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Money Matters: Beating Your Financial Fears

Jerusha Agen Fighting Fear 15 Comments

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Money-dollar-bill-white-wall (800x533)My eyes pop at the sight of the bill. Another unexpected veterinarian cost.

Worry flutters in my stomach as my mind leaps ahead. I may be able to cover this bill, but what about a year from now? What if I can’t afford the care my pets need?

What if I can’t pay for my own medical bills? The essentials of life?

Sound familiar? Most of us have had financial struggles or at least financial worries at some point in our lives. Some of us are haunted by such worries every day.

Did you know that the majority of divorces happen because of finances? Anxiety over finances breaks up marriages and families, causes ulcers and stress, and can make life simply miserable. Sometimes, the fear of being without financial security or wealth leads to crime and violence.

There are hundreds, probably thousands of financial management strategies and courses that teach them. But I think an aspect of financial woes that doesn’t always get discussed is the fear that drives our decisions and can take control of our lives.

The good news is that financial fears are no different than the other fears we face in our daily lives. They can be defeated.

Thankfully, Jesus tells us in Scripture how to win the battle. He actually does more than offer us guidance with this issue, He gives us a command.

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. – Matthew 6:25a

There you have it—we are commanded by Christ not to be anxious about even the necessities of life, let alone the abundant financial status we Americans require in order to feel “secure.”

Debt-image (800x534)Easier said than done, right? If only we could stop being afraid simply because Jesus told us to do so. The battle against fear isn’t usually won so easily.

As He always does, though, Jesus gives us the “how” along with His command. If we read a little farther in this passage, we find two assurances that are the weapons we need to beat our financial fears.

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. – Matthew 6:31-32

Did you catch that? God is our loving “heavenly Father,” and He already knows that we need all these things we’re so worried we’ll have to survive without. What a comfort!

We don’t need to worry that God is unaware of our financial troubles or that He doesn’t care that we have the basics of life for ourselves and our loved ones. In fact, He knows what we need better than we do and knows how to care for those in our care better than we do. This passage also confirms that our Father is not a distant deity who has no concept of what we need to live on this earth. He knows and he cares.

But does that mean He’ll provide for our needs? Here’s where we get to the awesome promise that can send our financial fears packing.

seek-first-the-kingdom-graphic (683x1024)But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33

All these things” will be given to us! All that we need to live this life according to God’s will, to do what He calls us to do, to survive and thrive is promised to us.

There’s a condition to this promise, though—the task that is also what we need to do for our purpose and happiness in this life and for all eternity. We need to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”

When we’re worrying about our finances, letting anxiety cloud our hearts and minds, we’re not seeking God’s kingdom and the righteousness He calls us to. That aim needs to be first. We need to focus on glorifying Him first and foremost.

You might be anxiously wondering, how am I going to pay for my children’s health needs? Beat back that fear and replace it with this: How can I glorify God in my care for my children?

How will I afford a home and food? Douse the fear with this: How can I do the righteous thing and glorify God in these circumstances?

How can I give to others when I have so little? Fight off the fear with this: How can I glorify God with what He has given me in service and generosity to others?

Remember, all that we have, is God’s. He gives us what He does in trust, to keep for Him and to be good stewards of His resources and gifts.

So the next time financial fears clench your heart, remember to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. Then relax and rest in His promise: all the things you need will be provided by your loving Father.

Do you have financial worries? Have you seen God provide for your needs? Please share!

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Comments 15

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  1. Amanda

    Thanks so much for addressing such a common issue! My husband and I are both self-employed freelancers, so in all our dozen years of marriage we have never had a steady paycheck. This, needless to say, makes budgeting a challenge, particularly for a Type A compulsive-planner ‘all my ducks in a row’ type. God has really grown me in this area over the last few years, but I know I still have a long way to go. Thanks for some practical pointers!

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      Jerusha Agen

      What a challenge that must be, Amanda, to go so many years without have the “assurance” you’re going to get that next paycheck. Sounds like you’ve had a lot of experience in battling financial worries! (I’m a planner, too, which makes this issue a hard one!) Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation!

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  2. Patricia Bradley

    Finacial worries are the hardest for me to release because when I was a kid we were very poor. But I’ve found God knows what I need and He provides. And as I get older, I’ve discovered I don’t need or want nearly as much as I did when I was younger. Great post!

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      Jerusha Agen

      That’s a great point, Pat! Sometimes we get so worried over things that are actually just wants, not needs. It can be hard to distinguish between the two when you’re used to having more like many of us are. Sounds like you had a different situation that can also result in more fear! Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned, that God is faithful to provide what you need. That’s a promise to cling to!

  3. MJ

    Another scripture in relation to this concept that comes to my mind is Jeremiah 17:7-8. In those verses, God is describing one who trusts in Him, using the metaphor of strong, deep-rooted tree. He says of the tree, it “will not fear when heat comes…and will not be anxious in the year of drought.” I think this applies both to trials and to resources, such as money. I love the wording in the New King James: “will not be anxious.” When our resources dry up, that’s what our tendency is to do — worry. Thanks for reminding us that we have no cause for such fears!

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      Jerusha Agen

      What a terrific passage, MJ! That is so fitting. Yes, it’s so easy to fall back into anxiety and worry when it looks like we’re going to have less or not enough. Thanks for adding this inspiring passage to the conversation today!

  4. Anne Carol

    This was a great post! I needed to hear it. I’m starting to worry about college tuition, which is less than two years away for us. But I know God will provide what we need, and I shouldn’t waste time worrying. Instead, I should be praying over my kids and asking God to help direct their choices.

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      Jerusha Agen

      Thanks, Anne! Praise the Lord for His timing in bringing this message to you when you needed it! Don’t you love how He does that? 🙂 Sounds like you’ve figured out how to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness instead of worrying about the needed tuition. You’re so right–God will provide for you and your children. Thanks for joining the conversation, Anne!

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