“Wait, Joe.” you may be thinking, “Doesn’t the bible say that ‘Money is the root of all evil’? Are you implying that a holy God would stoop so low as to work through something as vile as our finances?”
My answers, to those two questions are “No” and “Yes”. The correct bible quote, from 1 Ti 6:10 is “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…”. Money is amoral, neither good or bad; how we handle it is the challenge. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised if a holy God wants to use money to guide us, challenge us and improve us. The late Larry Burkett points out that there are over 1000 references to money in the bible, second only to the subject of love. In fact, it was Burkett’s book, “Your Finances in Changing Times” that inspired this post.
How does God work through our finances?
1. To strengthen our trust in Him
It is easy to trust God when all is going well, but how about when you lose your job, or have unexpected medical bills or when your car breaks down and you don’t have the resources to pay for the repair? During those trying times, God wants to turn our anxieties into trust, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things will be added to you.” Mat 6:33 The only way some of us will look up is when we are flat on our backs. God knows this and will use those times to meet our needs if we will put him first.
2. To develop our trustworthiness
Every financial transaction is an opportunity to prove our trustworthiness to God and to others. According to Thomas J. Stanley’s book “The Millionaire Mind”, the number one factor attributing to the success of multimillionaires is “being honest with all people”. We shouldn’t be surprised. As we prove our trustworthiness to others, they will be drawn to us and want to do business with us. Luke 16: 10 puts it thusly, “ Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with a lot.”
3. To prove His love
As our heavenly Father, God wants to provide for us if we will only allow Him to. Matthew 7:11 says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him.” How does our Father provide? He takes care of us by giving us the ability to work and by providing opportunities to earn money. It is all His and He wants to show His love for us by giving to us.
4. To demonstrate His power over the world
When God put Joseph in a position of power in Egypt, He promised (through a dream) seven years of prosperity which would be followed by seven years of famine (Gen 41:27-57). Pharaoh wisely appointed Joseph to ensure that Egypt would store grain during the bumper crop years in order to sustain the nation and neighboring nations during the lean years. Then God demonstrated his power over the world by providing those seven good years and seven bad years. Sometimes we allow our tunnel vision to prevent us from realizing that our God is in control of not only our finances, but those of the entire world.
5. To unite Christians through shared blessings
We know and God knows that our finances have an ebb and flow to them. When times are good, He expects us to share with believers in need. When times are lean, others will step up and bless us. Paul points this out to the Corinthian church in 2 Cor 8:15 as he challenges them to give generously to the needy Christians in Jerusalem.
6. To provide direction for our lives
Do you have an abundance? God wants to give you wisdom about how to handle that abundance (See Mat 25:15-29). Are you struggling financially? God’s promise is “… let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary” (Gal 6:9).
7. To satisfy the needs of others
The reality of life is that we ARE our brothers’ keeper. I don’t know what other religious groups respond regularly to disasters around the world, but I do know that God expects Christians to as evidenced in 1 Jn 3:17 “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”
God works in every aspect of our lives, including our finances. He will use those finances to teach us to trust him, to become trustworthy, to prove His love for us, to guide us and to meet needs of fellow believers and unbelievers.
We should expect nothing less from a sovereign God.
How does God use money to work in your life?