"Despite more process, privilege and possessions than ever before, we are worried all the time. The more we have the more we worry. Why, because we have more to lose. We use up much of our lives trying to insulate ourselves against insecurities, We worker harder, buy more, accumulate, set aside, save, hoard, buy locks and security systems and maximise insurance — and much of this activity is driven by worry, anxiety and a relentless discontent" from Contentment: The Secret of a Lasting Calm by Richard Swenson
And money makes us more anxiety than almost anything else.
A new study shows two million Australians are experiencing high financial stress which prevents them from coping in difficult situations, for example, in paying unexpected expenses such as a big mobile phone bill or the fridge breaking down. One in two adults have limited to no savings.
Household finances lead to more arguments in marriage than almost anything else and it leads to divorce.
Almost three-quarters of Americans are experiencing financial stress at least some of the time, and nearly a quarter of us are experiencing extreme financial stress. 92 percent of Americans are financially frazzled.
Most families, at some point in time, will worry about not having enough money to pay bills, to buy food, to cover the rent or mortgage, to pay for school excursions or just to get to the end of the week. This worry escalates when the husband looses his job, gets fewer hours or major items like the car needs to be replaced. We ask ourselves endless questions and worry about the answers:
Can we afford to have more children?
What if I lose my job?
How will we pay for our children's education, health, clothing?
What happens if the economy goes bad?
What if my spouse gets ill?
What happens if we have a change of government?
We are experts at "what ifs" and God knows this. He knew we would naturally be concerned about these things and gave us many verses about not worrying and how our future needs will be met. Matthew 6 is an excellent example of why we don't need to worry, why we mustn't worry about money.
Regardless, we still go on worrying — why, because we still want to be in control and many of us struggle with relinquishing total control to God. But that is precisely what we need and must do.
Trusting God in all aspects of our lives — in particular the practical provisions is not small matter. "If we are unwilling to do so, we can expect to be plagued by such things as greed, cheating, worry, covetousness, lack of generosity and al the unsettledness that comes from centring out lives around money" (Nancy Leigh de Moss)
We need to understand that God will "supply all our needs" and we have no reason to worry or have any doubts — NONE AT ALL. But we must understand that what God provides may be very different to what we think we "need". We might believe that we need to build another room on our home to give us more space or a deck for entertainment — but God may not see these "needs" as necessary and put a stop to them. Nor does God want to see us being wasteful with what He provides and at times may pull us up sharply in regards to our spending habits. We might find times tough and these are often lessons for us to learn from. God doesn't throw money at us, He want us to learn to lean on Him, to put our trust in Him — and if He gave us a million dollars we might not remember to do this as we would be too busy leading the high life.
So rather than fretting and getting stressed and anxious, remember — no matter what happens in my life or yours—we can rejoice in our Saviour for He gives us strength and joy and everything we need.
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
Habakkuk 3: 17-19