It was like one blow after another. First one car needed repairs, then the second one needed even more. Our electric bill skyrocketed as the weather changed. Grocery costs went up. The savings we’d worked so hard to build up were depleted in only a month.
Financial difficulty is one of the hardest life situations in which to trust the Lord. Because it directly affects our lifestyle and comfort level, we’re required to practice a new level of patience and faith when our bank accounts take a hit. If you’re struggling with finances this month, consider the following truths.
1. God has promised to provide for all our NEEDS—not all of our wants.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
God promises to provide for all of our needs. This alone is a comfort in times of difficulty! But it’s important to note that God said needs—not necessarily our wants. Extra shopping trips, girl dates and a new cell phone may have to be sacrificed during a season of financial difficulty. Our “needs list” is actually pretty short, if you think about it: a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear and a car to drive. Too often our wants get confused with our needs, and we get upset when God doesn’t provide for the extra goodies on our wish list.
God is a generous Father and many of us have the privilege of living with both our needs and our wants. But in seasons when we don’t have both, we can trust His promise to provide for the necessary things–which is why we don’t need to worry about tomorrow.
2. God already owns everything—He just lends it to us.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17)
This thought is especially motivating when we are called to give unto others, but it’s also reassuring during financial hard times. The things we have aren’t really ours; they are gifts from God. If God has seen fit to give us the things we’ve received in the past, won’t He—in His kindness—continue such generosity in the future? We can trust the loving heart of our Father God!
Because everything we have is a gift from above, the loss or pressure of financial difficulty is not as crushing. God gives and takes away because everything is His; we are just stewards of what He owns.
3. When we give out of the blessings God has given us, He blesses us even more.
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38)
The last thing you might be thinking about right now is giving to others. After all, you’re the one going through hard times! But as we view the world through a lens of generosity, we often find that we possess more than we anticipated. We may not be able to give materially, but we can give of our time and attention to those in need.
Reaching out to the needs of others grants perspective when we’re struggling ourselves. It also reflects the generous heart of God. Trusting God in financial difficulty takes great strength of heart and character, but we do it knowing that He is good, wise and loving. And as we trust Him to provide for our needs, we are equipped to supply the needs of others.