“You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings.” (Deuteronomy 15:10)
I recently received a very generous inheritance after the death of my grandmother. Within days of hearing that the inheritance would be coming to me, I began researching potential real estate I could buy that would grant me income.
It seemed prudent to do such a thing, because as an older single mom, I have to begin to think seriously about my retirement, in case I don’t remarry. So my immediate response was to clutch the money tightly to my chest, thinking that God had given it to me to take care of my needs.
But then He began to speak to my heart. “Gwenn, open your hands. Let go of some of it. ‘And from everyone who has been given much, much will be required.’” (Luke 12:48) When the Lord began to get through to me, I was literally poised to make an offer on a condo that had an excellent record of vacation rental income. But it would require every dime I had received. And I had prayed and prayed for God’s leading on that decision, and had never felt completely at peace. Then, when I finally said, “OK, Lord. The money is yours. Let me know how you want me to use it,” the peace flooded in. He spoke to me about how He wanted me to use some of it–and quite honestly–I already knew the needs of specific people, I’d just turned away from them at first.
In fact, I’d prayed for those people for some time, asking God to send them provision. But then God spoke to me again, “I have sent them provision…through you.” Why is it so hard for us to realize that we may be the answer to our own prayers? That God has given us the ability to help others, but we keep waiting for someone else to step up? If God has blessed us financially, and He places someone’s needs upon our heart, we mustn’t turn away, or wait for some knight in shining armor to ride up to them with a check in his hand. (I’m saying this only because I’ve been under the Holy Spirit’s conviction, praise God.)
God is the only safe financial bet. When we give to others generously, we are guaranteed an abundant return on our investment. Look at the verse above… “…because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings.” If any of you have had money in the stock market in the last 3-4 years (or longer), chances are good you’ve lost money. In fact, after watching my children’s college money decreasing year over year, I finally just pulled it out of the mutual funds they were in, and put them in the bank. We’d invested a decent amount of money in 2007, and since then, the money has either been stagnant, or lost money. Yet when we invest in God and His work, we can be absolutely assured that we will be handsomely rewarded, and that He will take care of our needs.
I don’t know if you have been following the news, or reading The Harbinger, or following any of the financial advisory newsletters, or listening to Pat Robertson on www.cbn.com, but every one of these sources is saying the same thing: America is about to see a huge financial collapse that will be like a tidal wave across the nation. (Our European readers are already experiencing something similar.) Most are forecasting it in the next year or so. So how are we going to deal with it when it comes? What can we do to prepare now?
Here is what the Bible advises: pry open your hands, give to those who need help, be generous to others. Go against your normal inclinations: if you feel like you should be clutching your money and your resources close to your chest, do the opposite. Give what you can (and even a little more) to those whom God leads you to give to. Then when the day of calamity hits, God will provide for you, and “will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings.” The words “in all your undertakings” is literally rendered in my NASB translation as “the putting forth of your hand.” Therefore, “God will bless you in all your work and in all the putting forth of your hand.”
Do you see the stark contrast between what we are inclined to do–clutch our money tightly to our chest–and what God instructs us to do–putting forth our hand? It’s not natural, but when we have faith and do it, we will be overwhelmed by the result. Not only that, we will derive far more joy from helping others in a tough financial time, than hoarding it ourselves.
One more thing…God made it clear that when we do it, our heart shall not be grieved. God always wants us to give with a cheerful heart and with absolute faith, knowing that He is faithful and will supply all our needs. He said so. Period.
And I can say from personal experience that even though I fight a lot beforehand and try to wrangle my will into the situation, when I finally surrender to what I know He is calling me to do, the peace that floods my soul is an assurance that all will be well. I am safe in God’s very generous and capable hands, and that is the only place I want to be when facing a tidal wave.