what are the practical ways you can grow in your faith in your day today life for instant when you don’t have enough money for living?
What are the practical ways you can grow in your faith in your day today life for instant when you don’t have enough money for living?
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” ~ Hebrews 11:1
That’s faith—believing and knowing in your heart because you just know it’s the right thing to do.
Knowing what faith is, is one thing. Having faith and putting your faith to work? That’s something else altogether. But today I’m here to tell you that if you say you have faith but aren’t applying that faith in your life, you are lying. Harsh? Maybe. True? Definitely.
Think about it like this: If a man or woman possessing the qualifications and licensures to practice medicine went around calling themselves a doctor but never treated anyone and even refused to help someone in need of emergency care, is that person really a doctor? No. He or she is nothing more than someone with knowledge and potential—or rather, wasted knowledge and potential. The same thing applies to people who say they are Christians but don’t live by faith.
Christians, in the truest sense of the word, are people who:
Believe God is the only and almighty creator and master of the universe.
Believe that Jesus is God’s son in the flesh and that He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, was buried, resurrected back to life, and returned to heaven to be with God.
Believe that the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, who is basically the conscience of God, is given to us when we accept Jesus as Savior according to scripture (Acts 2:37-38).
Live their lives according to scripture.
Seek God’s will and direction for their life and follow the direction he gives.
Believe and trust in God’s provision, comfort, protection, leadership, and wisdom in ALL things.
How many of those can you check off? Now I’m not saying you won’t ever have doubts, get scared, or hit the panic button and try doing things your way. We all do that and because God made us and knows us so intimately, he expects it to happen. Just like we expect our children to mess up now and then.
If the faith you have is genuine faith, you need to be applying it to all aspects of your life. And here’s how you can do just that:
#1: Your finances
It’s true, you know, what they say about your life-story being told by where you spend your money. So live by faith and tithe first. Even when you don’t think you can, faith says you can.
You can also live out your faith through your finances by giving over and above your tithe, trusting God to stretch your dollars if you want to become a one-income family so Mom can be a stay-at-home-mom, downsizing your house and other expensive non-essentials for the purpose of giving/ministry, and listening to God’s voice calling you to relocate, open your own business, or work less to have more time for family.
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen faith in action in my own life and the lives of others when it comes to relationships. The Bible is filled with examples of this as well (Esther, Job, Hannah, Mary, the Shunammite widow, Elijah, Peter, and Paul—to name a few).
Two people I dearly love had a bitter argument that turned into a two-and-a-half-year period of angry silence between them. I prayed non-stop that God would give me the words and opportunities to fix the situation but no matter how hard I prayed, nothing happened. Then one day as I was praying, I heard God say in my heart, “This isn’t yours to fix, but if you just have faith, I’ll fix it for you.”
From that day on I didn’t worry about the situation. It was still painful for me to watch but I knew it wouldn’t last forever. And sure enough, about a year later one of the parties involved decided the loss of the relationship wasn’t worth the pain it was causing and that if he didn’t forgive and move forward, he couldn’t ever be right with God.
Today the two are in a great place because I got out of God’s way and had faith in him to do what he said he would do.
Not all relationships can be fixed. I know that, but I also know that not all relationships should be fixed. When you are in a relationship with someone who is abusive or with someone who is pulling you away from God rather than encouraging you to grow in your faith, you shouldn’t be there. That’s where living by faith comes into play.
Living out your faith when it comes to your relationships happens when you:
Remove yourself from relationships with people you depend on in place of depending on God.
Trust God to take care of you and provide for your needs and safety when you leave an abusive relationship.
Give your rebellious child over to God in faith instead of wallowing in guilt, anger, frustration, and the stress of trying to fix something beyond your ability to fix.
Ask God for the measure of faith you need to forgive deceptions by a spouse, parent, child, or friend for the building up of the relationship.
Step out in faith that God will protect your job situation when you stand for Him at work.
Trust God to do what is ultimately best for you and your loved ones even when His plan isn’t yours.
#3: Your health and daily living
I could write a book on this category. Who knows—maybe I will, because this is where the “rubber meets the road” when it comes to living by faith. This is where it gets personal.
Living your everyday life in such a way that you apply your faith to every situation and circumstance is something that needs to develop into your character rather than something you do once in a while, e.g. when you’ve exhausted every other possibility.
So how does one go about making that happen?
Pray. A lot. When you spend time in prayer asking God for what you need/want and consulting God about the decisions you have to make, faith will grow because when you ask, you receive.
Listen and act. Remember the example of the doctor who was only a doctor in word but not deed? Your faith can’t grow if you don’t act on the answers you ask for and receive. God speaks and God provides the way to go, but He won’t drag you kicking and screaming down the road.
Know He has a reason for everything and that His reason is always in our best interest.
Know that God’s timing is perfect even though we may not understand it… or even like it.
Believe that God ALWAYS has your best interest at heart. And that includes those times when you hear words like “cancer”, “terminal”, “divorce”, “fatal”, “you’re fired”, “bankruptcy”, “foreclosure”, “I hate you”, “addict”, and so many other painful and potentially devastating words.
Share your faith with others. Faith isn’t faith unless it is expressed and lived. When you exhibit your faith in the little things as well as the big things in life, two things happen:
Your faith grows. When you see faith in action you can’t help but want more action.
Others can’t help but notice. When you live out your faith, people notice. When people notice, your faith and your words are a testimony to the Good News of the Gospel. And when that happens, you have faith in God and are faithful to
Faith is technically a noun, but in reality it is a verb—a call to action.
~ By Darla Noble
Money seems to be a common topic in many conversations in America today. Our economy is hurting and therefore many people are financially hurting as well.
As Christians we know that God is our source of security, not the economy. Nevertheless, many Christians have found that their finances have also been adversely affected as a byproduct of the negative economy. So how do we trust God in the midst of pay cuts, layoffs, rising bills, and declining home values in our own lives? How do we keep our faith strong in the midst of financial trouble? Here are a few ways God shows us in His Word to keep our faith strong.
Watch Your Focus
The biggest thing that has helped me in recent times of financial trouble is focusing on the right thing, which is not the circumstances, but rather God and what He’s doing in me. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
I’ve come to realize that our circumstances are temporary, but our faith and trust in God is eternal. I’ve seen income both grow and shrink in my family over the past few years, and I’ve come to realize that I can’t bank on that income – God is the only thing that really stays constant.
I’ve also realized that I haven’t really let my faith grow during previous times of financial trouble, as evidenced by the fact that I worry every time the income goes down again. This time, I’ve decided to focus on how our current situation can help me grow closer to God because that is all that really matters. After all, God knew this would happen and He knows when it will be over. And even though I don’t know when it will be over, whenever that is, I want to be stronger in faith and closer to God as a result of the situation.
Once we switch our focus to what really matters, then the temporary situation doesn’t seem all that bad because we realize it’s just money.
Have a Joyful Attitude
If we let our circumstances put us in a rotten mood, we are no fun to be around! When I recently found out about a large financial setback in my family, I turned into a huge sourpuss! I was sad and depressed, and I wanted to eat lots of ice cream. Not only was I not fun to be around, but I brought my husband down too. I was so sad that I didn’t even want to read my Bible because I didn’t want to feel better. I wanted to wallow in my sorrow (ever been there??)
But the morning after I learned of the setback, I decided I should read my Bible because pity parties get old after a while. The chapter I happened to be reading that day was Philippians 4, which was just what I needed. At the beginning of the chapter I read verse 4: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” God might as well have come down from heaven and written that for me personally that day! That verse not only lifted my mood, but helped me apply these next few points.
No matter what we have, it’s so easy to complain about what we don’t have. If we would just stop focusing so much on what we don’t have, we can see the blessings of all that we do have, like family, friends, church, and even the physical things that God has previously blessed us with. Paul reminds us in Philippians that prayer with Thanksgiving is the key to eliminating our worry and anxiety. “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace which transcends all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6.
Don’t stop giving!
When we aren’t thankful for what we have, often times we’ll stop giving to our church and other charities when money is tight. In reality, generosity is what opens up our lives for God’s blessings. I once heard a pastor say that if God can get money through you, he’ll get it to you. As Christians, we are blessed to be a blessing, but if we hoard all the money we have because we’re afraid that we don’t have enough, then we aren’t a blessing.
Our church has recently been teaching on generosity and how difficult that is when we feel like we don’t have enough material resources. Our pastor showed us a website where you type in your income and it will show you how rich you are compared to the rest of the world: www.globalrichlist.com. The minimum wage in our area ranked in the 11th percentile of the richest people in the world. When we realize just how wealthy we are in comparison to the rest of the world, how can we hold back from giving to others?
Do What You Can and Trust God to do the Rest
Having faith that God will supply our needs is extremely important, but God never promised to supply our wants exactly when we want them. Just because God will provide during a time when money is scarce, doesn’t mean we should spend money the same way we did when money was plentiful.
Beyond believing for increase, there are practical things we can do as well. When money is tight in our family, we cut back on eating out and buying extra clothes and electronics that we don’t need. We get creative and find more inexpensive ways to have fun and enjoy life. If things get really tight you can cancel cable or magazine subscriptions or other monthly costs that aren’t necessary. These cutbacks will help the money you do have go further and maybe even give you more quality time to spend with your family.
God is full of wisdom and He wants to give that wisdom to us (James 1:5), but we need to be sure to listen to God’s wisdom and heed what He says to improve our financial situation. God may provide a new job for you, but most likely He won’t drop it in your lap while you’re watching TV. We need to do the work of looking for jobs, sending out resumes, putting forth effort and on God’s end, He’ll give us favor, but we have to make the first step.
Don’t Make Excuses
God doesn’t make excuses, so you shouldn’t either. When told that God will provide for us, sometimes we respond with, “Yeah, but…” God will always trump our excuses (nothing beats “Yeah, but the cross”).
I was talking with a friend recently who had just found out she was going to be laid off. I reminded her that God had been there for her in the past and had never let her down and this wouldn’t be any different. She responded by saying “Yeah, but this is a big thing.” I responded (with sarcasm), “Oh yeah, you’re right. This is too big for God. He made the world in six days, but he won’t be able to provide for you in this situation.” Deep down she knows God is big enough for her situation, but she let her worry come out in her words.
Many Christians really do believe that their situation is too hard for God, or that He doesn’t want to help them. In Matthew 8:2-3 a man with leprosy asked Jesus to heal him if he was willing. He knew Jesus was able, but he wasn’t sure if he was willing. Jesus told him he was willing, and he healed the man. If Jesus wasn’t willing to help us with all our needs, He wouldn’t have died on the cross for us.
I don’t share these principles to give you pat answers to life’s problems. I have had to apply all these principles in my life recently due to a job layoff for me and a large pay cut for my husband. I know what it’s like to be concerned about the situation and to worry, but I’ve also learned that what God says in His word is truth. And His truth is more important than how I feel or what the circumstances say.
Paul said he learned how to be content whether he had plenty of money and resources, or whether money was in short supply. He learned that by relying on God’s strength (Philippians 4:11-13). There will be times of excess and times of need in our lives and since we can’t take money and possessions with us when we go to heaven, the only thing we have to carry through this life and into the next is our faith in and relationship with God. Beyond that, remember that God promises to not only supply our every need, but to do so liberally (Philippians 4:19).
So often, people find themselves in dire financial situations, and they want a quick way to earn money. They’ve lost their jobs, become delinquent on their mortgages and car payments, and can’t figure out how God can get money to them.
“Well, I’ve prayed about my finances,” they sometimes say. “I’ve asked God for the finances I need, but I haven’t really heard anything. So I’m not sure it’s God’s will for me to have them.”
That’s a sad—and misguided—way to live. Let’s look at three ways you can change the way you approach your money.
#1 Know What God Says About You and Money
Get out your Bible and read scriptures like Psalm 113:7-8. It says God “lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, even the princes of his own people!” Think about that. According to the Bible, God takes His people from the dump to the boardroom!
When you were dead in your sins and trespasses, He raised you up together and made you sit together with Christ Jesus in heavenly places. Talk about being promoted! You’ve already made it to the top!
#2 Listen to What God Says About You and Your Money
Jesus went to the cross so you could get out of the garbage dump. He didn’t want you to have to go around with your hat in your hand looking to humans for a bailout or a handout. No, sir! You are a joint heir with Christ Jesus. You are a child of the living God. You’re supposed to be prosperous.
But to have ears to hear what Jesus is saying to you about how to walk in that prosperity, you have to get your mind out of the garbage dump. You have to quit thinking lack and measuring with a poverty stick. Instead, you have to read, meditate on and proclaim what God’s Word says.
#3 Speak What God Says About Your and Your Money
A Partner with this ministry wrote in to tell us that he had been able to pay off all his debts except what he owed on his farm. He wanted to be completely debt free but the amount seemed overwhelming. He kept meditating on the Word until he finally heard what God was saying to him. He got so thrilled, he ran into the house and said to his wife, “Praise God, we’re going to pay off this farm! God just got through to me. If you can pay off a charge card, you can pay off a farm! If you can pay off a car, you can pay off anything!”
The Lord will talk to you just like He did that farmer. It doesn’t matter what problem you may be facing, He has a plan to solve it. So just inquire of Him and say, “Lord, there is a mountain here in my life. I see in Your Word that I’m supposed to have victory over it. I see in Mark 11:23 that I can speak to it by faith and it will be removed. So I’m asking You to give me wisdom. Show me what You would have me say and what You would have me do. I have ears to hear.”
So often people need a quick answer from God about money, but the root of the issue goes so much deeper. Begin understanding how God views money in relation to His people. Then see how that view applies to you and your situation. God doesn’t want you in the garbage dump. Jesus died to raise you up and He has provided the way for you to be free from debt and financial hardship!
I knew that our finances were one area where I was trying to be in control. Being mindful of your budget is one thing—I had a death grip on it. It’s not even that my intentions were wrong—I was only trying to make sure that we weren’t being wasteful and that we were working to pay down our debt.
But I was relying on myself instead of relying on God.
I was looking at “What can I do to fix this?” instead of stepping back and saying “It’s all Yours anyways. Do what You will.”
Well, I knew that we were being called to give 10% (or more!), but honestly the thought gave me severe anxiety. Not to mention the fact that I was pregnant and super hormonal anyways… I cried through church on countless occasions. I don’t like giving up control. At all. Not one bit.
So I finally told God… I can give you baby steps. I seriously cannot handle 10% right now, but I can do $20 a week. And once I see that I can do $20 this month, I’ll make it $25 next month, and we’ll work our way up from there.
Pretty much immediately, little things began to happen.
My husband and I had been wanting a bike trailer. We found one for free.
I thought, “Hmm. I kind of want a purse.” I found one I love for free.
I was thinking about cloth diapering but hadn’t told anyone yet. My mother-in-law randomly said: “We got a bunch of cloth diapers in at work. Do you want them?”
Coincidence? I guess you could have said so at that point, but it didn’t stop there. We continued to increase our giving each month, and as our giving increased, bigger things kept happening.
My car was seriously dying. I thought we would have to spend 5-8K on a newer one. We got a car that is better than what I thought we would have been able to get for only $2,500.
I thought maybe we’d get $1,000 back on our taxes? We got back a few thousand! (Don’t come asking for money, though. We’ve had a baby since then. The money’s gone. Lol)
(I know you aren’t supposed to talk about money–that it’s not polite. But saying “God took care of us” doesn’t drive the point home as much as saying “We got THOUSANDS of dollars we weren’t expecting when we said yes to God” —which is exactly what happened.)
I kept praying: “I know you are being more than faithful God, but I’m still freaking out over here. I don’t know how we are going to come up with the last $30 a week we are supposed to be giving you…”
Seriously two days later, My husband mentioned, “Oh, I forgot to tell you. I got a $30 raise.” And I knew God was saying “See. I already have this figured out. Before you even asked.”
Then, I prayed: “God, it’d be really awesome if this baby doesn’t have clubfoot like our oldest did. If he does, we would still trust you, but if he doesn’t, that’d be great.” He doesn’t. He’s super healthy.
Then, I was worried about what we were going to do once baby came along. We would have huge doctor’s bills and I wouldn’t be working any more. But a month and a half after baby was born, I came across an article on how to make money from home and I got an online job writing articles that I LOVE. Sure, my husband and I are both working hard, but I know the money we bring in doesn’t really come from our efforts–but from God.
Honestly, it’s been terrifying. But every time I exercise even the smallest bit of faith, God has come through in huge ways. Our money situation isn’t even that different than before, but we always have enough and I have a lot more peace–not that I don’t still freak out a little
I’ve heard stories like these before and thought “Well, that’s nice for them, but it doesn’t happen to everyone…” and honestly, it was because I wasn’t giving God a chance.
Saying yes to God hasn’t been easy, but my faith has grown leaps and bounds this year as I’ve been obedient and seen firsthand that God IS who He says He is and He DOES provide.
He always has for us, and He can for you too–you just have to give Him a chance.
Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
These words were spoken to a particular individual within the context of a particular situation. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that they were addressed to the church as a whole. Apparently your acquaintance is under the impression that the validity of every Christian’s faith stands or falls on his or her ability to comply with the words of Jesus to the rich young ruler: “Go, sell whatever you possess, and give to the poor” (Mark 10:21). We don’t think this is fair.
That’s not to mention that believers have been struggling to understand this saying and apply it to their lives in a practical way for a long, long time – ever since the days of the apostles. Some, like St. Anthony, the Desert Fathers, and Francis of Assisi, have made heroic attempts – with varying degrees of success – to follow it to the letter. Others, recognizing the practical difficulties associated with such a plan, have concluded that Christ was not demanding the literal rejection of all material wealth, but was simply trying to get the young man to see where the loyalties and affections of his heart really lay. The point is that there have been lots of good Christians on both sides of the issue. Your friend doesn’t seem to be aware of this.
Meanwhile, we know for a fact that there were many solid, faithful believers in the first-century who did not sell all their possessions when they became followers of Jesus. Joseph of Arimathea, for instance, was apparently a man of great substance (Matthew 27:57), and Paul and James seem to take it for granted that there is room for both rich and poor in the church of Jesus Christ (see I Timothy 6:17-19; James 1:11).
Bottom line: if your friend can find a way to give up everything and follow Jesus without the least regard for money and possessions, then all we can say is “more power to him.” As for the rest of us, we have no choice except to keep plugging along, trying to balance the message of Mark 10:21, which sounds like it’s calling all believers to a life of voluntary poverty, with that of I Timothy 6:17-19, which plainly suggests that wealthy Christians can serve God and His people by means of their money. From our perspective, it’s challenges like this that make the Christian life so interesting. We should also remember that, whatever our economic status or station in life, material wealth should never become our god, nor should we allow love of money to prevent us from reaching out to the needy (Matthew 6:24).