Discouragement Over Money

February 01, 2009

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:12-13

Several years ago – just after we returned from our Christmas break – I began to sort through the bills, a sobering experience indeed. First I paid the MasterCard bill and then my quarterly estimated state and federal taxes. This was followed by an exorbitant check for out-of-state college tuition, which had risen 17% that year. (At that point, I had that mental picture of a giant vacuum cleaner in the sky, sucking up all the money we had.) Then I checked on our retirement account, noting it had, for the third year in a row, dropped double digits. I began to have this very sinking feeling of despair coming over me. I must confess to you that I walked around really discouraged for a few days.

And then the Holy Spirit began to minister to me. It was like the Lord said, “Haven’t you paid all your bills? Haven’t I met all of your needs? Haven’t I ALWAYS met all of your needs? What makes you think that after all these years of so-called spiritual maturity that I’m no longer going to meet your needs?”

Let me tell you something: that was very convicting. And then the Lord said to my heart, “Bryant, it never was yours in the first place. And whether you’re riding high for one year and down in the dumps the next, that’s My decision. It has always been My decision. It has never been yours. I’m just interested in you seeking to manage what I entrust to you, to the best of your ability, and trust Me with the rest.”