And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation]. (2 Corinthians 9:8 – AMP)
When this is the description of how God wants to provide for us, why would we ever feel the need to go into debt to get the things we need or want? In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul is reminding the people of the church at Corinth about the commitment they made to give a special offering to the saints in Jerusalem. Paul wants to let the people know how willing the Lord is to give to his people so they have enough to complete this work of charity. He tells them that God is able to make all grace come towards them in abundance so they will always have whatever they need in every circumstance for every good work and charitable donation. All grace. In abundance. Always having whatever they need. In every circumstance. Now how amazing is that?!
Our God wants to make sure we have anything and everything we need to get the work done that he’s given us to do. The Bible also says he gives us things for our enjoyment. (Ecclesiastes 5:19) He doesn’t want us to worry about money or possessions. Just read the sixth chapter of the book of Matthew to be convinced of this. Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (Philippians 4:6) These scriptures convince us that God isn’t about asking us to work hard to deserve the good things we need and want to make our lives work. He wants to give them to us, in abundance, in every circumstance, whenever needed. This is the God we serve.
Our God is also very big. The last five chapters of the book of Job give us a full and convincing picture of this big God – powerful, resourceful, and authoritative in all respects. Some people might find God’s response to Job after Job suffered the loss of his wealth, health, family and reputation to be angry or insensitive. But the context shows the Lord’s strong response to be comforting and healing. During Job’s season of suffering, God didn’t speak to him directly until the very end, but his friends spoke words of accusation and judgment throughout. His wife advised him to simply die so he could end his misery. When the Lord finally spoke to Job, clarity came. Truth was declared afresh and it provided a solid foundation and clear thought. Job humbled himself before the Lord upon hearing these things because he experienced the majesty and bigness of God. He was comforted to know how powerful and awesome his God was.
Experiencing God in this way is also healing. The last book of Job says God blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. (Job 42:12) You may think God did this simply because he is a God who restores. While that is true, the scripture says God blessed Job even more than in the beginning of his life, suggesting what he gave Job the second time around was, in fact, much larger than what he had to begin with. After Job went through the suffering that befell him and after the Lord came and spoke truth and bigness over his world, Job was healed of disappointment and disillusionment and his faith in a God who was able to provide was expanded. Job’s faith that God could provide in supernatural ways grew because of his experience and because of the words the Lord spoke to him. And as a result, God was able to make all grace come to Job so that always and under all circumstances and in whatever need he was self sufficient, possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation. Job didn’t need to go into debt to get back the things he lost in the first half of his life. He simply needed big faith in a big God. When we have big faith in a big God, we, too, can aspire to have the things we need without going into debt.
Today it’s time to take a good, hard look at all the debt you currently carry. Use the Debt Worksheet to list every debt you have – mortgages, car loans, student loans, credit cards, personal loans, even past due expenses that you owe. Your goal is to create a complete list so that you can create a plan for managing, reducing and eventually getting rid of all the debt you carry. If you’re finding it extremely difficult to take an honest look at all the numbers by yourself, employ the help of your spouse or a trusted friend. The key is to get it ALL down on one sheet of paper so the data can be fully analyzed and decisions made. Make sure you list all components requested – total amount owed, minimum monthly payment and interest rate. You can even add notes about each debt that may be important to you as you make your overall debt reduction plan.
Spend a few minutes today discussing your completed Debt Worksheet with your spouse or a trusted friend. It may be helpful to talk through how each debt was initiated and even how it grew over time (if this is the case). The key here is to talk through the evolution of the debt, eventually being able to come to a point where you’re willing to let the past be the past. Once you’ve done this with each line item you will move on to creating a debt management and reduction plan. Decide on what type of reduction plan you will use – snowball method (paying the lowest balance off first, then going to the next lowest balance), high to low method (paying off the highest interest bearing debt first, then moving to the next highest), or consolidation plan (getting the help of a debt management/consolidation company to assist in lowering interest rates with each of your credit card companies thereby costing you less in the long run). Once you’ve decided on your plan, reduce it to writing at the bottom of your Debt Worksheet. Commit to it with your partner. Agree to be accountable to your partner for the plan you’ve committed to.
During your prayer time today, be sure to cover two things. First, if there is any sense of guilt or shame around your debt, release it into the care of God. Stand on 1 Peter 5:7 – Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. Second, speak to the Lord about your debt reduction plan. Be specific. Ask him to give you the power and discipline you will need to commit and stick to your plan. Tell him your desired outcome. Apprehend faith in your prayer time that you can conquer any debt that stands in your way!