Faith in times of finance.

Does anyone else start to lose their mind when finances become precarious?

We have been bit hit with some unexpected, huge expenses that have extended beyond the limits of our savings account, and I have become paranoid. I’ve always tried to be a careful spender, but now I’m so tight-fisted, it hurts.

I was running errands yesterday and my mind was doing a number on me. I worried how this is all going to fix itself. On Monday night, I watched an old BYU devotional by Elder Holland that I had recorded: “Remember Lot’s Wife.” (It’s great, by the way.) Among many other really cool things, he said,

“… When we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future ‐‐ faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives.  So a more theological way to talk about Lot’s wife is to say she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she had.”

So, in my van, I thought to myself, Is it possible to have faith about this? To believe it will all work out just fine, even when the money is simply not there to back up that kind of faith? I believe in God, and I know He has carried me through many other difficult situations, so why not this one? This is new territory for me, and I’m hoping that it’s just a chance for God to prove himself to me again, in a new way.

Can somebody reassure me that faith can work in ways of the wallet?

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19 thoughts on “Faith in times of finance.

  1. You know, Stephanie, I question my testimony in many areas, but tithing is one area I feel sure about. Our family has always been blessed with what we need because we have paid our tithing faithfully. Not in any exceptional cash manner, but in tiny ways. Ben needed to get a second job and found one quickly. When we quit one of his jobs, we were able to scale back on buying to make it work. In little areas but enough for us to feel taken care of, always.

    I don’t know if that provides the comfort you need but maybe you can cling to the promises associated with tithing a little tighter. As well as your wallet. : )

  2. So sorry you’re struggling right now, but I totally believe that faith can pull a person through anything. Neil and I had some serious tough times a few years back. Like, buying groceries with the contents of the coin jar rough. We were blessed in so many ways to pull through that time, mostly through other people. It was faith-affirming for certain.

  3. If it’s reassurance you want, I can give that to you. Faith really does work in matters of the wallet. I wish I had wonderful stories and examples to share, but I don’t. Maybe someone else does. I do know that the Lord knows our needs, including our temporal ones, and somehow, someway, they’ll always be met. Probably not the way we’d prefer, but that’s not the point. I remember one time having to ask our landlord if we could pay our monthly rent in two installments because we just didn’t have the ability to do it in one. That was so embarrassing, but I survived. I remember another time when a very belated wedding check arrived the week of an unexpected car repair. Miracles do happen.

    When I first read the following quote, I was so impressed with the message that I stuck it on a post-it note in my planner. This morning I was flipping through the pages and found it again. I hope it helps you; I know it helps me.

    “The price for good things is paid in advance by our patience, humility, and obedience, especially during trials. If you don’t give up during your trials or let frustration and discouragement overcome you, trials will refine you spiritually and prepare you for better things. You will see the fulfillment of beautiful miracles in your life.” (Elder Carlos E. Aguero, January 2006 New Era)

  4. Ah, you are preaching to the choir, my friend. Honestly, we are sort of in the same boat. My husband has been unemplyed for a month now, with no signs of him finding a job in the near future. Sigh. But things always work out somehow. We have to make sacrifices, and spend a long time on our knees, but I have no doubt at all that things will work out. In Malachi we are promised if we pay our tithing, the very windows of heaven will be opened and blessings will be poured out, so much that we will basically be drowning in blessings. That is the only commandment with a promised reward, by the way. So. It is hard. It takes that huge leap of faith. The walking blindly out onto the ledge before seeing the light, but it will always work out. We have been in this situation before, and we survived it wonderfully. You will survive yours like cake. Probably like fruit cake. The kind you don’t enjoy, but you will get through it. Good luck! I will remember you in my prayers.

  5. OH, it so, so can. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t easy. I’m the book keeper in our family. Josh and I discuss everything, but I keep track of everything, so it always feels like I’m the one that has to deliver the heavy financial news when it comes… the “there isn’t enough money” kind of conversations. Sigh. Money can be so very stressful. Just pay your tithing. Things will work out.

  6. Wow, I am so glad you posted this and thankful for the replies you received. I’ve been seeking employment for 42 months and found only some very brief temporary positions. This has tested my faith hugely as I am unmarried and a care giver for an elderly parent. The completely lack of income, the many “you’re overqualified” messages received, and then the bank account statement reflecting a sorry sight that demonstrates just how beyond my control life is can be scary. I don’t have an “ending” story to tell you, but I can share one HUGE testimony to the love of the lord. He has in this time been HUGELY present with me and my personal relationship with Him has grown exponentially. I have come to realize, as well, that the life I had before moving across country which led to the long “incomeLESS” time was a life that didn’t bless me. He has opened my eyes and my heart in ways I could never have imagined in this time of trial. I’m so grateful for the rough spell which drew me so much closer to Him.

  7. Does it help you if I tell you that faith totally works in finances AND that we’re still in a sort of awful place in those regards (not the faith, just the finances). We’ve been blessed over and over and it always ends up being okay. I just hope that one day it will be ALL the way okay. I mean before the next life. Best wishes to you.

  8. Stephanie, it WILL work out and miracles DO happen. Last summer was such a testimony builder for me. We had to come up with cash to pay for one more semester of Zeke’s schooling and have enough to live on while enduring the 3 years in a row of pay cuts from his previous company. YIKES! I can’t believe how it all worked out.

    In the middle of it, I was scared and unsure. We sacrificed all we could and tried every way possible to obtain enough money for his tuition. We could NOT have done it without Heavenly Father’s help. We paid our tithing and prayed for help. Miracles came to pass. We sold a table and chairs that we had miraculously won the year before and realized that might be why we won it. Heavenly Father knew we would need that money. The man paid us $700 cash for the table the same morning I looked in our checking and realized we had $2 left until payday. Seriously.

    And we were able to sell Zeke’s truck last summer in the midst of 1000’s of other similar trucks for sale. I am a firm believer in financial miracles. We had just enough to pay his tuition. And then just like in the scriptures, “after the trial of your faith, comes the blessings”, then the blessings just started POURING in and they haven’t stopped! If you do your part, the Lord WILL do his. Pray to know what you should do and the answers will come.

    I am so thankful now for all of those experiences and that “hard” summer without any money, it made my testimony grow in ways in never could have otherwise. When I look back and read my blog entries I just feel so happy to see the tender mercies in our life. They are REAL. :)

  9. Faith can work in ways of the wallet. Almost 2 years ago we made the decision to sell our home (it was so hard to do-I LOVED my sweet house.It sold in 3 months and we made a little money-some in our neighborhood had been on the market a year and a half.), live in my parents home (while they are away on a mission), and have Aaron go back to school. My husband is in school full time and working full time 3rd shift because he was in the home building business and we all know how well that is doing right now! He was able to find a job that worked with his schedule amazingly. Is is ideal? No, but it is temporary. It is difficult to go from money in the bank and doing well, to me working part time to survive. But, we had faith that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing and amazing things have happened. Aaron got a $4,000 scholarship that he doesn’t even remember applying for. We didn’t have to take out student loans to pay for school this summer because of it. I have been couponing for a little over a year and have learned how to cut our grocery bill in half. Every time it seemed like it just wasn’t going to work something else fell into place and reassured us that we were doing what we were supposed to be doing. I could give you a million examples of how faith works in finances. Does it mean it will be easy? Absolutely not. Will it all some how come together. Yep. Isn’t it great to have a Father in Heaven who loves us and reaches back when we reach for Him in faith?

  10. My husband is in real estate, which is a precarious career when the market is good, but these last couple of years have been ridiculous as we’ve watched our income shrink in half! Fasting, prayer, temple attendance, and magnifying our callings in addition to paying a full tithe and as generous a fast offering as we possibly can has really brought miracles into our lives! It really is true. And I firmly believe that the lessons we’re learning as we live on faith and a shoestring budget will be invaluable in the long run. Hang in there!

  11. Faith in finances for me meant that I was able to see the employment opportunities for what they were: blessings. I hated babysitting, but I knew that the Lord was answering my prayers for financial stability. And it was also the Lord telling me not to say, “I will NEVER babysit.”

  12. I used to use my tithing check as a sort of “cushion” — if it was going to be tight, I would just hold onto the tithing check an extra week until we got paid again. But I have reconsidered. It is an even greater act of faith to turn that check in even if it means you only have $106 to make it through the next five days and you’re out of bread, milk, eggs, and sneakers that fit for all three boys. This makes me more mindful of the money I am spending, and keeps me from using the Lord’s money on something less valuable. And we have never not made that $106 stretch until the bank account gets replenished.

  13. What great blog friends/commenters you have! I read their comments, and they are full of faith and uplifting words. I have nothing to add, other than to let you know I am thinking about you.

  14. I think this is the trial my little family has been given. But I have such a strong testimony of tithing because of it. I look back at the times when we have received unexpected money just when it was needed and I know the Lord’s hand was there. Last summer was especially testimony building for me. Joel was supposed to teach summer courses, but they all fell through with the budget cuts so we went three months without a paycheck.

    We have had some amazing testimony-building experiences financially. Most of all, it has made me approach the finances with more gratitude and with less entitlement (which is the best word I can come up with…but maybe not quite what I mean).

  15. My financial faith comes from those times when my excel worksheet says it can’t be done, and yet somehow things work out. When you do the best you can, but still feel like you’re wandering out into the unknown, that’s when Heavenly Father can take over and show you His Plan. I know that things will work out for your family. Does that mean that it will be easy, or that you’ll have random checks for $1000 on your front porch? I don’t really think so. But you’ll be taken care of; HE will take care of you.

    Love you.

  16. We’re right there, too. Our move wiped out our savings and then taxes wiped out our rebuilding effort. So we cut back. A lot. And when I think to complain, I remember that the blessings from the move are worth the super tight budget and financial stress. We are where we should be, even if that means we are not on as solid financial ground.

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