FORECLOSING ON FINANCIAL PROBLEMS
Dr. Charles Stanley
God's family should get back to basics to achieve financial freedom.
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed." — 2 Corinthians 9:8
When it comes to money problems, practical advice is easy to find. Get rid of debt. Cut up credit cards. Stick to a budget. Track your spending. Scale back your lifestyle. Don't buy on impulse.
It's a timely concern. Debt can overwhelm anyone, including believers. Yet, as Crown Financial Ministries points out, "No one who is financially bound can be spiritually free." If that's true, how can those in God's family achieve financial freedom—how can they foreclose on financial failure? What are the best spiritual ways to deal with overwhelming debt, from overdue monthly bills to crushing foreclosures on home mortgages?
Get back to basics.
Not surprisingly, the Bible sends believers who worry about provision back to basics: "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you"(Matthew 6:33). Jesus spoke those words, which the New Living Translation expresses this way: "He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern." In other words, focus first on God.
Get quiet with God. Instead of rushing to fix financial problems, first be still. Then, listen. Cultivating prayerful silence allows God's Holy Spirit to speak to a troubled, worried heart—not about what to do, but first about who God is.
Praise God for being your Provider. If faith is "the assurance of things hoped for [and] the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1), then start praising the Lord now—not only for what He has already provided, but for what He will provide. Why? God sees just what we will need. So, thank Him now for His future provision, including your financial needs.
Ask for forgiveness. Even if it was a job layoff or sickness that sent your finances spiraling downward, examine your heart for greed, over-spending, pride, poor stewardship, or other spiritual failures. Confess your weakness to the Lord and seek the fullness of His forgiveness. Then, commit to relying on His strength to overcome the consequences of any spiritual financial failure. (See: 2 Corinthians 12:10.)
Say thank you. Do you complain as you go to work on Monday mornings? Instead, thank God. Go with joy to whatever good work God places before you, working "as for the Lord rather than for men" (Colossians 3:23). A grateful heart will jump-start an attitude change—something necessary to develop as you prepare for financial recovery.
Refocus your love—from money back to God. God alone saves. Money cannot. Remembering this helps us fall back in love with the Lord as our source for peace, joy, fulfillment, and life. Otherwise, when the financial crisis has passed, we may go back to old habits—sinning with money rather than using our resources wisely for God's Kingdom.
Help somebody else. In the Bible, a woman who was ready to eat the last of her food and then die, instead shared her bread with the prophet Elijah. Her generous obedience changed the future for her entire household. (See: 1 Kings 17:12-15.) As you work with godly advisers to clear up financial problems, don't forget to glorify God by sharing with others, even out of your lack. A crazy idea? No, because Scripture offers spiritual remedies to financial woes. In the end, God's words prove true: "they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing" (Psalm 34:10).
See: PRAYERS for Financial Release