“By humility and the fear of the Lord come riches, and honor, and life” (Proverbs 22:4).
Riches, honor, and life. These are the three rewards of humility. I would like to say first that there is nothing wrong with riches or being rich. Money is a tool and when we use it wisely it can generate great comfort and security. The danger is relying on that comfort and security instead of trusting God. We often think that reward should follow obedience immediately. But we should understand that we must be committed to the Lord for the long haul, understanding that God’s timing is perfect. If obedience and immediate reward were linked, then all good people would be rich and suffering would always be a sign of sin. Being good will not fatten your wallet and sometimes we suffer simply because we live in a fallen world.
The Bible is clear on the subject of trials and challenge. The trials in life are there so that we will grow. It is true that trials can be the consequences of bad decisions. But is also true, the adversity that God allows in our lives is for the purpose of shaping us. Blessing comes by enduring. Valuables do not sustain us. You are sustained by an established heart. Matthew 6:21 tells us that, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” That is what makes worldly wealth so dangerous; when it becomes the center of our lives it takes God’s rightful place.
The second reward of humility is honor. Perhaps you remember the story of Naaman in 2nd Kings 5. Naaman, even though he was a great man and a successful warrior, he was plagued with leprosy. The cure was simple. All he had to do was dip seven times in the Jordan River and he would be washed clean. You see, we often make things difficult. Naaman had proven himself in the heat of battle; he was a man that was used to getting great respect and honor. His pride thought that dipping in the muddy Jordan was beneath him and far too simple. He was a hero and expected nothing less than a hero’s cure. Humility will always challenge pride. But remember that God can use anything to accomplish His purpose. He does not need you, He is waiting for you.
The third reward of humility is life. Life, simply put, is awareness. It is a state of being and an existence. But what makes human life so valuable? We are made in the image of Almighty God. We were created for His purpose and every moment is a precious gift from God. Life is short no matter how long we live. James 4:14 reminds us that, “our lives are but just a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow.” That is why it is so important that we live our lives knowing that how we live them will effect our eternity. It is really ironic, the time that people spend securing their lives on earth but not giving much thought to what comes after. What are you holding near and dear to your heart? What is the Lord waiting for you to truly turn over to Him? Maybe it is a rocky marriage, or a strained relationship? Maybe it is bitterness or unforgiveness? Maybe it’s just the trust necessary to turn our greatest fears over to Him? May the Lord keep you and bless you and make His face to shine upon you.