In this fast-changing world, one may wonder where shaky uncertainty ends and solid ground begins. While you could always choose to worry and live in uncertainty, there is always a better way: perhaps a path that is easier to tread.
Let’s acknowledge that the American economy doesn’t look good right now, but the Bible has a lot to say about provision that we should see as truth, and it’s something we can hold onto, in times as dread-inducing as these.
Let us see 7 different scriptures on the wise use of money and provision that the Bible offers. But before we go on, let’s lay down this “rule,” Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
So let’s work with the understanding that God has a plan for this season of affliction that besets the American economy. He has a plan for us, and gives us thoughts of peace and hope for the future. These are plans to give us a future filled with hope.
Let’s also work with 7 biblical principles that we can understand and live out, as we seek financial security and freedom:
1. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. [Matthew 6:33]
When God said that we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, He has promised that He will give “all these things” to us, as well. What things? In the verses before this line, the discussion was about the Lord being exasperated that almost everyone, including His disciples, were worried about where the provision will come from. So He calms their worry by saying that if they put His agenda and priorities first, “all these things”: the food, clothing and shelter they worried about, will be given to them as well.
In like manner, these words assure us today, that as we seek God’s priorities in our lives today, “all these things” will be given to us as well.
God’s priorities in our lives do not necessarily mean becoming a full-time minister or going to a far-flung place to save those who are suffering from conditions of the body or soul. God’s priorities in your life may mean the time you spend soaking in the Word before you run off and do your day’s tasks. Be a great parent, be a great boss, be a great employee by being compassionate and godly, objective, fair, consistent and just.
Taking on God’s priorities may involve choosing to spend more time with Him no matter where you are, and choosing to be more prayerful instead of feeling anxious. Martin Luther once said that the more work he has to do in the day, the more time he has to spend in prayer.
2. Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock. Rain poured down, rivers flooded, and winds beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on solid rock. Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn’t obey them is like a foolish person who built a house on sand. [Matthew 7:24-27]
So who is your Rock? Is it God? Or your job? Your stock brokerage account? Your investment assets? Your credit limit? Or your favorite rewards credit cards? Understand that whatever material wealth you have are all from your Creator. It is He who gives you the ability to generate wealth. Thus, the God who has given you all these, can also take these away. For those who have experienced the worst from this economic downturn, it is a chance for God to prove who He is in this time of your trouble. It is your opportunity to call on Him and prove Him Lord over your life and assets.
For those who are in good straits financially, then it’s time to store up wealth. Save what you can, not only for your retirement and for your kids’ future, but in order to be in a position to give and help the needy.
3. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” [Matthew 7:7-8]
Most of us “do not have because we fail to ask.” Most of us would rather do things on our own. But why do we hesitate to ask? Maybe it’s the fear that God will let us down, because so many people have let us down before and so we may think the same of God. But let us have faith in Him who is true to His Word and His promises.
And if your problem is a lack of faith, this has been a verse that has helped me move forward in areas where I lack faith:
The child’s father cried out at once, “I believe! Help my lack of faith.” [Mark 9:24]
When I face problems in life, such as with my finances, I do what the sick child’s father did, and ask the Lord to help me overcome my lack of faith. I ask for guidance. True enough, He has proven Himself faithful to His word: He has overridden my lack of belief in Him time and again, and provided just in time.
4. Remember the Lord your God is the one who makes you wealthy. [Deuteronomy 8:18a]
Indeed, let us put God where He belongs, as our Father who gives us everything, including the ability to create wealth. As we honor God in our lives, He will bless us in greater measure.
Full text of Deuteronomy 8:17-18:
You may say to yourselves, “I became wealthy because of my own ability and strength.” But remember the Lord your God is the one who makes you wealthy. He’s confirming the promise which he swore to your ancestors. It’s still in effect today.
5. Don’t promise to pay what someone else owes, and don’t guarantee anyone’s loan. If you cannot pay the loan, your own bed may be taken right out from under you. [Proverbs 22:26-27]
Caveat emptor! Buyer beware! Loans may have become “normal” in a culture of credit and loans, but it’s only wise to be vigilant about your own loans, as well as to not be crazy/stupid/foolish to the point of co-signing the loan of a friend or even a relative. Unless you have very liquid assets and the equivalent amount of the loan ready for payment should the worst thing happen, it’s best to stay away from debt. Being conservative about using loans can save your financial hide and your relationships, as well.
6. Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. [Proverbs 11:24]
This is a great principle that encourages us, regardless of our financial status, to be charitable. You don’t have to be ultra wealthy to share yourself with others. While you can help others by giving something material and monetary, this is not the only form of help you can offer. You can give of your time, services and energy as well. When you give, not only will you feel fulfilled, but you’ll find this kindness returned to you in some way or form, down the line. This has been a common thread in my own experiences.
7. In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. [Matthew 7:12]
This is the Golden Rule. Have a good word for everyone. Hold a good opinion of everyone. Ask God for help if you can’t seem to think good thoughts. Be generous to the people around you. Start with a bag of groceries for the elderly guy in your neighborhood. Generosity is a wonderful habit that gives you a great feeling as you’ve helped another person. But as I’ve mentioned in the 6th principle, your generous actions often allow you to reap rewards in some way in the future.
And we leave you with this to think about:
Give, and you will receive. A large quantity, pressed together, shaken down, and running over will be put into your pocket. The standards you use for others will be applied to you. [Luke 6:38]
This guest post is from The Digerati Life.