Mt 19:16-26 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” The problem isn’t the person having the possessions. The problem is possessions having the person.
Job 1:2-3 There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. Job started out with great material wealth. Job loved his children so much that he daily gave offerings on their behalf because his heart yearned that they love God as he did (Job 1:5). God loved about Job, not his things. That’s why God allowed Satan to take everything from Job, short of his life. In the end, Job remained faithful to God. He wasn’t perfect, and God did straighten Job out about a few things, but when the test was complete Job was given far more than he had started with (Job 42:10-17). Through all the ups and downs, Job and God cared more about each other than material things or words of other men. Regardless of what rewards might be available to us in this life, if our heart is constantly yearning for and seeking God such that we obey Him in our love, then our ultimate reward will far greater than anything we could hope for in this life.
There are many more examples like this such as Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and even Jonah. These were people who sought God through ups and downs. Whether they were enjoying a period of earthly prosperity or loss, they kept their eyes on the Lord who saw them through it all.
So to answer the question, I really don’t think God cares very much about our material wealth as long as we love Him. Whatever wealth we have (or don’t have) serves His purpose. We fool ourselves to think our purpose is our own so we should just simply accept His purpose and embrace it.
This post is an excerpt (Question 10.2) from my book Ask James one.