Debt is one of the most common issues people have. Financial issues can devastate individuals and marriages and send you spiraling down into a sea of worry, anxiety and depression. When we’re struggling with debt and financial hardship, we often lose sight of this. Our needs are not overlooked or insignificant.
When we struggle with debt, it is a good opportunity to strengthen our trust in God and remember that He is looking out for our good. He cares about our needs even more than we do, but unlike us, He actually distinguishes better between what we need and what we think we need. If you’re facing financial hardship, know that you are not alone. If you’re wondering what the Bible says about debt and achieving financial breakthrough, we can turn to the Bible for counsel.
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:31-32).
Everything we have is a blessing from God. This is the big one. If He takes care of the birds and the flowers, what makes us doubt that He will care for us? We are fashioned in His image and even more dear to His heart than the birds. Instead of worrying about money, let’s trust God as our provider. He knows we need a roof over our heads, and He knows our bodies need food.
Paul’s charge to us in Romans 13:8 says, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” This is a significant reminder that God dislikes all forms of debt and wants us to pay back our debt in a timely manner. The Bible also doesn’t explicitly command against all forms of debt. Scripture warns us against debt and lifts up the virtue of not going into debt, but the Bible does not forbid it. The Bible also has harsh words for lenders who abuse those are bound to them in debt, but doesn’t condemn the debtor.
Another important thing to remember is God doesn’t always answer your financial prayers the way you want Him to. Sometimes God directs ours prayers and our path a little differently than we’d hope for. The Bible reminds us, “Many are the plans in the minds of man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21). Sometimes we’re not quite tuned in to God’s Will. We can come up with hundreds of ways to make more money, but those options may not work out how we planned. Ultimately, financial security comes from God and trusting in His provision.
Sometimes the answer to our financial requests is ‘no’. We won’t be able to predict the future. There are going to be times when our actions and thoughts create separation with God. He wants to walk with you, listen to you and give you what’s best for you. When it comes to our financial growth, sometimes the answer is ‘yes’ and sometimes the answer is ‘no.’ When you are praying for anything, the reality is God can say yes or no. God is sovereign and will do His Will, regardless of what we pray. Most of the time when the answer is ‘no’ it is because God has something greater in store for you.
The answer to your debt elimination and financial prayers might be internal. The Bible tells us, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (1 Timothy 6:6-10). Ask yourself if you’re praying for a financial breakthrough because you aren’t truly content with where the Lord has you right now. Also, ask yourself if it’s possible that the prayer you’re lifting up might be for the wrong reasons. Contentment is a huge factor in the Bible. What are we telling God when we aren’t’ content with what He is providing for us? That He is wrong? That He is making His mistake? The remedy might be for you to turn your heart away from discontentment, covetousness, greed and self-entitlement.
You should remember that God loves a cheerful giver. Cheerful givers always seem to have abundance. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are rich, but their needs are met, and they are grateful for what God has provided them. They are generally the happiest people around. Cheerful givers are often biblical givers. They turn to God for guidance and trust in what He will provide. Just as financial crisis can reveal a lot about people, so will a sudden financial windfall. It’s important that we turn to God, not only when the chips are down, but also when they are down.
One of the most important things to remember is that our financial prayers and requests requires action. Often, when people are in financial crisis, they’ll pray and wait for the Lord to deliver, but not put any action behind their requests. The idea of waiting on the Lord doesn’t mean that we sit and do nothing while God works it all out. Self-made financial crisis can take a lot of time to fix. It’s important that we pray hard and work harder. The concept is that we live obediently to the Lord, continue to do what we know is right and trust the Lord to make a way when the time is right.
Everybody will face some form of debt in their lifetime and have their own financial fears. You don’t have to be poor to get anxious or have financial fears. In fact, it seems the more you have the more you have to maintain, to insure, to protect and to worry over. We may never agree with God on how much is enough. But it is important to remember that God’s plan will prevail, and His plan for us is good. Scriptural wisdom teaches that it is not a good idea to go into debt because it make us a slave to the one who provides the loan. But debt in some situations is a necessary evil. This is why it’s so important that we handle money in a wise and timely way. Ultimately, if we seek God and His Kingdom first, everything we need will be provided for us. We can take the blessings He gives us and bless others in return without fear of running out.