In Luke 18:18-23, a wealthy man came to Jesus and asked him, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus recited five of the Ten Commandments to him, and the man replied, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus said, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
When the man heard this, he became very sad, because he was very rich. This man was sincere, and was conscientious about obedience to the commandments. But he loved his money more than God, and was not ready to give it up for treasure in heaven. His priority of immediate earthly comfort blinded his eyes to any future consequences.
Often times it takes times of crises to awaken people to what is truly valuable in life. God's Word differentiates for believers what is lasting and meaningful, and what is not. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
In 1 Timothy, Paul writes to Timothy and anyone in leadership of the Christian church, to help them keep their priorities straight. God is first and foremost, and He promises to supply every need. The tempter attempts to lure Christians, especially leadership, away from God and the things of God's kingdom, making the things of the world glisten and glitter with enchantment. But the tempter is also the thief, who steals, kills and destroys, and he is the liar, and no truth is in him. He is god of this world, the accuser and the adversary of God and God's people.
God's Word is pure and dazzling light, and exposes the harsh ugliness of the deception. “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:7-10)
To trust God in hard times includes surrendering to Him and submitting to His Word. The Christians of the first century church quickly learned the value in community, pooling their finances and resources, and trusting the apostles and leadership to distribute to those who had needs. They even went so far as to sell extra houses and lands, and donate the proceeds so that the church could have stability and strength.
Surrendering to God demonstrates love, trust and faith in Him. When God sees one of His children so completely relinquishing every aspect of their life to Him, He is able to work mightily in and through the life of that believer. Jesus taught, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12) Years later, Jesus' half-brother, James, echoed the Lord' words in James 4:10. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”