Hope when Facing Personal Financial Crisis
by Steven Chan
There are two major categories of causes of personal financial crisis, as follow:-
- Poor Financial Management
- Living beyond your means
- No proper budget
- Spending without careful consideration of future needs such as on-going living expenses, maturing obligations and unforeseen contingencies; no savings for “rainy days”.
iii. Wasteful living such as gambling addiction or substance abuse (alcohol & drugs)
- Inappropriate use of credit/debts
- Investing in high risk wealth management products & Money games
- Loss of Income
- Loss of Job or Illness
- Business Failure
At all times, esp. when in crisis, we need to place our “Hope” in God and in His Word
a) Happy is hewho hasthe God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps truth forever, 7who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. 8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.9 The Lord watches over the strangers; he relieves the fatherless and widow…” (Psa 146:5-9)
b) “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And whyare you disquieted within me? Hope in God” (Psa 42:5)
c)“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.” (Psa 130:5)
d) To the Jewish captives in Babylon, God assured them: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer 29:11)
Put Your Faith in God: A Holistic Approach: Godliness + Contentment = Great Gain
”Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Tim 6:6-10)
Respect for our Creator – provides a good platform for Right Thinking & Right Living
- Godliness: “The fear of the Lordis the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov 1:7)
- Contentment: refers to a state of mind of calmness; a freedom from “murmuring, complaining, continuous expression of unhappiness with one’s state of affairs – especially marital, work & financial affairs”
Godliness is Profitable for this Present Life & also Next Life:-
- “Exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 9 This isa faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” (1 Tim 4:7-10)
- “A living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet 1:3-4)
God has Promised that He will not Forsake us:-
- ”Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Heb 13:5-6)
- “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?… But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt 6:25, 33)
- “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring itto pass.” (Psa 37:5) “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.” (Psa 37: 23-25)
- “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let themdo good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Tim 6:17-19)
The Apostle Paul’s Personal Example that Trusting God does not Exempt One from Working with His Hands to Provide for His Needs; He also learned to be Content
“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. 35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:33-35)
- “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:11-13)
Pray to God for Help in time of Need:-
- “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16)
- “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)
For those Facing Financial Crisis: “Hope in God”:-
- Know that God has not “forsaken” you: He waits for you to come back to Him – like the father waited for the return of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. 2 Pet 3:9: not willing that any should perish.
- “Decide to change” how you live your life: from ‘walking by sight’ to ‘walking by faith’ in God (2 Cor 5:7). “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to Hispurpose.” (Rom 8:28)
- Put your Faith & Hope in God as your Helper and Pray to Him for Wisdom and Grace to Help in time of Need.
So the most important thing to do in times of Financial Crisis is to Put your Faith & Hope in God & seek for His Wisdom, Blessings and Grace to Help. Then Learn from God’s Wise Advice Revealed in the Scriptures
- “Your word isa lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psa 119:103)
The concluding part of the article will be published in the next issue of the Christian Message.
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