Every day, I have the privilege of talking with pastors all over the country. And one thing that continually rings out is that it is a challenging economic time. Finances are tight. Cutbacks are everywhere. Pastors are feeling the pinch. And with that news coming in from so many different people and places, the reality is that it’s challenging. And with that news, I began thinking about what God thinks about these issues.
First, I really think God wants us to continue to exercise our faith. How many times did Jesus look to His disciples and stir them with regard to faith? It is the theme over and over. It is a faith in God and His ability and His resources. Faith to believe for the finances of the people in the seats just as much as having faith to believe for the provision of the church. Faith that God knows, sees, cares, and is ready to move on behalf of the pastor and church.
Second, I really think God wants us to continue to live with joy. Though the finances might be tight, there is no reason to have a shortfall in joy. Joy can be found in Christ and can be shared. You don’t have to be Mr. Grumpypants. Keep your joy. Don’t let anyone rob you of it.
Third, I really think God wants us to realize prayer is still key. So who do you have praying with you and for you? Who is taking your lack at this moment and placing that petition at the throne of God with you? If no one, then you are walking a lonely trail. Prayer still changes things. Don’t let the words of frustration outnumber the words of prayer.
Fourth, instead of being frustrated with those not giving, be thankful for those that are giving. Those that aren’t might not be able to. Those that are may not be able to later. But God still does work all things for good. So give thanks. You have more to be thankful for than you realize. You are at your place. God has placed you there. And He believes in you. And He believes that through your current situation, you will be able to make it through. So give thanks.
Finally, find someone to talk to. Sometimes it’s just good to get it all out. And you may need someone to hear you and offer some suggestions. When Moses was judging the people day and night, his father in law came along and did three things – he observed, he asked questions, then he gave counsel. You need someone to not just give you the quick answer. You need someone to hear you, investigate a bit, then give you some ideas. Two are better than one.
Hope this helps someone today. I know it helped me.