My husband, Joe, and I have had our share of financial problems over the course of our 37 years of marriage. For most of those years, we have tried to recover financially the world's way, with very little success. In recent years, however, I have been earnestly seeking the Lord's plan for our finances, and He has taught me some things that have helped me tremendously, and that have given me great peace of mind.
The first thing God told me was, "Don't stop giving." When we see our bills mounting, and our incomes lessening or staying the same, it can be very tempting to drop off in our giving. But that's the worst thing for us to do. You see, when we share our blessings with others, we are sowing seeds that will produce a harvest that will come back to bless us later on. The Bible tells us: "[Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings." (2 Corinthians 9:6 AMP) God is very interested in the quality of our giving. He not only wants us to give generously, but He wants us to give joyfully. As the next verse states, "God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7 NASB) We've got to stop thinking that when we give to others, we are doing them a favor. The truth is that we are doing ourselves a favor, too. Verse after verse reveals this principle in the Bible, including in the book of Ecclesiastes, where Solomon says: "Give generously, for your gifts will return to you later. Divide your gifts among many, for in the days ahead you yourself may need much help." (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 TLB) When we withhold our blessings from others, we are only depriving ourselves. As Scripture tells us: "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." (Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV)
The next thing the Lord told me was, "Refuse to worry about your finances, and determine to put your trust in Me, expecting Me to work on your behalf." God responds to faith, not fear. Worry is a blessing-stealer. It always robs us of God's best. That's why Jesus said: "What's the use of worrying? What good does it do? Will it add a single day to your life? Of course not! And if worry can't even do such little things as that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things?" (Luke 12:25-26 TLB) There is a definite connection between our faith in God and our prosperity. One Scripture that makes this clear is Proverbs 28:25 (NIV): "Those who trust in the Lord will prosper." It's not human nature for us to see only God as our Source, but if we will renew our minds with the truth of God's Word, it will be easier for us to stop thinking that our jobs, other people, or other things are our source of provision. When that happens, we will witness the Lord moving heaven and earth to bless us materially.
Lastly, God instructed me, "Be specific in prayer." He reminded me of the Message Bible translation of Mark 11:24, which says: "That's why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you'll get God's everything." If I have a desire to bless someone materially, even in a small way, I ask the Lord to give me the means to do it. But I don't just rely on prayer; I rely on His promises too, because His Word says clearly, "Put the Lord in remembrance of His promises." (Isaiah 62:6 AMP) I regularly claim Philippians 4:19 (NASB), which says, "God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." But I don't stop there. I also claim Second Corinthians 9:8 (AMP), which says: "God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation]." I take God at His Word when He says, "You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion." (2 Corinthians 9:11 NIV) And I am determined to claim His promises of provision and plenty until I always have a surplus with which to bless others. My prayer is that you would take these words of wisdom to heart today, so that you may follow God's plan for your finances, and receive all the good things He has in store for you!
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for trying to handle my finances the world's way. From now on, teach Me Your principles for living and giving, and lead Me in the way of Your abundant provision and prosperity. Thank You that as I seek to follow Your will in these areas, I will be blessed to be a blessing!
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