You know, I have spoken to many friends recently about the state of their perceived circumstances. What do I mean by this? A lot of them are freaked out by their finances or lack thereof. And I mean freaked.
Some have lost jobs, some are STILL looking for jobs, some of their businesses have dried up at this point. And the worries about bills and eating and things like that are dragging them down. Way. Down. And some of us have a quick and easy answer for them… increase your faith. But it’s too easy and too quick.
I have been gripped by fear and know that it’s hard to even look up much less be able to move or function. It’s those times when we can’t even think to pray straight when the Holy Spirit has to step in and even pray for us in His own groanings that we can’t understand. Those times! And even though God promises us that we will have everything, everything we need, we are so mired down that we can’t see past this particular time. Maybe we think that God helped us before, but we’re not sure He will do it again. After all, who are we that God would keep on helping us every time we need it. And maybe we don’t even think about praying because we don’t want to bother God with such a small detail, or it’s our own fault, we shouldn’t have spent that extra $5.
So let’s look at this from a deeper and maybe more meaningful perspective.
Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 is a great start. It talks about money and wealth coming from God.
10 Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless.
11 As goods increase,
so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owners
except to feast their eyes on them?
12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
whether they eat little or much,
but as for the rich, their abundance
permits them no sleep.
Wow, people with money can’t sleep! Does that mean they are too worried about losing it, or that they are out until all hours of the night and morning partying with their money?
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,
and as everyone comes, so they depart.
They take nothing from their toil
that they can carry in their hands.
Duh, that old saying, You can’t take it with you!” Bet you didn’t know it was in the Bible, huh!
So where does our ability to make money and our ability to enjoy it come from? From God, naturally!
18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.
And when we worry that we won’t have “enough”, here’s a couple of nuggets from Proverbs 15:16…
Better a little with the fear of the Lord
than great wealth with turmoil. Proverbs 15:16
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle. Proverbs 23:5
And King Solomon in Ecclesiastes says all this running after wealth and pleasure is meaningless.
So what are we to do?
5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough.You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it. Haggai 1:5-6
The moral of the entire story in Haggai is, “Little is Much When God is In It”. Shoot, I remember that song from when I was a little girl. And it holds true today.
So what’s the conclusion – (I know, FINALLY!) God, don’t make me wealthy because then I won’t feel like I need You. And please don’t make me poor because then I will steal and profane Your Holy Name. Please just give me enough to pay my bills and eat. And if You choose to accomplish this piece by piece, please let me believe way down in my heart and soul that You will supply all my needs – every single one of them! Thank you in advance, Jesus!
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.