Toward the end of my last semester in college, money started to become a giant worry. How would I provide for myself if I didn’t find a good job right away? How would I be able to afford living on my own and buying a car? Would I have enough?
During all that anxiety, I prayed a lot. I wrote down all my expenses and budgeted so I would have savings at the end of the month. I purposefully saved for a car and planned ahead for when I would move out of my parents’ house and start paying rent.
Because of my good stewardship, I would check my bank account and find I had more money than I thought. Refunds would arrive in the mail I didn’t know were coming, like my full housing deposit when I studied for a semester in Washington, D.C. (when I knew we left the apartment in a hurry and didn’t clean as well as we could). I would get extra freelance assignments from the local newspaper.
Through all of it, I felt God reminding me to rest in His peace and trust in His provision for me. I would always have enough. I took a class my senior year of college about faith and money. One of the biggest things I learned was that everything I have, including my finances, is a gift from God that calls for good stewardship. I still keep track of my expenses and budget, and I buy only the essentials when the budget is tight.
I wanted to share three Scriptures that help me direct my focus and trust toward God when I worry about finances.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7).
The first thing to remember when struggling financially is that God cares for us. Our needs are not overlooked or insignificant. When we struggle with something, it is a good opportunity to strengthen our trust in God and remember that He is looking out for our good. He cares about our needs even more than we do, but unlike us, He actually distinguishes better between what we need and what we think we need.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:31-32).
This is the big one. Everything we have is a blessing from God. If He takes care of the birds and the flowers, what makes us doubt that He will care for us? We are fashioned in His image and even more dear to His heart than the birds. Instead of worrying about money and having enough for rent or food, let’s trust God as our provider. He knows we need a roof over our heads, and He knows our bodies need food.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t do our part by working hard and being financially responsible. Sometimes God directs our path a little differently than we’d like. I worked two part-time jobs after college to save money, wishing I could earn more. Once I got my first full-time job, I handled the extra income more responsibly because I was used to living on a budget. Even now on two incomes, my husband and I cook all our meals at home instead of eating out. We watch movies we already own or borrow from friends instead of paying to go to the theater. We budget for the essentials and avoid impulse purchases.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand (Proverbs 19:21).
This verse goes along with the second passage. Sometimes we’re not quite tuned in to God’s will. We can come up with hundreds of ways to make more money, but those options may not work out how we planned. Ultimately, financial security comes from God and trusting in His provision.
We may never agree with God on how much is enough. But it is important to remember that God’s plan will prevail, and His plan for us is good. If we seek God and His kingdom first, everything we need will be provided for us. And we can take the blessings He gives us and bless others in return without fear of running out.
What Scriptures do you lean on when times are rough financially?
Copyright 2014 Amy Kessler. All Rights Reserved.