One of the thoughts bouncing around in my mind over the past couple of weeks is an offshoot of this post. I remember over the years people saying how blessed by God we are as a nation. We were (or are) a “land of plenty.” But let me throw something out that I’ve been thinking about.

Can we agree that our time on this earth is designed by God to grow us into Christian maturity? By Christian maturity I mean we realize that we are here to do God’s will, to follow Jesus’ teachings, to care for those around us, to keep us dependent on God – the only source of strength to accomplish what He wants, to grow in a deep personal relationship with Him, and to show God’s love to the unsaved. I think most of us would agree that these are the goals of life on this earth.

Now, picture in your mind life in this country (the U. S.), and life in China, as a Christian. Which do you think will accomplish the end results of being a mature Christian better, the life of plenty we have, or the struggle of being a Christian in China? It occurred to me that in reality, living in this country isn’t a blessing, if we have a Biblical worldview, and knowing we are supposed to grow in maturity with God. There are too many distractions and too much “busyness” around us that keeps us focused on the “things” of this world rather than on God. But life in China, where just surviving each day requires the intervention by God in numerous ways, is more likely to keep our minds where it belongs – on Him.

Maybe, this is why we are having a small “wake up call” in the financial markets. It could be God’s way of sounding an alarm that the things we look to for security around us – income, employment, home – are not what really will give us security and happiness. Or as Jesus said in Luke 12:34:

34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34).

That one hit me like a ton of bricks when I read it about a month ago. It made me start thinking, “What do I treasure more than God?”

— The New King James Version. 1982 (Lk 12:34). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.