The apostle Paul gave us a great picture of trust when he wrote about the church in Macedonia in 2 Corinthians chapter eight. And the picture is striking. And challenging. It sure challenges us. Because Paul kind of called out the Corinthians. No, I shouldn’t say “called out.” He called them up—up into a new kind of life, a better way of living. He called the Corinthians into God’s way of thinking. He called them out of a scarcity mindset and into a mindset of abundance. He called the Corinthians into a world where things like the miracle of loaves and fishes actually happen.
And we want to live in that kind of world.
Here, Paul wrote this: “For even during a season of severe difficulty and tremendous suffering, [the Macedonian church] became even more filled with joy. From the depths of their extreme poverty, super-abundant joy overflowed into an act of extravagant generosity. For I can verify that they spontaneously gave, not only according to their means but far beyond what they could afford” (2 Corinthians 8:2-3).
The Macedonians were dealing with difficult circumstances themselves—persecution and poverty—circumstances that would make the rest of us pull in, protect ourselves, hold tightly to what we do have and make sure we have enough to get us through the difficult time. For most of us, if we found ourselves in those kinds of circumstances, giving and helping would probably fall by the wayside. But the Macedonians did something different. They gave anyway; they gave above and beyond. They showed radical trust and gave with radical generosity.
And here’s what blows us away most: Not only did the Macedonians give and give generously. Paul wrote that they “actually begged . . . for the privilege of sharing in this ministry.” That is from 2 Corinthians chapter 8 verses 4-5. They begged for the privilege of helping people in need, people who were hurting and lost and confused.
Listen to “I Have So Much More to Give You.”