Three Ways God Tests You Through Your Finances

“Trust in your money and down you go! Trust in God and flourish as a tree!” (Proverbs 11:28 TLB).

God uses money to test you. He doesn’t just automatically give his blessings to anybody. He tests you first to see if you’re responsible. Before God gives you spiritual power, he gives you material possessions. If you’re not managing money well, then why in the world should he give you the stuff that really matters?God’s favorite tool to test you is your finances, and he’s looking for three specific things.

Money shows what you love most. You’re going to give your most time and money to whatever you love most—and your calendar and bank statement will prove it. Jesus says, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth . . . Store your treasures in heaven . . . Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:19-21 NLT). Wherever you want your heart to be, put your money there, and you’ll get interested in it.

Money shows what you trust most. It shows what you have faith in. Are you trusting in money or God for security? Are you trusting in money or God for your happiness? Proverbs 11:28 says, “Trust in your money and down you go! Trust in God and flourish as a tree!” (TLB).

Money shows if God can trust youUnmanaged finances are a symptom of an unmanaged life. God is looking to see how well you manage material things before he gives you spiritual blessing. The Bible says, “If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” (Luke 16:11-12 NIV).

There is a direct connection between maturity and money. There’s a direct connection between spiritual power and how you handle possessions. There is a direct connection between God’s blessing in your life and what you do with your bucks.

Don’t miss the connection. How you handle money determines how much God can bless your life.

 

Talk It Over

  • What does your bank statement reveal that you love most?
  • Have you been asking God for more blessing in your life? How might your finances be affecting how much God is willing to entrust to you?
  • What are the “true riches” mentioned in Luke 16 that God entrusts to responsible stewards of his gifts?

Since God Is for You .

 . .

by Greg Laurie 

on Jan 26, 2020
 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
—Romans 8:31–32

The apostle Paul asked the question, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (Romans 8:30 NLT).

Well, actually a lot of people are against us. If you stand up for Jesus Christ, then people will oppose you. In fact, 2 Timothy 3:12 tells us that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (NLT).

Paul wasn’t saying that if you follow and stand up for Jesus Christ, you never will have enemies. The fact is that you will have some new enemies if you’re a true Christian.

The point Paul was making is this: Who or what are these enemies when you compare them to God Himself?

The answer is that we are not to fear them. Since God is for us, who can ever be against us?

Of course, we don’t always feel as though God is for us, because things happen in our lives that don’t make any sense. When things seem to go from bad to worse, we think, “God certainly couldn’t be for me in this situation.”

There are times when we look at ourselves and see our failings, sinfulness, and flaws and think, “How could God ever be for someone like me? How could God ever love someone like me?”

Like Jacob in Genesis 42, we complain, “Everything is going against me!” (verse 36 NLT).

Sometimes we think God is disappointed with us, but that simply isn’t true. God can see the future. We can’t. God can see that one day we will be like His Son, Jesus Christ. Through all the circumstances of life that God has either orchestrated or allowed, He is molding us into the image of Christ.

We see shortcomings, but God sees the finished product. He’s on your side. Are you on His?

What the Dishonest Manager Did Right

“The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts” (Proverbs 14:8 TLB).

In the story of the dishonest manager in Luke 16, the main character is the hero—despite his dishonesty. But why? Because the manager knew he was about to be fired, he canceled part of the debts that other people owed to his master. His hope was that one day when he needed a favor, they would remember they owed him one. His dishonesty certainly isn’t admirable. So what did Jesus like about this guy?The dishonest manager did three things right, and they’re the same things God wants you to do with your money.

First, the manager looked ahead. He considered the future. Every advertisement in our culture teaches us to make it now, spend it now, have it now, and forget about the future. That’s why very few people have savings.

Proverbs 14:8 says, “The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts” (TLB). There are some things you need to face up to in your finances, and the longer you wait to do that, the harder they will be to fix.

The second thing God wants you to do, like the manager did, is make a plan. How do you know if you’ve got a financial plan? It’s really simple: Do you have a budget? A budget tells your money where to go. If you don’t have a budget, you don’t have a plan. “We should make plans—counting on God to direct us” (Proverbs 16:9 TLB).

The third thing the manager did that we should also do is act quickly. He didn’t procrastinate. He didn’t delay. He set his plan in motion. He didn’t say, “Someday I’m going to get my finances in order. Someday I’m going to start saving for retirement.” Remember this: “One of these days” is none of these days.

The manager says in Luke 16:4, “Now I know what I will do! Then when my job is gone, I shall have friends who will welcome me in their homes” (GNT). That is what Jesus is commending—not the manager’s dishonesty but his ability to make a plan and act on it. If you’re just drifting through life, you’re not acting wisely. You need to take the long view.

When Jesus talks about the long view, he’s not talking about retirement. He’s talking about the long view to the other side of death. When you look ahead, make a plan that pleases God, and then act on it, you are making an investment for the future that will reap eternal rewards.

Talk It Over

  • What hard facts about your finances do you need to face today? What hard decisions will make your life more manageable?
  • Think about your last three large purchases or investments. How do they align with the three principles discussed in today’s devotional?
  • How can your budget and planning reflect an eternal perspective?