Most Americans are trying to figure out how to make it to the next paycheck. Recent surveys in 2022 found that an average of 63% or three out of five Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
Feeling the pressure of inflation and rising costs of every day needs, I had to take an intentional moment to pray and realign my faith with reality. This morning while meditating I found myself in a very common passage of scripture, 2 Corinthians 5:7.
“For we live by believing and not by seeing.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 NLT
Moments of lack are not new. While we may feel them to different degrees and at different stages of our lives, they’re not new.
Moments of lack wake us up to the reality that we didn’t get here by ourselves. It’s always taken faith. It’s always been us and God.
It’s amazing that God can bless us until the point where we forget how good He’s been. King David wrote of this conundrum himself.
“Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” Psalms 103:1-2 NLT
In Psalm 103, he shows us that humans have to remind themselves to not forget the good or benefits that God provides!
How do we forget? Because God’s goodness empowers us to the point that we are conditioned to believe it’s our own ability in control.
Moses had to caution God’s people against this same mindset after their exodus from slavery. He warned them to never conclude that anything outside of God’s grace made them successful.
“He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.” Deuteronomy 8:17-18 NLT
Depending on people is hard, but depending on God is life. It is God who has brought us this far and continues to make us successful, even in bad economies.
So what do we do? How do we deal with the stress and reality of lack? We first acknowledge that the end of our ability, is the end of our sight. In order for us to walk by faith, metaphorically, our vision has to be blinded.
Rejoice! You’re in a great place when your prayers outline your weaknesses and inadequacies. This is the opportunity zone. The opportunity to see faith come alive and God perform the next miracle in your life!
This is why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that we are walking by faith. We are living by believing and not by seeing.
Once we acknowledge that it’s not our ability in play, we can acknowledge the seeds of faith that God has already given us.
So how do we trust God when we don’t have enough? Invest!
Wait. I’m not talking about the stock market or giving in an offering plate. I’m talking about getting the ideas in your head that God have you, out into the world. A wise farmer doesn’t wait until perfect conditions to sow. They sow seed when most are inside because they understand the seeds of today are the solutions of tomorrow.
“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” Ecclesiastes 11:4 NLT
It may seem like it’s the wrong time to go back to school, start a business, finish the book, learn to code, or lose weight. Your finances and friends may probably tell you that you’re irrational to do so right now. But in God’s wisdom, the right time to invest in yourself and your future is when it’s the wrong time in the earth. This is literally why more millionaires are made during recessions during any period of time. Because they see opposite of what everyone else sees.
Seeds don’t die until they’re planted. Your idea won’t grow until it gets out of your head. In real life it will look like hard work. But that’s okay. It’s worth it to believe. You might still struggle while you’re planting. You might still be losing money. That’s how farming works in real life. It’s dirty, hard, costs, and is filled with delayed gratification. If you choose to wait until another time, it will be too late.
Remember, God can only grow what we plant. What you invest now will pay you later.
Here’s a quick recap as you enter this week:
- Praise God for the wealth you have (however great or small)
- Acknowledge your dependency on God’s goodness
- Invest in spite of what things look like
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