Real Money Can’t Always Buy a Hamburger
These are images of real money. Depending on where you are, this money is either valuable enough to buy anything or it’s totally worthless. The euro is the main currency of the 19 countries in the European Union. But in this country, you can’t even use a 100 euros to buy a hamburger and that’s a shame. Because 100 euros are worth $118.70 at this moment.
Most people in the U.S. have never seen a euro. Certainly I hadn’t.
Euros are beautifully designed, colorful and interesting to look at. But in many countries, they are absolutely worthless as spending money. Clerks in most stores across the U.S. won’t accept euros in exchange for any goods or services.
This problem is true around the world. In Belgium, Greece, Germany, Portugal and Latvia, people exchange euros. In India they use the rupee. For the Japanese it’s the yen and in Cuba it’s the Cuban peso. To spend money in different countries, U.S. travelers need to convert their dollars into the local currency.
The currency of Heaven is faith.
What’s my working definition of faith? Trusting God.
In the U.S. some people have wanted to take “in God we trust” off of our dollar bills. In Heaven, that’s just not an option. Trusting God is the only currency available. Shiny metal discs and pieces of colored paper don’t impress our Lord and Savior; only faith does.
God’s not interested in accepting anything else. Fortunately, He supplies the faith we need. We just have to ask Him for it.
Faith Comes From the Heart of God
All the faith we have as believers comes from God. As an ex-atheist, I am strongly aware of this, because I remember a period in my life when I had no faith at all.
And because of God’s gracious gift to me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you should. Instead, be modest in your thinking, and judge yourself according to the amount of faith that God has given you. (Romans 12:3 Good News Translation)
Hebrews 12 points to Jesus as the source of our faith.
Let us keep looking to Jesus. Our faith comes from Him and He is the One Who makes it perfect. He did not give up when He had to suffer shame and die on a cross. He knew of the joy that would be His later. Now He is sitting at the right side of God. (Hebrews 12:2 New Life Version)
Some translations use the phrase, “the author and perfecter of our faith” which highlights this truth in a special way. Even iconic stories such as the Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter series were first imagined in the mind of a single human author.
God first had the idea of giving believers the ability to trust Him by faith.
Some Key Truths about Faith:
- We can always ask for the faith we don’t have; He’s promised to supply our needs and I know from personal experience that the Lord delights to answer such a humblehearted request.
- Jesus expects us to use the level of faith He’s given to each of us.
- Our faith is often stretched and strengthened during trials.
- Obeying the Holy Spirit causes us to know what our God is like, which helps us trust Him more deeply.
- When we obey, God often responds to us in unexpected and delightful ways.
- Reading and meditating on the Scripture strengthens our ability to believe God.
- Hearing what the Lord has done in the lives of other believers builds us up too.
- Sometimes we have only enough faith to ask (Mark 9:17-29 the doubting father) but a tiny amount of faith is still faith and the Lord frequently surprises us by answering.
The Wrong Way to Pray
Sometimes Christians want God to answer their prayers, but they don’t offer the currency of Heaven. They don’t pray in faith. Instead, they offer God something else.
God is not moved by:
- Panicked bargaining.
- Angry demands.
- Threats to desert Him or walk away from His church.
Just as I can’t hand a Walmart clerk in the U.S. an Indian Rupee or Mexican peso to pay for clothes here, I can’t force God to respond to my needs using any of the above methods.
The currency of Heaven is faith.
All my euro images came from Pixabay.com.
Because of the possibility of counterfeiting, all countries have guidelines about how to display digital images of their money. I became aware of this when I tried to import one of these images into Photoshop. I wanted to add a border
Much to my surprise, Photoshop’s software not only recognized my image as legal currency, the program refused to open it. Instead a link appeared which took me to a page outlining the requirements of displaying various types of money digitally. I added the word “SPECIMEN” diagonally across each euro banknote to comply with this requirement.