Money: Seeking God’s Wisdom
The recent economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus has tempted many Christians to fear. Will we suffer from a severe economic recession or even a depression? Will I lose my job? Will the investments which we have accumulated over our lifetime become worthless? Will we be unable to buy food and clothing? For times such as these we need wisdom and hope from God’s Word.
My new short devotional book, Money: Seeking God’s Wisdom, could be a useful tool to direct you and your family to find hope and security in the Lord while applying the timeless wisdom of God’s Word to the practical challenges you face in troubled times.
God’s Word offers comfort in the midst of economic distress. “Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on… Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?… But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:25-26,33).
Scripture refutes the world’s lie that money and all that it can buy will make us happy. “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity” (Eccl. 5:10). The Lord alone offers true satisfaction, “Why do you spend your money for what is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food” (Isa. 55:2).
While our political and business leaders attempt to create the illusion that they can produce lasting and stable prosperity, the Bible reminds us that this fallen world is an unstable place and that there is no ultimate economic security in this life. “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens” (Prov. 23:4-5). Scripture also encourages us that God uses our trials, including financial difficulties, for good. Economic troubles can mature us spiritually as we learn to trust the Lord and are conformed to the image of Christ (James 1:2-4).
Money: Seeking God’s Wisdom is part of a series of 31-Day Devotionals for Life published by P&R. Each day’s devotion briefly and practically expounds a key biblical principle from a particular passage of Scripture. At the end of each chapter there are reflection questions which could be used for discussion and a call to act in application of the truth learned. The volumes on anxiety and contentment could also be appropriate for those who are stressed out about financial matters. The books in this series would be very appropriate for family worship. The brevity and structure of these daily devotions could also be a tool which could help a younger believer develop the habit of getting into the Word daily.
Below is a sample chapter:
DAY 3 Financial Distress Is Not Always Your Fault
He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. (Job 1:21–22)
When financial calamity strikes, people often wonder if it is some kind of judgment from God. “Did God cause me to lose my job because I skipped my daily morning devotions?” Those around them may suggest that their troubles are the direct result of sin in their lives. “Remember: who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off?” (Job 4:7). False teachers in our day claim that if you have enough faith prosperity is inevitable and that poverty is the consequence of unbelief. We can be assured that God is glorified as we respond to our trials wisely and in faith. Click To Tweet
Yet the Scripture says that Job was “blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:1 NASB). God allowed Satan to take everything away from Job—not because Job was the worst of men but rather because he was the best of men. The Lord was proving the quality of Job’s faith as Job remained faithful even after suffering overwhelming loss (see vv. 20–22).
Job was not aware of the battle that was going on between Satan and the Lord. When we face great trials, including difficulties with our money, we won’t be aware of God’s secret purposes for our suffering. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever” (Deut. 29:29). But we can be assured that God is glorified as we respond to our trials wisely and in faith.
There are many cases in which a Christian may suffer financially due to no fault of his or her own. Your employer may unjustly fail to pay you the wages you have earned (see James 5:4). You may be the victim of theft or embezzlement. You may lose your job because of the misconduct of your employer. A friend of mine was fired by a boss who hates Christians.
You may also suffer the general effects of living in a fallen world, such as economic calamity hitting your community through drought, pestilence, war, natural disaster, or a widespread economic downturn or depression. There are many examples in the Bible of God’s people being affected by widespread economic famines and disasters (see Gen. 12:10; Ruth 1:1; Acts 11:28–30). Many people come from impoverished homes, where financial wisdom was not practiced and educational opportunities were limited, and are negatively influenced by these family backgrounds.
No matter how wisely you act, you cannot always protect yourself from economic hardship. God does, however, offer you comfort and hope in His Word. He is in control (see Ps. 115:3; Eph. 1:11), as Job acknowledges in Job 2:10. We can also be confident that God has a good purpose for our trials, even if we, like Job, don’t presently understand what good He may be doing (see Rom. 8:28). Finally, we are comforted with the knowledge that our earthly losses will one day seem inconsequential compared to the secure heavenly inheritance that we will possess forever (see Matt. 6:20; Rom. 8:18; 1 Peter 1:4–5).
Reflect: How have you and others whom you know suffered financial losses due to no fault of your own? How can your faith help you through your financial trials? How can you respond wisely to difficult circumstances?
Act: Take time to thank God for how He has used your financial losses for your good and His glory.[i]
[i] Taken from Money; Seeking Gods Wisdom, by Jim Newheiser, part of the 31 Day Devotional for life series with permission from P&R Publishing Co. P. O. Box 817 Phillipsburg, NJ, 08865. (ISBN 978-1-62995-497-4) www.prpbooks.com.