Is it enough?


"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


Comments

  1. Dear Jo,
    You sound like you have no problems financially. You say in your post,when talking about money that "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."
    Can you give us some practical ways that have you have relinquished control in this area...or have you never had to worry over money issues. Otherwise your blog is just theory.
    Cheers
    Katie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Katie,

      Having faith means just that - having faith in the Lord that He will provide and I have never been let down, the Lord has always provided. Yes, my husband and I have over the years had periods of financial difficulties when we would get to the end of the pay week and have nothing left. I learnt very early on in my marriage to live frugally, not to be wasteful, not to follow the latest trends and fashions, shopping at thrift stores and the importances of saving and not wasting money on trivia.

      There have been times when I have had to create meals with very little and be imaginative in what I cook. I have had to phone the utilities company and ask for an extension to pay my bills (I never enjoyed doing it, but they were always very nice) and when the car broke down as we couldn’t afford to get it fixed straight away (as my husband was out of work) and once my husband was working again, we were able to get it fixed. At no time were we ever in need, all our basic needs were met. Whilst we are fine now, it doesn’t mean I still don’t have faith in the Lord in all things, including our finances. Of course I still worry from time to time and them have to remind myself that the Lord has it all under control and I have no need to be concerned.

      Delete
  2. Jo, this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.
    When I was a young adult, working, I had money to splash around and at that point in life it felt like I would never have to do without. We grew up living very frugally as my parents were on a single income and money was often tight... But as an adult that all changed because it was just me, and money was "easy come, easy go". Then life changed and I had children to raise on my own as a single mother with no job. Life got REALLY tough and I had to cry out to the Lord because often my bank account was empty and bills loomed.
    But the Lord is always faithful. Eventually Dan came along and we had only government support despite his extra mouth to feed until after he got his spouse visa he was able to find a job... While things were tight then because his job was in the low-income bracket, we were doing much better - living frugally. Then he lost his job in the recession! For 3 months we had next to nothing again. Then he got a temporary job, but after 6 months he was out of work again for another 3 months! And then the Lord provided a steady job, which has provided for our needs ever since. Through ALL those ups and downs, the LORD has provided all we had need of. Never ONCE did we have to go without a meal - even if the meals were sparse at times!
    We've had to give our entire financial situation up to Him. It's still tough today - the bills never seem to end and single incomes don't stretch very far sometimes. But GOD is FAITHFUL and I am so thankful. We've learned the difference between NEED and WANT. We've learned to go without even when others HAVE. We've gone without holidays for many years because we can't afford one. We go without many luxuries that others around us enjoy.
    But we are HAPPY because the LORD is our treasure and our provider, and He is ALWAYS good. :) Praise the LORD!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found it very odd that the lady above thought it was theory!! The bible is never theory. I do think many people aren't willing to live simply or go without when times are tough - and they expect God to deliver and meet all their expensive needs. Its not how it works.

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