It really doesn’t matter how much money we have.
Whether there is plenty to spare or just enough to get by, finances can be one of the most stressful parts of life. In a global economy that is beginning to unravel at the seams, each one of us has to come to terms with an uncertain financial future as well as our attitude about our resources. As children of God, we are not at the mercy of this world’s financial rollercoasters. We have a solid-backed guarantee that as we place our trust in Jesus, He will supply our every need.
Granted, trusting is not always easy, especially when God seems to wait till the last possible moment to make His move. During these times He has given us ways to fight off feelings of worry and anxiety. This article does not offer a comprehensive list of stress management tools, but here are three simple steps we can use to start on the path to freedom from financial worry.
STEP 1: REMEMBERING
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.... For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” (Ex. 20:8, 11).
What does keeping Sabbath have to do with managing financial stress? Think about it for a moment. What are we called to remember on the seventh day? The first six days of creation Jesus spent all His energy sculpting the world to meet the needs of Adam and Eve. He spared no pains in creating an environment to nurture the first couple. Then, on Sabbath, Jesus ended His work and asked Adam and Eve to join Him in celebrating His ability to provide for and sustain life.
A true observance of the Sabbath helps us to remember and reflect on the fact that Jesus is our Creator and Sustainer. When financial pressures seem to pile up, Sabbath is a chance to refocus our perspective. If Christ is our ultimate provider, than we can rest knowing that His creative power will uphold us in every area of our lives, including our finances.
Why not spend this next Sabbath and the ones to come meditating on Jesus? Celebrate how He has already provided and rest in the knowledge that He will continue to do so!
STEP 2: ACKNOWLEDGING
It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race. Every day seems filled with an unending list of duties. Subconsciously, we may start to feel that our needs are met through the work of our own hands, but in reality everything we possess comes from God. Tithing is a perfect reminder of this fact.
It’s not that God really needs 10 percent of our income. After all, heaven’s streets are already paved with gold (Rev. 21:21). God asks us to give back a little part of what He has given, purely for our own good. We might never verbalize it, but occasionally some of us may wish we could just mentally acknowledge God as our ultimate provider without having to put any tithe in the offering plate. This temptation comes from believing the lie that we are really the ones responsible for maintaining our own wellbeing. Being wise financial stewards is definitely our duty, but ultimately our help comes from God! He is the one who sustains us.
Returning a faithful tithe is an acknowledgement of God’s care and kindness to ourselves and our families. Financial peace flows from recognizing that God is the one backing all our needs. It’s reassuring to know that He who clothes the lilies of the field so beautifully is the one who has promised to clothe us (Matt. 6:28 30).
STEP 3: GRATEFULLY GIVING
A last step to worry-free finances comes in the form of a grateful heart. When we rest and remember Christ as our Provider and Sustainer and acknowledge His provision through tithing, our natural response will be one of gratefulness. Giving our offering becomes an expression of our appreciation for all God has blessed us with.
No matter how much or how little we may possess, each of us owes a debt of gratitude. Offerings are a way for us to link hands with Jesus in ministering to the needs of those around us. Giving has a by-product; it takes our eyes off our own troubles and refocuses them on others’ needs. As a result, the stressful anxiety we feel about our own resources (or lack of them!) fades away in contrast to the joy we experience in giving.
Let us trust God to provide and sustain. Hasn’t He been faithful before?