by Heike Staiger
When we watch the news, it is clear that we live in difficult and challenging times. We hear about recession, an energy crisis, inflation etc. Money is tight. Maybe you are in a similar situation, surrounded with stress, pressure, anxiety and sorrows concerning your financial situation. Perhaps you have tried everything in your power to change the situation, but it does not seem to work. Still you might think that holding on tightly to the money you have available, is the way out.
Many are facing these circumstances and it is not easy, especially when costs of living are rising and rising. You may have been unemployed for a while, or perhaps the current economic climate has caused you to lost your job… But with Jesus we can walk differently, without allowing fear and sorrows to grip our hearts.
How can we deal with such a situation?
It sounds so simple, when Jesus says “Therefore do not worry, saying, ´What shall we eat?´ or ´What shall we drink?´ or ´What shall we wear?´ But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31.33 NKJV)
Let us lift up our eyes to the One from whom our help comes (Psalm 121:1-2). Let not our thoughts and lives be possessed, obsessed and poisoned by mammon (which is not just money, but has a spirit behind it.) This power wants to occupy our hearts and lives, and it will rob us of our joy and peace in the Lord. We cannot serve two masters. We can either serve God or mammon (Matthew 6:24).
Are we trying to hold onto our “treasures” at whatever cost, or are we trying to “seek first the Kingdom of God,” even in a difficult financial situation? What is the focus of our hearts?
Jesus spoke in Luke 12 about a rich man who was very concentrated on earthly treasures and wanted to build even greater barns to store his surplus grain. “But God said to him. ´Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?´” (Luke 12:20 NKJV) … Was it worth striving and living to have more and more earthly treasures that would stay behind when his time here on earth came to an end? If he would have been given the choice between having one more day in his life or having all his earthly treasures, what would he have chosen? Money and treasures on earth are not everything, and they certainly are not the most important thing!
What about us? Are we focused on the treasures here on earth, or is our target the treasures in heaven? Are we living with a higher purpose, placing our treasures in heavenly accounts and experiencing that our heart is free from earthly sorrows because our trust is in the Lord?
Praise God, even amidst financially difficulties. We can live with peace, joy and trust in Him who is not only our Lord, Saviour and King, but also our Provider.
We might ask how can we give. How can we invest in heavenly treasures when we don´t have much and hardly make ends meet? In Luke 21:1-4 we read about the poor widow who put such a tiny amount in the treasury. It is humiliating for our natural mind, isn´t it? But Jesus did not look at the small amount, He knew that she did not give out of her abundance but out of her poverty, yet she gave her entire livelihood. He saw the woman´s heart and her circumstances.
Is this woman not a wonderful example for us? She did not act according to the world system which said, “You are poor. Keep what you have and buy some food for you to eat.” She acted with a kingdom mentality. The same applies to us. We are not supposed to act as the world tells us, but to act in an opposite way to the world.
The world says:
You are supposed to keep your money together, so that you will gain more.
“GIVE, and you will receive…“ (Luke 6:38 NLT)
But how can we live in an opposite spirit, when finances are really causing us anxiety?
Please don´t misunderstand! This blog is not talking about tithing, or about running into debt to be able to give. It is not about giving with the expectancy IF I give, then I will receive – our heart attitude would be wrong, because God loves a cheerful giver! It honours Him when we give out of a thankful and cheerful heart.
How can giving be managed in a difficult financial situation?
I know someone who really struggled to make ends meet, yet sought a way to give. Every time this person went shopping, she would collect the small change which added up over time. By giving this money she was not put out of pocket, but she was able to donate despite her circumstances.Heike Staiger
Let us remember that the amount of money does not count.
- I know someone who really struggled to make ends meet, yet sought a way to give. Every time this person went shopping, she would collect the small change which added up over time. By giving this money she was not put out of pocket, but she was able to donate despite her circumstances.
- Somebody else decided: Every time I buy some sweets for myself, I will put the same amount of money aside to donate to a ministry working with street kids. She had great joy in donating “her little something” for the kids.
- What about small sacrifices? Instead of buying a cup of coffee, could you rather donate that money towards the Kingdom of God?
- Friends who were in mission asked if every receiver of their newsletter would consider giving 5€ each month, as that would cover all (!) their costs on the mission field. Wow, that changed my understanding! Seeing that even a small amount can make a major difference.
Let us never be ashamed, no matter how small our gift might appear in our eyes. It is seen by God and it will make a difference – not only here on earth, but it will be added to our treasures in heaven. God will bless us here on earth. We cannot outgive God!
In this month of October, thanksgiving is being celebrated in different nations. Some only celebrate this in November. Isn´t it a wonderful opportunity for us as Christians to thank God for all He has done for us? “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?“ (Romans 8:32 NKJV)
I would like to challenge us to pray and consider ways we could give to the Kingdom of God and express our thankfulness regardless of our circumstances.
Let us not simply say “we don´t have money.” Love will find a way to give.
God has placed different things in our hearts, so let us find a way to give towards it. Whether it is a food parcel for a poor family, a love gift to a missionary, or a donation to your ministry of choice.
In closing let us read Haggai 1:9 (NKJV) “´You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?´ says the Lord of hosts. ´Because of my house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.´“
Could it be that our focus and attitude regarding finances has not been pleasing to God and therefore we are not receiving His full blessings? Let us bring it before God in prayer.
As a ministry we want to thank everyone of you who supports our vision with prayer, finances, love and encouragement. Without you we could not do what we are doing!
“The Lord who keeps His promises bless you!”