With the beginning of a new year, the internet is a-buzz with resolutions about saving money and getting out of debt. We have a few of our own goals, and since our savings challenge went well last year, we are doing it again this year with a few changes.
As Christians, we share a lot on this site about finance from a Biblical perspective. We believe the Bible has answers for many of the financial situations people find themselves in, and that God’s desire is for us to have a healthy relationship with money as a resource, while not allowing the love of it to take root in our hearts (1 Timothy 6:10).
When we are weighed down by financial stress, or are singular-minded in our desire to overcome debt’s hold, it can become easy to focus on our own abilities or helplessness and forget that we have a heavenly Father who sees our situation, is in control of it, and actively involved in working it out for His glory!
I have to be reminded that my finances are not separate from anything else in my life, and certainly not separate from my spiritual life. The same Biblical truths that govern everything else, should apply to how I view my financial situation.
1. Remember That God Cares About Your Situation
Whether I’ve made made poor financial mistakes and gotten myself into a mess, or am doing well and trying to decide what to do with the surplus funds I am taking in – God cares! In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds the people that our Heavenly Father knows what we need and that he will take care of us (Matthew 6:28-33). While we should (prayerfully) plan and be diligent, those things should not lead to unhealthy anxiety and worry. Whatever is out of our control can never be out of His!
We are not alone in our sea of financial concerns just as we are not alone in our relationships, in our problems, in our struggles with sin. As you consider your next step on your financial journey, remember Who is walking with you, and already has the future all mapped out.
2. Remember That God Has Given You the Ability to Be Content in Any Situation
Many Christians struggle with contentment: the inward state of satisfaction (regardless of the outer circumstances), yet that is what God wants from His children. Contentment does not equate to complacency or surrender, nor does it mean that you have to put on a pretense of joy in times of hardship.
In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul says, “ Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
In many places, including the passage above, the Bible exhorts us to look to Christ as the source of our strength and our joy. Your happiness shouldn’t be determined by whether you can afford a certain luxury, or pay off your student loan. Those things are nice, but the contentment in your heart should not be affected by them, not if the true source of your happiness is the Lord.
3. Remember That God Will Use Your Life For His Glory
One of my favorite passages, and one I’ve heard many times in my life is Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” It used to make me feel great because it meant that eventually things were going to be okay.
But there is more than just the first half of the sentence, the last part is equally important “called according to His purpose”. Being a Christian means that my life is not my own, I follow and serve Christ. There are other passages that talk about the need for our focus to be on God and glorifying Him, like 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, or the end of the passage from the sermon on the Mount that I mentioned earlier – Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you“.
Even though things may not happen in the time frame you’d like, or the way that you’d like them to turn out, remember that God’s plan for you is bigger than what you have for yourself. The things that we go through serve reasons that go beyond our temporal success or satisfaction. While we are alive, we are also being made holy, and sometimes that happens through trials (James 1:2-3). That is only one of many possible reasons, we may never know the answer to until we meet the Lord.
As you go through your financial journey this year, whether with hope, gusto, or trepidation, please remember that God is your source. He is your strength, and your great reward.
Every Sunday I am blessed to look at this scripture on a banner in front of me during our service, and it is one I think of daily. I pray it will bless you also as you focus on God:
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight”.