If I’m going to be honest on this blog, I have to tell you two things:
- I didn’t have a plan for a post today.
- Even if I did, I’m too stressed out and all over the place to follow a plan anyway.
Money is tight over here. I’m sure I’m not the only woman on the planet who is stressed about money. At one point or another we all end up asking ourselves questions like “how to pay off debt quickly”. There’s no shame in looking for financial advise where debts are concerned but knowing where to start is no easy task. It just always seems like there’s not enough dollars and more than enough bills, and if I’m going to be honest I have to share this kind of stuff with you. If you’re in this situation right now, I want you to know you’re not alone. Because we’re there too.
As a blogger still trying to grow, I’m not making the big bucks like some of the ladies (or men!) out there who have been doing this for years. I’m there right with you, readers.
But I don’t want this post to be all depressing and making you worried and stressed too. Because what I’m about is sharing how we make the most of what we have and the situations we’re in. This year is all about faith for us, and we sure do have to have a lot of it.
Don’t read that wrong; faith is not easy. It’s difficult to have faith for God’s provision. In fact, I’m shocked that we’ve made it this far into the year without the resources we had last year. And now that we’re pinching pennies, I question God. I yell at God sometimes. I worry. But what I’m trying to do more of is trusting God, and what I’m trying to do less of is controlling the situation.
I know it’s not easy, but here are a few things you can do that will give you hope and help you make the most of the season where God has you:
1. Remind yourself of God’s faithfulness.
If you look at history, hasn’t it been proven that God provides? Didn’t God provide for the Israelites on their journey out of Egypt? Didn’t he provide for Elijah in the wilderness? Hasn’t he provided for you before? I know he’s provided for me in impossible situations. So why do we continue to doubt God? Why do we take all of this proof that He’s given us and completely forget about His provision?
I’ve seen evidence many times where we are given hundreds of positives, yet the few negatives outweigh them. It takes mental strength to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness, but when you’re struggling you need to make that effort. I need to make that effort–to physically tell myself: “Don’t freak out. Remember how God has provided before.” Because if He’s done it before, He’ll do it again. God makes the impossible possible.
2. Pray God’s Word over your situation.
One thing I’ve found that gives me hope and that really works in a situation is talking to God about it. Because God wants to know you’re struggling. We need to communicate with Him, and although He already knows you are struggling He wants to hear from you. And, even though He knows what He’s said, it helps to pray His promises over your struggle. Not only is it encouraging to you, but we also know that because He keeps His promises He will hear your prayer (His Word) and answer it. Here are some of my favorite verses to pray when I’m struggling with faith in God’s provision:
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your lifea]”>[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
3. Seek God and listen to the Holy Spirit.
Make sure you are where God wants you. Pray for His guidance and listen for the Holy Spirit. If God wants you to move in a new direction and you are intentionally disobeying Him, you may have to accept the natural consequences for your disobedience. If you are continuously seeking God’s will for your life and carrying it out, He will be faithful. God does not withhold from those who are following His plan. This is why I am constantly reevaluating our situation, praying about it, and reading God’s Word–to make sure I am on His path and not my own.
4. Work Hard
Whatever God has you doing, and wherever He has you going, work hard at it. The Bible says:
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
– Colossians 3:23-24
So do your best faithfully. God will reward you for your labor.
5. Take advantages of resources you do have; accept help.
There is a story out there somewhere about a flood. A man prayed to God that He would save him. While the waters were still low, a fire truck came by offering to take the man to higher ground. The man said, “No thank you; God will take care of me.” Soon the waters grew higher and the man had to move to the second floor of his house. At this time, a boat came by offering to take the man to higher ground. The man said, “No thank you; God will take care of me.” The waters grew even higher, and the man moved to his rooftop. A helicopter came by offering to take the man to safer ground. The man said, “No thank you; God will take care of me.” When the man died and went to Heaven, he asked God why He didn’t take care of him. God promptly responded, “I sent you a fire truck, a boat, and a helicopter. What more do you need?”
Sometimes we’re like that man. God sends us many resources to help us find our way out of a difficult situation, but we fail to take advantage of them. Still we need to pray about how God wants us to proceed and seek His Word about how to respond, but when He legitimately sends a good thing our way and we refuse, we are not allowing Him to provide for us.
If you are struggling to the point that you can’t feed your family, apply for food stamps. Visit your local food pantry. I know it’s difficult. I’ve been there, and I don’t like it. But if you’re going to take care of your family, you may need to take advantage of these resources. People provide these services because they want to help. Accept help.
If you can’t afford medical care, apply for medical assistance. Find an organization that will help with medical bills. Visit a clinic. There are many places that provide services for free, because they want to help you. Accept help.
If you are struggling to pay your utilities, contact your utility companies. Many of them offer programs to help you pay your bill if you are struggling. If your utility program doesn’t offer any programs, call a local church who may be willing to help you. Churches offer these things, because they want to help you. Accept help.
Even school loan companies will often offer forbearance or deferment programs for those who are struggling. Credit card companies offer some deferment programs. Your mortgage company may have a program as well. Do the research. Find the programs. They’re offered for people like you who need them. Accept help.
Sometimes God likes to wait until the last minute to reveal His glory. Sometimes He waits until a situation seems impossible to make it possible. If we could take care of everything ourselves, what need would we have for Him? Sometimes He needs us to give up our hope to Him and allow Him to provide in the most amazing ways in the most dire situations.
Please wait patiently and don’t give up.
You’re not alone.
God cares about you, and so do I.
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