Morning, February 10, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity.” — Philippians 4:12

There are many who know “how to get along with humble means ” who have not learned “how to live in prosperity.” When they are set upon the top of a pinnacle their heads grow dizzy, and they are ready to fall. The Christian disgraces his profession of faith far more often in prosperity than in adversity. It is a dangerous thing to be prosperous. The crucible fire of adversity is a less severe trial to the Christian than the refining pot of prosperity. Oh, what shallowness of soul and neglect of spiritual things have been brought on through the very abundance gifted by God! Yet this is not a matter of necessity, for the apostle tells us that he knew how to abound. When he had much he knew how to use it. Abundant grace enabled him to bear abundant prosperity. When he had full wind and sail he was sailing while loaded with much ballast, and so floated safely. It needs more than human skill to carry the brimming cup of human happiness with a steady hand, yet Paul had learned that skill, for he declares, “In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry.” It is a divine lesson to know how to be full, for the Israelites were full once, but while the quail meat was still in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them. Many have asked for favor and rewards that they might satisfy their own hearts’ lust. Fulness of bread has often created fulness of passion, and that has brought on depravity of spirit. When we have much of God’s provision and abundance, it often happens that we have but little of God’s grace, and little gratitude for the gifts we have received. We are full and we forget God: satisfied with things of earth, we are content to do without heaven. Rest assured it is harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry–so desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God. Take care that you ask in your prayers that God would teach you “how to be full.”

“Let not the gifts thy love bestows

Estrange our hearts from thee.”