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Facing a financial crisis

My family always seems to have financial problems. One thing or the other. Now I have lost my job too. My wife is working, so we are coping somehow. Really worried about our future. How can we deal with money problems once and forever?

Praise and thanksgiving for TODAY as it is, is the first and the last step, especially during a crisis. Do not obsess about how little you have, take time today to thank God for what you already have – that’s biblical wisdom for even the most experienced investor. Jesus told the masses in his day to give their  entire attention to what God was doing ‘right now’, and don’t get worked up about what ‘may or may not happen tomorrow’ (Mat 6:34)

God will help you deal with whatever hard things come, whenever. Losing a job, while it can be extremely distressing, doesn’t define you. It could be an unjust dismissal – even that, does not define your skills or the lack of them. It just defines what your priorities should be – when you pick the next company and boss you chose to work for.

We are called to a ‘life of prayer’, called to pray even when prayer didn’t keep us out of the trouble we are currently in. You probably prayed that you wouldn’t lose your job. Why would prayer do any good now? Old Testament prophet Habakkuk questioned God why he had not protected his people. God simply told Habakkuk, “the righteous will live by his faith” (2:4). In other words, God’s followers are to trust God, period. No matter what happens. Prayer always increases the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and over time, God will redeem the ugly circumstances of our lives by weaving them into His good purposes. Keep praying into your situation. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Let’s see what you can now DO, from a Biblical perspective. At first glance, Bible verses about money may seem contradictory. “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle”. (Proverbs 23:4-5) THE most-quoted Bible verse relating to money states, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

Some parts of the Bible advises us how to take care of our money, while others seem to ignore all money worries. However, when you look at these situationally and in a balanced manner, the overall message the Bible sends about money is that money is not bad – it’s just greed for money that’s evil. We need money to survive, to support our families, to help those in need and for getting daily provisions, but money isn’t the most important thing in life. And, the Bible does give clear instructions about how to manage our finances.

The first one that comes to mind – especially as you are facing a job loss is Ecclesiastes 11:2 – “Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land”. Dear brother, you may be struggling as you focused only on your salary as your source of income. Your wife has a job now, so hereafter, make sure your investments and sources of income are both diversified. If one of you have a skill that can earn you money, use it. God gave you talents for a purpose. Many home businesses and part time jobs thrive today. People can make money working from home. The motto should be less or even zero investment and more saving.

Proverbs 24:27 states, “Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house”. Which means, have a master plan and get your priorities right. Work to earn a living, save some in a bank, rather than splurge on luxuries. Your field (mode of work) will earn you money and your home is what you spend it on. Do it wisely. Genesis 41:34-36 deals with having emergency funds handy – “Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance”. In today’s scenario, it translates to saving for your marriage, investing in jewellery or property, saving for your education, making deposits for children, funds for retirement, insurance for your parents, sums for medical needs etc. Financial experts say you should set aside roughly six months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency fund. Debt takes a toll on people, both emotionally and physically. The Word teaches us, “The borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7) If situations demand borrowing, do it from a trusted friend and make sure the money is returned asap.

Proverbs 21:5 states, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty”. This rule from Proverbs sums up all financial goals. Budgeting, planning for education, marriage, family, retirement and saving for emergencies – they’re all different ways of being diligent by planning ahead. May God help you to manage your money well! God bless.

We answer your questions about faith, marriage, relationships, parenting, emotional issues, financial crisis or any spiritual struggle here. Have a counselling query? Ask us here, by email [email protected]

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