6 Ways to Trust God When Money is Tight
by Cindi McMenamin
It’s inevitable. As the holidays approach, money will be tight for most of us.
But that doesn’t mean stress has to enter our lives this fall. Having a relationship with God means never having to worry about money again—not because God fills our bank account with money when we surrender our lives to Him. God wants a relationship with us in which we are dependent on Him, trusting Him with all that we have.
My husband and I have lived on a small church pastor’s salary for nearly 30 years—including a few years in which my husband supported our family on a couple of minimum-wage paying jobs. I can honestly tell you that God has always provided everything we have needed and so much of what we’ve wanted, too. Based on three decades of seeing God come through for my family financially, here are six ways to trust God when money is tight:
1. Realize it’s not about the money.
I’m convinced that our financial stability depends on how much we trust God rather than on how much we make. It’s really not about the money, how hard you work, and how wisely you’ve invested. Our financial situation is almost always about trust.
I used to get a little disillusioned during my college years, thinking If God, my Father, owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) why is it that I can’t even afford a hamburger? I’ve learned since then that it isn’t about whether God has the money and can help us. It’s about what He wants to do in and through us, as we rely on Him for what we need. God can take whatever financial situation you’re in and build into you character, hope and a future. See every financial struggle as an opportunity to trust Him more and a doorway through which you can discover God’s grace, provision and fatherly love.
2. Trust Him with today.
It’s easy to look ahead at the month and estimate how much you’ll need to pay your bills and then stress about the shortfall. But Jesus must have known we’d have a tendency to do that. He told His followers to look around and see how God provides food for the birds and clothing for the lilies of the field. Then He told them, “If God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” (Matthew 6:30).
Jesus was instructing them—and us—to trust Him daily for our provision, and not stress about money by worrying about tomorrow.
3. Remember how rich you really are.
God owns it all . . . which makes us (His children by faith in Christ) heirs of all He has (Galatians 3:29). While we might not feel that we have much on this earth, we can read Ephesians 1:3-14 and be reminded again of what is ours in the heavenly realm. As you look at what God gives you through salvation, you can be encouraged at what is yours today, not just some day in heaven.
Think about it: If God can take care of our eternal life, by providing His beloved Son for our salvation, then certainly He can take care of our everyday life, including whatever financial needs we have. Read Ephesians 1—daily if you have to—and remember what is yours in Christ. It will give you a different perspective, and it may cause you to thank Him more than ask Him, when it comes to your financial needs.
4. Release it back to God
We are managers, not owners of the money God has entrusted to us. That makes it all His in the first place. Therefore, He expects us to give from the first of what we have to Him, as a way of honoring Him, and as a reminder to us that He owns it all.
The Old Covenant Law required God’s people to tithe (which literally means giving to God a tenth of your income). Under the New Covenant, Jesus instructed us to give generously in proportion to how we would like God to be generous toward us (Luke 6:38). Ask God what He wants you to give, and trust Him with what’s left each month.
5. Practice generosity.
Sometimes we think the more money we hold onto, the more we’ll have. But the opposite is true in the Kingdom of God. The more we give, the more God gives us so we can keep on giving. In 2 Corinthians 9:6-11, we are told that as we give generously and cheerfully “God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” (verse 8). Pray that God will help you be generous with what you have so you will always have money to give to those who are in need.
6. Choose contentment.
Can you be content with little if that is what God has ordained for you? There is joy in living simply, in giving things away, tossing out clutter and not collecting more, and determining to live on less. Most of us have no idea how much excess we already have and how little we really need not only to get by but to be happy. Practice contentment and you may find your financial worries aren’t nearly what they used to be. First Timothy 6:6 assures us that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (NIV).
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and award-winning writer who helps women and couples strengthen their relationship with God and with others. She has authored more than a dozen books, including her newest release, 12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband (Harvest House Publishers). She and her husband also co-authored the book, When Couples Walk Together: 31 Days to a Closer Connection, upon which this article is based. For more on her resources to help strengthen your walk with God, your marriage, or your parenting, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.
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