We were doing great, living our lives and not really thinking about our finances. We had kept track of how much we were spending each month, but we really didn’t have any goals for where we wanted to be. Then a couple of months ago sometime terrible happened. For the sake of our privacy, I’ll give you the condensed version. In essence because of circumstances out of our control we lost the majority of the money we had at the time.
I didn’t realize exactly what had happened until a couple of days later and I was completely devastated. As a young married couple, I thought this would ruin us. We had to borrow money from my mom to even pay rent. Those next couple of months were difficult and it still makes me sick to my stomach to see how much they took from us, but God provides. I remember reading Psalms 37 and praying it towards those people who stole from us. I remember being so angry and hopeless, but I knew that God had a plan. At the end of Psalms 37, it says, “Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright; for the man of peace will have posterity (descendants/children). But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; the posterity of the wicked will be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them; because they take refuge in Him.””The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees his day is coming.” 1
This world is not our home and as my husband always says, “it’s just money.” We can, though, use what God has given us to His glory. So let’s look at some reasons why we need to be intentional with our money…
God is sovereign
God always knows what’s going to happen next. He is never surprised by circumstances. He is always in control. That’s so hard to fully wrap my head around, but that is what the Bible tells us. He has brought that certain financial struggle into our life for a reason. Isaiah 55:8-9 is a great reminder of this. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways.” He brought this struggle into your life to make you grow. Sometimes He does it gently, but other times He brings it all ‘crashing down’ around you. No matter what though, He creates the circumstances that you need in that time in your life. In our certain circumstance, He tore us down financially so that my husband and I would learn how to handle money. Because before He tore us down we were just coasting financially. We were doing fine, but we weren’t intentional. And that’s what this Christian life is about, being intentional. Instead of spending carelessly He taught us to save for the things we want. He taught us how all of our money….it isn’t actually our money. It is His.
Job is such an encouraging example. In Job 1:21 he reminded himself of this truth. “He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Wow… blessed be the name of the Lord.
All of His children have just died and Job is praising the Lord. I don’t know whether you grasp the true impact of this verse, but right now I am in tears. We have a mighty God and I pray that you recognize that just like Job did. If you’re going through a loss right now I would really recommend reading through the book of Job. Job’s circumstances were awful and yet “he fell to the ground and worshipped.” 2 To the world that sounds crazy, but Job worshipped because he knew. He knew God was sovereign.
He takes care of those who trust in Him
“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as to the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.” 3 I really recommend you read all of Psalms 37. It isn’t long and it is packed with necessary reminders.
Using Your Money Wisely
The next step to using our money intentionally is finding ways to use it wisely. I know for me and my husband it’s been really easy to get lazy and spend our money on eating out, but that can be one the biggest wasters of our money. So we made a choice with our eating to have almost every meal at home. We aren’t shopping for clothes or other things that we don’t necessarily need and that’s taking a lot of sacrifices, but I know that if we want to buy the big things like a new house or a new car we have to sacrifice some of the little things. Because that $20 we spend every time we eat out really starts to add up. So we sat down and we talked about how we want to use our money. David Ramsey says this a lot, “don’t let your money control you; you need to control your money.” So I encourage you to sit down with yourself or your husband and talk about what your money goals are for the next couple of years. When you know what you want to do with your money it’s a lot easier to save it. Because instead of thinking “look at all this money I have”, you’re thinking look how much closer I am to purchasing my dream home or whatever other goals you have. Using our money wisely is important, did you know there are over 2000 Bible verses about money?
What we did…
I want to start out by saying that this experience taught me a lot. Not just about myself but about how I thought about money. I didn’t think money was an idol in my life but when I lost a lot of it, my sadness was overwhelming. I had put money in a place that shouldn’t have been. Thankfully God is kind with his children. He knew that I had a wrong view of money and I needed to change. God gives and he takes away but He always blesses those who trust in him. “He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous shall flourish as the green leaf.” 4 I can say now after the fact that I am trusting God so much more than I had before but I am by no means perfect. Even now as I write this we are going through another financial difficulty, but I know my God who loves me will provide my every need.
So at first when this all happened I did not react the right way. I reacted like someone who doesn’t know the God who loves them and takes care of them but thankfully God used those around me to guide me back to him. He knows what we need in he will always provide for us. When you think of money make sure you were thinking about it with an eternal perspective because let’s remember that this world is not our home. So as an intentional Christian woman but not store up treasures in this world, but store up treasures for ourselves in heaven where no thief can break in and steal. 5 Because in the end, the only reason we need to be intentional with our money is so that we can glorify God. And when you are responsible you can give more freely without hesitation.
I really recommend going through some of Dave Ramsey’s courses and figuring out what you need to do next. A book that really helped me quite a bit is the book Love Your Life Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze because the first step in being intentional with your money is being contented with your life right now. And that’s really hard to do sometimes but God has put us exactly where we need to be. So let’s glorify God where he put us right now.
“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.” 6
I’d love to chat down in the comments and talk about what are some ways that you have been intentional with your money this year so far. No post next week and I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Also here are some resources that I have found particularly helpful:
Redeemed by the King