Are you struggling with financial stress, low self-esteem, depression, or marital discord? People often believe the solution to their stress and unhappiness is more money. Do you often think, “If I only had more money, I would be happier?” Perhaps you imagine winning the lottery and believe all your burdens and financial problems would melt away. Would all your troubles disappear and your attitude permanently change?
Are extremely wealthy people happier? The rich and famous may have more earthly treasures, but this does not lead them to greater happiness or satisfaction. Many studies have shown that extreme wealth is a hindrance to happiness. American author, Graeme Wood, wrote an article in The Atlantic entitled “Secret Fears of the Super-Rich.” The piece included a behind-the-scenes look at a project that asked wealthy individuals, those with a net worth above $25 million, to write freely about their deepest concerns. The stunning revelation to most readers was that the participants faced many anxieties, including isolation, worries about work and their families, and insecurities about their wealth. Graeme Wood concluded, “The respondents turned out to be a generally despondent lot, whose money had contributed to deep anxieties involving love, work, and family). (The Atlantic, April 2011 issue). Since the release of the landmark project on wealth and happiness, more recent studies have verified these conclusions.
Let us not overlook the idea that some may be in a desperate position and struggle daily to provide the basic necessities of life for themselves. They will likely have some anxieties that money or access to the essentials could resolve. Otherwise, money is not your answer to your worries.
Life is full of many challenges, and Jesus himself said, “In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the solution to reducing and managing your anxieties. However, the Bible does not suggest that all your troubles disappear once you have a relationship with Jesus. The scriptures offer a solution to managing our anxiety and lifting the burden of worry.
Abie Kulynych, a pastor and author, believes one way we can reduce our anxieties is by actively remembering God’s provisions in the past. In his devotional “Thou Art with Me, Volume 2,” he discussed how the nation of Israel became anxious about their needs being met, despite God supplying them with manna daily. “For Israel, there came a point where gathering manna was simply what they did rather than what God had done for them. They were so accustomed to the miracle that they forgot it was miraculous. What if the key to quieting the voice of anxiety is constantly reminding ourselves of God’s goodness? What if Israel, every morning, when they walked out into the open places to gather their manna, had stopped and said, “Look what God has done for us today?” What if we did more than count our blessings? What if we recounted them? I’m not talking about telling our story to someone else, but telling it to ourselves, regularly, daily, constantly. I think that if we told our testimony to ourselves more often, we’d have more opportunities to share it with others.” (Page 317, Commentary on Psalm 149)
God blesses each of us daily. If we reflect on God’s blessings and His past provisions, we will be more likely to trust Him to meet our future needs. God wants us to trust Him. He does not want us to be anxious but to come to Him with our needs.
God instructed the Israelites to record their blessings and to remind their children of God’s faithfulness in the past. We need to incorporate that command in our lives and with our children.
Here are a few suggestions to start recording God’s faithfulness in your life:
- Create a blessings journal.
- Read your journal regularly to remind yourself of God’s faithfulness.
- Share stories of God’s provisions with your children to increase their faith and trust in God to meet their needs.
- Place notes around the house to remind you to take all your needs to God in prayer. He wants you to ask for His help and is delighted to answer your prayers and meet your needs.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6-7
If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you have not yet experienced the peace of God. I urge you to accept Jesus’s free gift of salvation and experience the true peace that can only come by knowing that your sins are forgiven, and you will spend eternity in Heaven. Guidance on how to take this life-changing step is in the link “Basics of Salvation.”
My Bible study, Honoring God with Your Money, is a great resource to help you understand how to manage your money better and achieve your financial goals. It is available on Amazon. If you would like to receive my quarterly newsletter with tips on managing your money, please complete this short form: Honoring God with Your Money (list-manage.com)