Money Troubles

Given that our country is experiencing financial difficulties on a large scale, I thought I would write something about the subject of money. Some of you, no doubt, have lost investments or jobs or your husband has taken a pay cut or been laid off.

This is a tremendous opportunity to exercise our Christian principles, an opportunity we don’t want to squander or miss. In other words, hard financial times can reveal much about us, especially how taken up with money our hearts have become. It’s a bit like lifting up a big rock in the garden: when the light shines on the exposed area, all kinds of bugs suddenly become visible. Even things you did not really want to see. So if you have suddenly realized that you have become more attached to your finances than you knew, count it a blessing to find out now. Deal with the heart attitude first, and then you can ask God to deal with the bank account.

I’ve heard many times that God doesn’t mind His people having money; He minds money having His people. If financial hardship takes away your joy, then you know where your joy was grounded all along: in your checkbook. If, on the other hand, you can thank God for the financial straits your find yourself in, then you know that you are trusting all you have to God. He gives and He takes away. It all belongs to Him and He has made us stewards of His stuff. He governs the world righteously, and He does all things for the good of His people. So we can believe that when He takes stuff away from us, that He does it for our soul’s good. This is a sweet, comforting doctrine.

Being tempted is not the same thing as sin. We may be tempted to worry or fret or murmur, but we do not need to give way to these sins. What can we do to keep from giving way to worry or discontent? I can think of four things:

First, give thanks. Do you have food and clothing? Paul says we should be content with that (1 Tim. 6:8). We are to always and for everything give thanks. The Lord is near. Thank God for the empty bank account. Thank Him for the beans and rice.

Next, be cheerful.  Rejoice. You may say,”Rejoice? Rejoice in what?” Rejoice in the Lord. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will never leave you or forsake you. Money is a capricious god. But the Lord our Maker is constant. Being grumpy or complaining only makes things worse and it displeases God. A cheerful spirit is good medicine. It not only comforts your own heart, but blesses everyone else in the house. But if you drag your troubles around on your face, it burdens everyone else and increases your troubles. Give it all to God and rejoice. Lift up your hands, your eyes, your voice, your heart all to God.

Third, be hospitable. Are you struggling to make ends meet? Invite someone over for dinner. Share what you have even if it is not very much. Be generous. Continue to give. Continue to tithe what you have. Jesus made much of the widow’s two mites for good reason.

Last, don’t assign blame. It is God who sovereignly rules the world. If our President does something foolish or unwise, he bears the responsibility, but God has promised to overrule it for our good. If your husband invested your money unwisely, it does no good to beat him over the head with it. It won’t fix the problem, but it is guaranteed to wreck the marriage.

Ecclesiastes says that money answers everything (10:19). How many of our problems could be solved with a big check? Lots, in fact. But it would not solve our attitude toward money. If we determine to ride this time out cheerfully, with an eye to bringing glory to our Maker, we will have no regrets. And how much better to look back on this time with gratitude rather than with regret.

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8 thoughts on “Money Troubles

  1. Nancy,
    I visit your site everyday for encouragement and advice. I have read all your books and Mr. Wilson’s too. I discovered you both about ten years ago through the ACCS conferences and have been so thankful for your obvious obedience to the Lord. I truly thank you for your Biblical guidance. “Money Troubles” really hit home and I just had to thank you!

    Janine

  2. I’m sure you don’t mean by “don’t assign blame” that we are never to note the foolishness of elected officials, but I’m not sure where you’re drawing the line between acceptable and unacceptable political commentary.

  3. Valerie,
    What I meant was that blaming never helps deal with discontent. That is different from recognizing failure, foolishness, incompetence, etc. But contentment realizes that God controls even the foolishness of others. Engaging in political commentary can be healthy and good, as long as it isn’t an excuse for murmuring. Hope that clarifies!

  4. Our loving heavenly Father always provides for us what we need. When focusing on the ultimate goal of glorifying Him, we find the definitions of needs and wants becoming crystal clear. Contentment can reign even in the midst of living in a broken world–even with broken stuff in our houses!

    Thanks for walking us through a proper way to think and act while carrying this weight.

    Just today my friend in California was telling me of how her home business has hit the rocks as many of her client families, Christian families, funded by self-employed fathers, can’t continue to afford her educational services as their own business income has dried up. May I not continue to be so short-sighted in failing to pray for my Christian sisters in these circumstances.

    For our family we give thanks and praise to the Lord for His continual provision for the funds to continue our children’s Christian education. Funding Christian education has been such a faith walk even with our planning! Dear reader, may you also see His glory!

  5. Nancy — This is it! You beat me to the punch. Have we not been praying for revival? Have we not been praying for our nation to come to the end of itself so they will turn to Jesus? Have we not asked God to make us distinctive?
    We are X here. Let us not miss the oppertunity we have plead with God to create.
    If we behave as if things are out of controll and the sky is falling we behave just like the world.
    “The heart of the King is in the Lord’s hands.”
    Our security can not be touched.
    AMEN — AMEN

  6. Amen. My husband is slated to lose his job in about 90 days, due to outsourcing(he’s in IT), and so we’ve definitely been tempted to fear.

    God has, however, granted me such a degree of peace over it lately that I know it can only have come from Him.

    So, we’re saving(I am the frugal girl! lol), tithing, trusting, and praying.

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