We all have situations in our lives that lead to financial stress. What do we do about it? The Bible is clear that God does not want us living with anxiety. Here are 5 keys to relieving financial stress in your life:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV).
Our first response to a financial challenge needs to be prayer. It is easy for us to want to fix it ourselves. We may feel guilty or ashamed or angry, and these emotions can lead to us avoiding prayer. Given that everything we have belongs to God and we are His stewards, it makes sense for us to reach out to Him for divine help.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT).
Have you noticed that God often answers your prayers through other people? Reaching out to engage a trusted friend is critical to relieving financial stress.
I have had the privilege of counselling many people over the past 25 years who initially tried to solve the challenge by keeping it to themselves, and they were unable to make progress until they started to both pray and involve a trusted friend.
We should not expect our friend to give us money, but we should engage them to listen, pray, offer advice, and help us find solutions.
“The heart of the wise will easily accept instruction. But those who do all the talking are too busy to listen and learn. They’ll just keep stumbling ahead into the mess they created” Proverbs 10:8 (TPT).
There are many potential causes of our financial stress, and we need to take the time to accurately determine the root cause so we can develop the proper action plan to resolve the situation.
We often are tempted to avoid being honest about the cause of our stress. It is imperative that we face reality. Is our debt caused by overspending, is it a financial surprise we did not have sufficient savings to cover, or is it due to insufficient income?
In my experience the hardest problem to resolve is insufficient income. This requires us to do some serious research on what we need to do to increase our income to acceptable levels. This can involve hard decisions like taking on a second job, changing jobs, or talking with our employer.
If the problem is that our expenses are too high, we need to do some careful analysis on where we can cut back and how we can save money. These are painful adjustments but doable with focus. To be successful in this process we need to ensure we have a budgeting system in place for carefully tracking all our spending so we can make good decisions.
“Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself” Colossians 3:23 (TPT).
To quote St. Augustine, we need to “Pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on you!” Once we have diagnosed the cause of our stress, we need to do the hard work of implementing our action plan to resolve the situation. This is never fun or easy, but necessary. Our action plan becomes our map to guide us from stress to financial freedom God’s way.
“True enrichment comes from the blessing of the Lord, with rest and contentment in knowing that it all comes from Him” Proverbs 10:22 (TPT).
Resolving our financial challenges and achieving true biblical financial freedom will take time, and we need to be patient and persevere. The benefits of having the freedom to live our God-given calling and having relief from financial stress is worth the work!
You can access this entire magazine for free here: Edition 39