Keys to Surviving Financial Crisis (part 2)
I believe severe financial hardship can be very, very good for a person. I have lived through a tremendous financial loss, and was even homeless once for a short period of time. I have also lived at one time for several months without electricity and running water. I recently had a conversation with another who had experienced similar times of adversity. The one thing we shared in common? We both carry a sense that we can make it through deep difficulty and be alright. Because we’ve been there and came through it, we don’t fear it.
Lamentations 3:27 says, “It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.” In times of financial distress we can learn that God is with us even though our outward circumstances are hard. We can become more dependent on Him and less dependent on our creature comforts. What a great place to learn endurance! And there are some things we just won’t learn without a little help from hardship.
We can learn to appreciate things when we have had to do without. We can learn the value of a hard-earned dollar. We can learn that happiness really doesn’t depend on “stuff”. We can learn that it’s okay to not have the newest, the prettiest or the best. It’s okay to not have the things that others have. In fact there comes great freedom in reaching such a place and being able to tell yourself “no”.
God is a Rewarder
In the end (and I do mean the end), all that really matters is your faith in God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “…without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” God is a rewarder. It’s His nature. When we stop trying to reward ourselves in so many ways and seek to daily live for Him, we will discover a generous God who richly rewards His own, in His own time and in His own way.
What We Do With What We Have
God rewards faithfulness. Faithfulness is a practical outgrowth of having real faith. I recently finished a study on heaven. I have read all of what the Biblical says about our rewards in heaven. They are linked to our stewardship on earth. Stewardship is management. How you and I manage our time, our talents and our treasure has eternal significance. God watches and weighs our faithfulness. Many of the ways God says He will reward his people is with greater responsibility and increased stewardship! What we do with what we have influences what will be.
Make It Grow
Proverbs 13:11 tells us, “…he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” Learn to save. Even if it’s just small amounts, practice saving. Deny yourself some non-essentials. Refuse the urge to reward yourself in many ways that are foolish or wasteful. An occasional small splurge is one thing; a lifestyle of self-rewarding indulgence is destructive. A lifestyle of financial saving is a lifestyle of financial growth.