Here are a few common questions: “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 is:
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. – 1 Timothy 6:10 NIV
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 1,000 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, 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 given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33 NIV
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.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. – Luke 16:10 NIV
3. To Prove His Love
As our heavenly Father, God wants to provide for us if we will only allow Him to.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:1 NIV
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, God promised (through a dream he gave Joseph) seven years of prosperity which would be followed by seven years of famine (Genesis 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 Corinthians 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 (Matthew 25:15-29). Are you struggling financially? God’s promise is:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9 NIV
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:
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? – 1 John 3:17 NIV
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? Leave a comment!