Gaining Financial Peace

Today’s blog is written by Jeff Pompeo who shares with us how important it is to be good stewards of what the Lord has given us!

Today’s Reading
“I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 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. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.”
-Philippians 4:10-14

Paul wrote these words as he sat in a prison cell condemned for his faith, awaiting an uncertain fate. This section of his letter was basically a ‘thank you note’ to the Philippian church, which had sent him a financial gift. It’s interesting that Paul “rejoiced greatly” in gratitude for the gift, but at the same time, demonstrated peace in knowing that the Lord was fully sufficient for all of his needs, even while unjustly imprisoned. 

Paul paints a beautiful picture of how we are to live our lives, being content in all circumstances. While it’s easy be content when we have good health, happy families, and large bank accounts, it’s more challenging to find contentment when we are struggling financially, physically, or emotionally. It’s important however, that we don’t confuse “contentment” with “complacency”. God wants us to find contentment in knowing that He loves and provides for us, but He is also clear that we must plan and work to improve our circumstances to avoid becoming complacent.

Jesus uses the example of building a tower to teach us the importance of evaluating our circumstances and creating a plan for success. Luke 14:28-30 reads, 28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
Jesus emphasized the importance of planning for the future as a way to achieve success; this concept applies to both our life and our finances. Having a plan is the key to success and the absence of a plan can quickly lead to complacency. 

From a financial perspective, do you have a plan? Do you have a budget? Do you control your money or does your money control you? Regardless of whether you earn $1,000,000 per year or $1,000 per year, whether you’ve got debts you can’t pay or you’ve got a huge savings account, the only way to achieve contentment is by recognizing that everything belongs to God and we are simply stewards of his riches. Our job is to manage God’s money and resources for His honor while we’re here on this earth. The Bible gives us many specific methods for being good managers of money, and putting this biblical principle into practice starts with some simple budget planning.
In Proverbs 16:9, Solomon wrote, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps”. Everyone has hopes and dreams, but are you following the Lord’s instructional “steps”?

If you’d like to learn more about God’s plan for money management, which includes specific actions for reducing debt, increasing savings, creating a budget, becoming more generous, and establishing a plan for success, please consider joining the next Financial Peace class at The Point. Financial Peace is a 9-week course from Dave Ramsay that will meet Monday evenings starting September 17. We’ve presented this video-based class at the Point four times over the past two years, and the nearly 100 people who have attended the group have cumulatively increased their savings by over $81,000 and paid off over $65,000 of debt! To learn more, please visit thepointva.com/groups/fpu/

Reflection
Think about your current financial circumstances. Are you properly managing God’s money for His glory? Are you at peace with your financial plan or is money a point of stress in your life? Do you talk openly with your spouse or accountability partner about your financial plan or does money cause angst and arguments? Do you control your money or does your money control you? Proverbs 22:7 says that the borrower is slave to the lender… Do you have a plan for freeing yourself from the burden of debt? 

Prayer
Father, I am grateful for your living word, the Bible, which is my roadmap for life. I am thankful that you love me without bounds and provide me with all things. Please help me seek the contentment that Paul had, even from his prison cell, and help me create a plan to “build a tower” in my life. Help me to be a good steward of your kingdom on earth, and live a life that is pleasing to you.