Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Nothing Wasted, 2: Money Problems

The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil” (2 Kings 4:1-2, NIV).

The grief from the loss of a man of faith amounted to more than enough to challenge and overcome the faith of his wife. This newly widowed wife of a man who was in the “company of the prophets,” now found herself in an impossible situation. The bills were due and the funds had dried out. She still had responsibilities to take care of, children at home, and where exactly was God in all of this? The reality of her circumstance had clearly rocked the foundation of her faith. She had come to the prophet with a focus on what she had lost, what she didn’t have, and what would, undoubtedly become of her. When asked what she had at the house, her first reply was “nothing.” Before she said anything else, she completely discounted the fact that she had something, but being as it was enough in “her eyes” to do what she wanted, it was “nothing.” How easy it is to allow the feelings of a moment to overshadow the faith we once held to believe that God can do the impossible. Was God the same God as when her husband was alive and running with the company of the prophets? He was God when there was obvious provision. But now that it was not so obvious, His credentials of deity were being questioned, and her rip on reality had been compromised. 

When the focus is on what one DOESN’T have and ignoring what is available, it exposes the truth that faith in God is not as strong as it may have been presented or proclaimed. The fact is, God is a God who provides, no matter what is going on, and no matter how obvious or opaque His intervention appears to the naked eye. The rest of the story is that God used what she had discounted as “nothing,” to be the very avenue in which He used to get her out of debt and into prosperity. Honor God with what the enemy wants to label as “nothing,” and provision of miraculous provision is made real.

I am an optimist. It has been a part of my make up for as long as I can remember. I see the glass has half-full, I know the sun is shining on the other side of the clouds, and I’m convinced that somewhere and somehow, those same clouds DO HAVE a silver-lining. Still, I am continually faced with situations determined to challenge my belief that God will intervene at all times despite what the initial outlook appears to be. Money is a resource intended to be used to glorify God, but has been used to make the provision of God irrelevant. As a pastor of a church, I have been challenged greatly and often to look to God through eyes of faith and vision, seemingly ignoring many of the facts and figures on paper. It is not that God has called me to discount stewardship principles, but not focusing on what I don’t have, but rather trusting Him to provide for all that He has called and destined me to do and to be a part of. The same is true in my home finances. It would be easier to say “No” to anything and everything based on what is “not there.” And of course, there are many times that that IS the right and Godly response. “No”, however, should only be the response as directed by God and not by faithless feelings of fear and worry. I cannot allow fears of what might happen become a greater realitty than my faith and trust in a God who has always come through when I have leaned on His everlasting arms. 

Allowing fear over what "might" happen will rob me of being able to se, by faith, what God will do if I choose to trust. I know that the same God Who has provided for me, my family, and the ministry I serve in the past, is NO LESS GOD in the present and will continue to be the same God in the future. I will trust Him to do NO LESS than He has promised. He is God and I will honor Him as God regardless of the money problems I may face. I will choose to see each one as a testimony in the making of how God, once again, came through. What the devil uses to attempt to rock my focus, I will watching with great expectation how God uses it as an opportunity for me share the story of how “God did it again.” Nothing wasted.

Lord God, in the name of Jesus, I thank You. Forgive me for any and all of the times that I have spent more than a second in worry about money or how You were going to come through. You have always been there and I know Your faithfulness will never change. I pray that You help me to always focus on and be thankful for what I do have and that discontentment will never be the doorway that leads into the anxiety that overtakes my focus. I thank You for Your Word that calls and challenges me to financial stewardship. I will honor You in all that I do. I know that in You nothing is wasted. I will seek You despite the emotions that seek to attach themselves to my faith. Thank You for the opportunities that You have already set up for me, even though I may not know what they are, to share the story of how You brought me through with Your faithful provision. Even now, I completely surrender every financial situation that I have into Your capable and sovereign hands. Though I may not see or know how such things may be resolved, I choose to focus on You in total surrender, worship, and anticipation for how You will answer it and use it to equip and empower others with an unshakable faith. Thank You Jesus. Amen.

No comments: