Every so often, I will have a conversation with someone who is especially frustrated with financial struggles and is not afraid to say so. It is not hard to find such frustrations especially aggravated by the various realities we face concerning economics, healthcare, drug abuse and addiction, international tensions, terrorism, and natural disasters. With such apparent uncertainties upon us, one might be tempted to feel worried when financial difficulties come and upset about how one will make ends meet. In all likelihood, you yourself have been affected directly or indirectly by the many upheavals going on in our world and have even found yourself having to tighten your belt or make hard financial decisions at times.
But consider for a moment if worry is an appropriate “go-to” attitude for when times are economically challenging. If it is, ask yourself the question, “Is worry how I respond to money troubles?”
If now is one of those times when you feel trouble about money and are tempted to fear how things will fall into place, please know that God sees what’s going on. He knows how difficult things are right now for you and even sees down the road all that awaits you in regard to financial recovery, stability and even a sense of sanity. He already knows about future challenges, difficulties, accomplishments, and victories.
Yes, He knows – and cares – about you and about how all these things affect your family. If fact, consider yourself invited to sit down with the Scriptures and listen to God’s thoughts on the matter, so that you will find comfort when so many others might only find worry and fear.
For example, Jesus, God’s Son, said, “Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:31, 32b-33 ESV).
In essence, God both knows and cares about your needs. After all, how could He not? He is not only your Creator, but is also your heavenly Father from the moment you first personally receive His Son, Jesus, as your Savior. And while I’ll admit that you’re one of many, many children of God, you are still known to Him by name for His knowledge and memory and love are greater than all the oceans combined and are as limited in height and breadth as the sky above with all its teeming starry hosts. You are known and prized as a precious child of the everlasting God. So why worry? Simply seek first to be an earthly agent of God’s will on earth while you strive to personify His holy character, and watch Him open opportunities and make good on His provisions for you and your family.
If things seem tight for you and your fiscal future is in doubt, remember that He cares for His own. Not only that, but take pleasure in knowing that you are indeed so beloved as His own, that He moves in your life to remind you that there is more to life than getting (and keeping) stuff! “…One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions…. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:15b, 32-34 ESV).
If you have found yourself living in what seems to be a financially precarious place, don’t lose yourself to the pursuit of trying to upgrade your lifestyle. But instead thank God for allowing you be in a spot in which you can both truly depend on Him and focus on accruing the “heavenly riches” of introducing the lost to Jesus Christ, encouraging discouraged Christian brothers and sisters in their walk as fellow pilgrims, and focusing yourself upon a genuine and passionate God Who undertook the cross of Calvary for you.
And if you have found yourself in a genuine spot of suffering, having been brought to a place where real pain and loss has not only entered your life but has apparently come to stay, think of Job. Here was a man faithful and true as a follower of God, but singled out for suffering and sorrow. Though devoted to God and faithful in all areas of his life, God permitted him to lose everything (wealth, family, health, and reputation) in order to bring Job to an incredible encounter with Himself! Sometimes God strips good things from us in order to make room for better things.
So… if you’re worried about money, take heart. If you’re fretting over the future, take courage. If you’re God’s child through faith in His Son Jesus, take Him at His word: you’re important to the Lord, He has assigned purpose and value to your life, and He takes seriously your needs and the needs of your family.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, Who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3-7 ESV).
Thom Mollohan and his family have ministered in southern Ohio the past 22 years. He is the author of The Fairy Tale Parables, Crimson Harvest, and A Heart at Home with God. He blogs at “unfurledsails.wordpress.com”. Pastor Thom leads Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at [email protected]