Generosity Amidst Adversity

It’s easy to consider generosity as a calling delegated to the rich (or at least, those richer than us). Yet if we consider the goodness and character of God, surely this cannot be the case. Scripture reveals that great joy and eternal treasures are stored up for those who give generously. Jesus explicitly says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. If we believe this to be true, we cannot assume that such blessing is only reserved for the wealthy, because we know that God shows no partiality. It must follow then, that generosity is not just a luxury of the rich, but a privilege for the poor. It does not stem from leftover, but often paradoxically flows from lack.

All throughout Scripture, God displays this model. When He called the Israelites to generosity, He was speaking to those that lacked (Deut. 14:22-29). Think of it. The Israelites had endured generations of slavery, were displaced for decades waiting for the Promised Land, and yet God called them to give! This was not to lay a heavy burden, but because in love God includes those who lack. 

In Mark 12:41-44, Jesus took note of the poor widow who gave all she had to live on, just two copper coins. It was a seemingly worthless gift compared to the lavish offerings of those around her. Yet she was heralded by Jesus for her great generosity. Rather than clinging to her final coins, she gave in faith knowing that God includes those who lack. 

Amidst severe affliction and extreme poverty, the Macedonian church was so cheerfully eager that they actually begged Paul for the favor of giving (2 Cor. 8:1-5). They broke every sensible rule of stewardship and gave beyond what they could afford. This generosity was the overflow of their joy, because they understood that God includes those who lack.

Because God so desires to include those that lack, He encourages us with the promise of His provision (Luke 12:22-34). Right before calling His disciples to eternally-minded generosity, Jesus, knowing our propensity to worry, says, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” (Luke 12:22-24)

Rejoice in this comfort! The God who feeds the ravens will not forget His children. This assurance enables us to pursue lives of generosity even amidst seasons of adversity. When we give amidst adversity, we testify that our treasure and trust is Christ. When we give amidst adversity, we follow the example of the saints who’ve gone before us proclaiming God as our true Provider and investing in Heaven as our true Home.

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So if you feel broke and empty-handed, take heart and give! Remember that the King who noticed a widows two coins weighs generosity by sacrifice not sum. When you give from your lack, you will be abundantly filled with His supply.

 

17 thoughts on “Generosity Amidst Adversity

  1. Kelly S says:

    Thank you for the reminder! I recently left a job to be at home with the kids. The bank account is lower than ever. It is tempting to cut back proportionately on the giving. But I have to hang on to the truth that God provides so we can give generously.

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  2. Marisa says:

    Excellent reminder that God takes care of His children! He always provided for us in those seasons when we were lacking, even though it wasn’t necessarily in ways we imagined. One song that kept coming to mind when my husband was unemployed for a long time was “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”. He amazed us then (and continues to do so) with His faithfulness and provision for our lives!

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  3. helloleahgrey says:

    I have to remind myself sometimes that God doesn’t always “give back” the same way we give to Him. It helps me to take notice of how He’s blessing me when I intentionally look for ways He’s “giving back” to me in unique ways. Recently, I was getting really frustrated with my lack of career/income (I’m a hairstylist by day and I just can’t commit to working the evenings/holidays/long hours needed to be successful with my young kids) but then I had an ah-ha! moment and realized God has blessed me through my husband (Who just got a new job!). In it’s own way, it’s still a financial blessing as it leaves me free to stay home and care for my children. Maybe my lofty career goals were not fulfilled but the more important goal, of being there for my kids, was. God is good 🙂

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  4. Lauren C. Moye says:

    In one of his books, Bryan Davis used the story of the Widows’ Mites to provide a powerful image. While meditating over decision, one of the characters reaches into her pockets to discover two pennies. She recalls the Widows’ Mites and decides to offer everything she has to God, much like the widow did. I won’t drop any spoilers, but what happened next was indeed a sacrifice.

    Now whenever I think about giving – both time and money – when I’m in a hard spot, I recall both the Widow’s Mite and Davis’s story. Thank you for writing this post!

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  5. Lauren C. Moye says:

    Hello, fellow blogger and friend!

    On the first of each month, I do a special round-up called #(Month)25 where I share the best of other people’s content with my followers. I share five posts from each of these categories: Christian, kids/motherhood, relationships, money, and miscellaneous. I just wanted to let you know that this blog post was featured in my #December25 Roundup. Hooray!

    Here’s a link to the post so you can see for yourself: http://wp.me/p7RdMZ-xO

    Love,
    Lauren C. Moye

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