclectic mix --but no. For Paul they are a three-fold cord of blessing thrown to apostles in their missionary labors.
As for missionary-minded Macedonians perhaps they said, "Welcome trials, joys and poverty. By the grace of God these are the happy instruments of our fiscal power."
"Lord, grant to us as well this marvelous Christian grace."