Bible Finance

Manage Your Money God's Way

Freedom from Financial Anxiety—Our Responsibilities and God’s Promises

One key to obtaining God’s peace in respect of finances is to understand and fulfill your responsibilities as a steward. Stewardship requires that we acknowledge that God owns everything and that we act accordingly. That is, we need to learn and implement God’s principles in managing the money that God has entrusted to us in accordance with his will and not our own will. (Please see my financial moment titled “Biblical Stewardship Is Temporary Management” for more information on stewardship.)

 Fulfilling stewardship responsibilities requires the following:

 1.  On a regular basis, spend quality time in prayer with God, asking God for his wisdom with respect to the money that he has entrusted to you. God has promised, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).

 2. Study and meditate on God’s Word with regard to finances regularly. “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Josh. 1:8). With more than 2,000 references to money, the Bible offers plenty of wisdom from God on finances.

 3. Demonstrate your faith in God by trusting God to provide for your needs and direct you according to his will.Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3: 5, 6)

 On the other hand, God’s responsibilities and promises include the following:

 1. God has promised that he will meet our needs if we put him first:

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt. 6: 31–33) 

 Please note that God has promised to meet our needs, not necessarily our wants and desires.

 2. God has promised to direct us—including our financial decisions—according to his will: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Ps. 32:8

 In summary, as a steward, it is important to focus on God, his Word and his will. If you fulfill your responsibilities, then, regardless of your financial circumstances, you can know for certain that God will fulfill his promises and you will have God’s peace in regard to your finances. Jesus said, “ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

 

 

 

 

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June 6, 2008 Posted by | Peace and Anxiety | , , , | Leave a comment

Freedom from Financial Anxiety—Yes, There Is Hope for Your Financial Mess!

By his very nature, God is the God of hope: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with joy by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).

Do you have God’s peace and joy in regard to your finances? If not, then you’re probably not in God’s will.

Regardless of how difficult your financial problems are, God, with his “incomparably great power” (Eph. 1:19), is able to solve any financial mess. It is true that God may not relieve financial pressures quickly, but it is certainly within God’s power to sustain you and carry you through any stresses or anxieties resulting from financial difficulties.

If you’re in financial difficulty, then I recommend the following:

Pray—There’s no substitute for spending quality time with God. It is through his Holy Spirit and his Word that he will provide you with his direction for your life. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me” (John 10:27).

Meditate on God’s Word—Sixteen of the 24 parables that Jesus gave us deal with money and material things. God’s Word, the Bible, is filled with God’s wisdom on finances, which is frequently contrary to the world’s wisdom. For example, the emphasis in scripture is toward minimal debt or no debt as opposed to the emphasis in the world, which is to buy now and pay later or use other people’s money. In our society, getting into debt is very easy, and as a result, many people have overcommitted themselves in their financial obligations.

Develop a Plan, That is, a Budget—This will help you ensure that you are spending less than you are earning on a monthly basis. Use the surplus to pay down debt and save for future needs. Planning is biblical. For instance, in his example of building a tower, Jesus said, in substance, that if you don’t plan ahead, then you are foolish (Luke 14:28–30).

Don’t Give up!—When someone is in financial difficulty, generally it takes a few years to really get the financial house in order. However, significant changes can be made in just a few months. Even if finance is not your area of expertise, God has promised that he will provide what we need. Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9, nkjv).

April 24, 2008 Posted by | Peace and Anxiety | , , , | Leave a comment

Freedom from Financial Anxiety—Why Does God Allow Financial Problems?

It is clear from Scripture that God is indeed in control. If God is in control, then why does he allow Christians to have significant financial problems?
Over the past 23 years, I’ve had the privilege of counselling hundreds of Christian couples and individuals. One common reason for financial problems is that the people have unknowingly violated one or more of God’s financial principles. I believe there is no substitute for understanding the fundamentals of what God has taught in his Word regarding finances. I recommend the materials and Bible studies provided by Crown Financial Ministries as an excellent resource for understanding what God has to say about finances.
On the other hand, some Christians have financial problems through no fault of their own. They have followed God’s principles, but they still have financial problems. Why? I believe that the most common reason would be found in John 15 , where Jesus said,
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”  (John 15:1, 2, emphasis added)
In the same way that a gardener prunes a vine, God prunes his children by way of trials (including financial trials) so that we will depend on God more and remain connected to the Lord on ongoing basis, for the purpose of bearing more spiritual fruit. Jesus said, “ I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Regardless of how difficult or insurmountable our financial problems are, we know that God can solve them—either very quickly or slowly. He is in control. He is the all-powerful, everywhere-present , and all-knowing God. We also know that God loves us unconditionally (Rom. 8:38, 39). God has a purpose for any trial in the believer’s life, and God will bring some good out of every hardship. Romans 8: 28, 29 states,
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
In short, because God is in control, and because he loves us unconditionally, we know with confidence that we can trust him to allow only those financial trials that are within his will. We can also trust him to provide the wisdom, direction, and strength that we need to endure any financial trial that God allows.

April 2, 2008 Posted by | Peace and Anxiety | , , , | 2 Comments

Freedom from Financial Anxiety—God Is in Control

Regardless of how difficult your financial problems are, it’s important to remember that God is in control. He is the all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere-present God.
After God miraculously provided all the materials and labour that were needed to build the temple, David acknowledged God’s sovereignty and power by praising God as follows:
Everything in the heavens and earth is yours O Lord and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the ruler of all mankind: your hand controls power and that might and it is at your discretion that men are make great and given strength. (1 Chron. 29: 11, 12 tlb)
Even if you find that the financial pressures are overwhelming and you are “at the end of your rope,” God is still in control: “The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all” (Ps. 103:19 nasb).
God is aware of your financial problems as he watches over you: “The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy” (Ps. 145:20).
God is aware of every detail of your financial problems (Ps. 139:1–4 ). Although God did not cause your financial problems, he has allowed them to occur in your life. God has a purpose for any trials that his children encounter. Perhaps you have unknowingly violated one or more of his principles, in which case the purpose would be to teach you something. Or perhaps your financial problems may simply be the result of God “pruning” you with the objective of you “bearing more spiritual fruit”(John 15:2).
Either way, God is still in control. In Isaiah 46:9–11 God says,
I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.
Because God is in control, we need to trust him completely and depend solely upon him for the direction and strength that we need in dealing with all of our financial problems.

March 7, 2008 Posted by | Peace and Anxiety | , , , , | Leave a comment

Are You Overwhelmed by Financial Problems?

 Do you feel burdened and worried about your finances?
Do you feel overwhelmed by financial problems?
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt, 11: 28–30).
Jesus gently encourages us to come to him humbly, first asking for his help and then “yoking” with him—that is, depending on God to carry the heavy part of the load.
God has promised that he will sustain us, no matter how difficult the circumstances.
Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isa. 46:3, 4)
In order to relieve some of the financial pressures, as a practical matter, I recommend you consider some of the following suggestions:
  1. Track your expenditures for two or three months to determine where your money is going. Most people don’t know where their money is being spent.
  2. Develop a budget—my firm has developed an Excel-based budgeting system that is available at no charge.  If you want a copy, please email me.
  3. In the process of developing and following a budget, ensure that you are spending less than you are making in order to provide a monthly surplus.
  4. Use that surplus to pay down debt with the highest interest cost first, which is generally credit cards.
  5. Next, pay down your other debts, and save some money for emergencies. (See Proverbs 21:20.)
Be sure to spend quality time with God daily, asking him for specific direction about your finances. God has promised that if we ask him for wisdom, he will give it to us (James 1:5) and if we ask him for his specific direction, then he will provide direction to us (Prov. 3:5, 6).

February 19, 2008 Posted by | Peace and Anxiety | Leave a comment