How much do we need to be happy in this life? I've just returned with friends from a few days in Central America visiting with some of the poorest of the poor in that land. In the busy urban centre when we asked people if they had a need we could pray for, some asked for healing or family concerns or a good job.
In a remote neighbourhood we came to the home of a man who lived with almost nothing. I doubt that the covering over his shelter would keep him dry through the rainy season. Under a single grate supported by bricks he had built a fire for cooking. We asked if there was something he would like us to pray about. There was nothing.
He was as delighted to show us his Bible as someone of wealth might be with a valuable work of art, and his joy may well have been greater. Perhaps at some time he'd lived in more comfortable circumstances. He didn't say, but one day he will move into a place the Lord Jesus is preparing for him that will surpass anything he could ever imagine.
We walked up a muddy road from his home to a church where believers were gathering to worship before dark. No complaints about the setting of the air conditioner. The structure was open air. And hearts were open to worship God and share His goodness with one another.
The Apostle Paul said he'd learned to be content whether he had plenty of this world's goods or little. (Philippians 4:11) It was never Father God's plan for any of His children to be in want. David knew God was pleased to see His children prosper. (Psalm 35:27) John encouraged Christ's followers to pay attention to the well-being of their souls assuring us that prosperity and physical health are related to our thinking, choices and attitudes. (III John 2)
With so many turning their backs on God, Satan has access to rob mankind. Many suffer through no fault of their own. They contend with circumstances that have developed from events and decisions of others. Our Lord is willing and able to help us as we recognize the enemy's lies and choose to receive what Father God has provided and offers.
Even while we are coming to realize and obtain our spiritual and natural inheritance, we can have joy. Can possessions without loving relationships satisfy? To know God loves each one and can supply every need, to have caring fellowship with others who serve Him... both the gentleman in the rain forest and the believer living in relative comfort are blessed.