We all probably feel a little bit like the one in Proverbs bewailing his lack of interest in lady wisdom and now feeling the pinch. From boring financial experts to sensational money-personalities we might have been adverse to sitting down and working out a sensible financial plan. Unless your parents taught you the Biblical wisdom for money with a little bit of financial savvy you might well be living month to month, making ends meet, and surviving financially … until lockdown upset the ‘normal’.
Brothers and sisters, you are not alone in this. Except for some essential workers who might be working more than ever, everyone else is feeling the financial pinch too. These are not normal times. Life is not going to be the same after this all. There are financial and employment implications to the crisis, and each of us are going to feel it one way or another.
But before you jump into an money panic—you can do that after reading this post and praying first, then, in your money panic, check out the PDF attached below ;)—but before you jump into a money panic, renew your mind with some comforts from your God Who is watching over all the affairs of mankind (Job 34:20) and knows the end of it all before it even began (Isa 46:10).
There is a story in 2 Chronicles 16 that is a strong support to us who love the Lord. King Asa made some bad political decisions, and the prophet Hanani reminded him of how well it went when Asa had previously made the wiser decision of trusting the LORD. In that discussion, the prophet Hanani makes a stunning statement about the LORD’s active engagement with our troubles:
the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.2 Chronicles 16:9 (ESV)
You might perhaps not feel it at present—that the LORD sees your plight and is your strong support—so let me share some of the wisdom the LORD has already given us, and as you dwell on the already-revealed wisdom, I trust that the LORD will comfort your heart, lift you up again, and stay at your side every step of the way forward.
First, know that nothing that is currently happening is something new and scary. Everything that is happening now, has already happened in some way or another in history (Eccl 1:9-10). On top of that, believers have lived in those times and proven that our faith in God will always enable us to respond with courage, godliness, and hope. Believing Abel was able to worship truly after being the first generation born in sin (Heb 11:4). Believing Noah obeyed in what was literally a world-wide disaster (Heb 11:7). Believing Abraham obeyed one step at a time when the destination was still unclear (Heb 11:8). Believing Sarah experienced something that was humanly speaking extremely unlikely (Heb 11:11). Believing Abraham obeyed God’s Word even if it required extraordinary courage to entrust the end-result to God (Heb 11:17-19). Believing Moses chose difficult obedience over easy pleasure (Heb 11:24-25). Believing Rahab practised personal kindness amidst city-wide fear (Heb 11:31). And as the next verse says, many more such examples can be told (Heb 11:32), of men and women who had believed God and endured all kinds of things one way or another not unlike our own current situation. This pandemic and its results are new to us, but the troubles we face have been faced before by ordinary believers with the same God as ours.
Hopefully with that broader perspective we can now lift up our heads, and see what the LORD has in store for us. We might need to make some big adjustments. We will certainly be praying more to God as we sense our unrighteous trust on the things of this world. But in it all is all time for new reflections, new convictions, new life changes, new life habits. Our future hope in this world is not defined by worldly things, but by the joy of wisdom, and the strength to pick ourselves up in righteousness every time.
My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off. … the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.Proverbs 24:12-14, 16 (ESV)
It is best to change for the better in the normal course of life, but since it is now forced upon us, let us who believe in the LORD God, not be stumbling from one trial to the next. Instead, let us rise each day with God at our side, our minds renewed by God’s Word, and our hearts full of courage, resolved to walk in God’s ways one step at a time.
Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:7-9 (ESV)
Here is a short document with some Biblical tips on how to make some direct changes to your financial situation. Work through it, enlist the help of a mature Christian if necessary, and may the Lord bless the changes you make.