Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How to Have All You Need Even In Times of Crisis

Times may be hard given that economic crises happen left and right -- not only in our country but even in First World Countries like the US. But it’s possible to be at peace even with all these financial challenges surrounding us. It may be difficult not to worry about our day-to-day needs especially if we have a family to feed or if there are people who are dependent on us for financial support. The good news is that we can have all we NEED even in times of crisis if we follow these teachings from Scriptures. Take note that I said need and not want.

1. Have Faith – If we know God as a loving, generous and almighty Father, we would not worry about our needs because we know that He will provide for us when we call to Him for help.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:25-32

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

2. Tithe Regularly – Tithing is an expression of our faith in the Lord. We give back to Him because we acknowledge that all we have comes from Him and that as we show our gratitude for His blessings, He will continue to bless and provide for us.

Tithing in the Old Testament and in the time of Jesus means giving ten percent of what a person has earned from the work of his hands. It may be in the form of the produce of his land, his flock or his wages.

These days, most Christian religions do not oblige their members to give ten percent. Christians are encouraged but not forced. We give voluntarily to our church, be it ten percent or not. It would be great if we give ten percent of our income. But more important than that, is giving to the Lord cheerfully regardless of the amount.

Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
(Deuteronomy 15:10)

I admire the woman in the New Testament who gave two copper coins to the temple (Luke 21:1-4). Jesus honored her for her trust and generosity for unlike the others who gave much money to the temple treasury, she gave whatever little that she had left. She did not give to the temple what she had in excess. This is truly a demonstration of great faith and trust in the Lord!

3. Give to the Poor or those in need
– When we show mercy and compassion to those in need, God will also show mercy and compassion to us. No one is too poor not to give. And no one is too rich not to receive from others.

Let me share with you the story of the Prophet Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath (1 Kings 17: 8-16).

Then the word of the LORD came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

“As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”

Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.’

She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

This story encourages us not to hesitate in following God’s prompting to help whoever is in need that comes to us for help. In this story, God provided for the prophet Elijah through a poor widow and God provided for the widow and her son as she opened her heart to the God’s miracle.

May this story inspire us not to focus too much on our own needs or the needs of our families. May we also open our hearts to others, trusting that as we share what we have with the poor or needy, God Himself will supply our needs.

4. Work – Do whatever you know you can do to earn a living. Use your hands, your skills and your talents. Proverbs 28:19 says, “He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.”

St. Paul, the Apostle, gives us a very good example to follow as he stated in 1 Thessalonians 2:9: “Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.” He did not make it an excuse that he was busy proclaiming the Good News wherever God calls him to. He further says in 2 Thessalonians 3:9-10: “We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

5. Be Content – Be content or happy with what we have and live within our means. St. Paul in his first letter to Timothy said that we have brought nothing into the world and neither can we carry anything out, so having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things. For it’s true that no matter how much we have acquired and saved during our lifetime, we cannot bring all of our wealth with us. We may have bought hectares and hectares of land but when we die, we only need a small piece of land for our grave.

Thus, let us not spend too much effort and concern over acquiring wealth for ourselves here on earth. Let’s spend more time storing riches in heaven instead where moth and rust cannot destroy them, and where thieves cannot break in and steal.

I have followed these teachings for years until now and I can testify that not once has God failed me. He has faithfully provided for my needs and the needs of my loved ones even in times of crisis. In fact, a lot of times, He even gave me more than I asked for. Why don’t you try them yourself and experience God’s miracles in your life as well?

1 comment:

  1. Hello tita teressa,how are you and yanthy and your baby too!! hehehe We Miss You nah.. regards to all!