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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

My Battle With Fear About Money

Money from Microsoft Publisher ClipartFear About Money

This week I received the usual email from my assistant with details from last Sunday, including the amount of the offering.

I read the email, and then checked the offering amount.

Wait a minute.  That can’t be right. 

I double-checked.  It was right.

The offering was unusually small.

Not This Time

I’ve received other emails like this.  And in times past I’ve seen the small offering, known God was in control, and moved on without it affecting me.

But not this time.

Maybe I was tired.  Maybe Satan was prowling.  Maybe I’d been coasting.  But whatever the reason, the moment I read this email I was filled with fear about the church’s finances.  And I mean filled.  With fear.

It was not pretty.

What Happened

God gave me grace to bow my head, turn to Him just as I was, admit my fear to Him, and ask for help.  But the fear about money remained.

The fact that I was fearful showed that I was not trusting God’s promises (Psa 56:3-4; Mark 4:40; Heb 11:27).  And I have learned that moving from not-trusting to trusting usually requires a fight of faith (1Tim 6:12).

So I grabbed my baseball cap and my packet of memory verses, and headed out the door to my favorite prayer-path.

The Fight

As I walked, I thought about Matt 6:33 —

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

So if my heart is centered on God’s kingdom and righteousness, not perfectly, but persistently, then God promises that He will provide every cent we need.

The fact that I was afraid showed that I was not believing this promise.  So I confessed my unbelief, was assured of forgiveness through Christ, asked for the work of the Spirit to strengthen my faith, and started preaching this promise to myself.

That helped some.  But then God stirred something else in my heart.

Prayer For My Church

I felt a strong desire to pray for my church.  So I started praying —

  • for people who were growing in their faith
  • for marriages which were being healed
  • for sin which was being conquered
  • for neighbors who were hearing the Gospel
  • for hearts which were being encouraged by God’s Word
  • for home groups who were growing in love and evangelism

And as I prayed, I remembered that it was God who had called me to pastor this church; that this was His idea, not mine.

I saw that my responsibility was to obey Him, seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness, and trust Him to take care of the finances.

And then I felt a fierce courage rise up in me —

I’m going to keep obeying Your call until You tell me to stop. I’m going to keep battling for these people, these marriages, these neighbors no matter what.  I’m going to keep preaching Your Word, raising up leaders, making disciples who make disciples, no matter what financial hardships, no matter what problems come.

Peace

This went on for some time.  And then I noticed: the fear about money was gone.  I felt complete peace.

But there was more.  I felt the pleasure of God.  I sensed His love for me.

This filled me with joy.  Made me ache with longing.  And strengthened me with boldness.

And I knew — once again — God had met me.  Helped me.  Freed me.

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(Picture is from Microsoft Publisher Clipart.)

Category: Stories from My Life

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6 Responses

  1. Paul Walton says:

    Hey Steve,

    I can relate to your dilemma about finances, I’m sitting at home for the second day now with a back that is aching with pain and numbness shooting down my leg, and since I’m self-employed it means that my income will be affected from not being on the job. And of course the transmission in my truck has begun to start acting up lately, and my wife is off from her teaching job for the summer, so no income coming in on her side.

    And you know what I am trusting in?

    “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

    I can only lay on my left side for a few hours at night then I have to stretch and walk around bent over on my crutches, actually kneeling on the floor with my elbows supporting me feels the best, a perfect prayer position.

    As I kneeled there last night I knew God had sovereignly allowed this trial to come my way, it comforted me knowing that Christ in His wisdom and great love wasn’t just a helpless spectator to my pain. But He was by my side reminding me, by allowing a taste of the pain He had to suffer through, for payment my sins.

    If for a moment I thought that Christ had no purpose for allowing pain and suffering in my life it would make Him seem powerless and non-caring. He sovereignly allows all things that come my way for my good, the painful and the enjoyable. I was closer to Christ in my moment of extreme agony last night that I have been in a long time, he works all things for good for those whom He loves, and are called according to “His” purpose.

  2. Sarah says:

    Thank you for each of your posts, I always look forward to reading them. I have to tell you this post is particularly timely, thanks for being vulnerable and willing to share. It’s an encouragement.
    Sarah Gillaspie

  3. Dennis says:

    Steve, thanks for your transparency! I’ve learned and am continuing to learn the same lesson. It’s opened my eyes to my sinful nature. The Lord called my wife and I to step out and faith, leave a challenging and secure job in Hawaii and move to the Northwest where we didn’t know anyone. He provided every step of the way. God kept His promise. However, when a new and even more challenging test came, I felt I was being pulled in two directions. My head remembered the promises but my heart was wracked with fear. I learned that I naturally predict worse case outcomes. Those fears have never come true. He’s always provided just in time. I am so much more empathetic of Israel.

    Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is anyone who trusts in the Lord, and rests his confidence on him. He will be like a tree planted by the waterside, that sends out its roots along a stream. When the heat comes it has nothing to fear; its foliage stays green. Without care in a year of drought, it does not fail to bear fruit.

    1 Corinthians 10:9,10,11 Let us not put the Lord to the test as some of them did; they ere destroyed by the snakes. Do not grumble as some of them did; they were destroyed by the Destroyer. So far you have faced no trial beyond human endurance; God keeps faith and will not let you be tested beyond your powers, but when the test comes he will at the same time provide a way out and so enable you to endure.

    May we each give the Lord the opportunity to demonstrate His faithfulness in our lives so we may testify to His goodness and love!

  4. Steve Fuller says:

    I’m glad you find this encouraging. Writing these posts has brought me much needed help.

    Onward!

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