by St. John of Kronstadt.
Many Christians experience times of need and material hardship throughout their life. It can be said that the majority of true Christians do not possess a great surplus of material goods - they should not even have them. The Lord has commanded us: “Sell that ye have and give alms” (Luke 12:33). Thus Christians should act according to the words of the prophet King David: “He has given away to the poor; his truth remains unto the ages.”
The Lord usually refrains from showering His servants with riches which pose danger for them (“a rich man shall hardly enter into the Kingdom of Heaven”). Apostle Paul writes to Timothy: “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.”
As St. John of Kronstadt says: “God could have made everyone well-off, even wealthy, but then most people would have fallen away from God, and pride, envy and other sins would have increased. If God had made you a saint, you would have thought highly of yourself. But in the same way that sin humbles you, showing you your great frailty, iniquity and constant need of God and His grace, so a poor man is humbled by his poverty and need of other people. If beggars were to be made rich, many of them would forget God and their benefactors, would lose their souls amid the luxuries of this world. So destructive is wealth and so it blinds the spiritual eyes. It makes the heart coarse and thankless.”