Summary: This sermon will help you evaluate your financial woes, diagnose the problem/problems, and the prescribe the right solution to fix the problem.

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Financial Woes

Proverbs 18:13

Preached by: JB Hall

Introduction: A while back we studied through the book of Job in our adult Sunday School class. One over-arching principle we learned in the book of Job was that life consists of complex issues.

This poses a real problem for those of us in the sound bite generation. When a problem arises, we want to quickly evaluate the problem, arrive at a quick diagnosis, and prescribe a simplistic solution that is easily accomplished.

However, not taking into consideration the complexity of issues that could cause or affect a particular problem will often cause us to arrive at an inaccurate diagnosis and prescribe the wrong solution.

Nowhere is this more obvious than when it comes to financial problems. Individuals and organizations, such as churches or businesses, can all experience financial problems. When financial problems come, rather than jumping to quick conclusions and offering a solution that might not fit the problem, we should first make a thorough investigation into the problem to try to determine its source, or cause.

If we can determine what the cause of the problem is, then we can apply the right solution to fix the problem.

This morning we are going to look at a number of causes of Financial Woes. Let’s keep in mind though, what the late Larry Burkett always said. He said that financial problems most often are not the problem. He said that financial problems are usually symptoms of the problem; meaning that usually there are personal internal problems that manifest themselves as financial problems.

Let’s look at some causes of financial problems:

1. Uncontrollable circumstances

A. Ecclesiastes 9:11 says, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

B. Our wisest planning, our most careful efforts to prepare, can often end in disappointment because of unforeseen, uncontrollable, adverse circumstances that are far greater than what we had planned for, or than our ability to prepare for. Medical expenses, auto expenses, home repair expenses, are just a few.

C. I wanted to mention this one first because we are flawed people given to negativity who always want to assign blame to others for their own misfortunes rather than trying to find solutions to our problems..

D. According to Ecclesiastes 9:11, “…time and chance happeneth to them all.” In other words, circumstances can often blitz our best efforts to anticipate and prepare for disaster.

E. While trying to evaluate all the apparent factors that could have led up to someone’s financial problem, trying to blame them, or criticize them for their own Financial Woes is not helpful in fixing the problem.

F. If it is determined that attitudes and/or actions on their part resulted in their current downturn, suggesting ways to correct the problem that led to the financial problem is in order.

G. But, even then, blame serves no useful purpose. It is actually destructive to the one with the problem. They need advice and encouragement; not blame or criticism.

H. An uncontrollable circumstance is one culprit that must be considered in diagnosing the cause of financial woes.

2. Lack of Saving/Over-spending – The two-sided coin

A. We often set ourselves up to fail because we do not save ahead of time for future expenses.

B. Proverbs 21:20 says, “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but the foolish man spendeth it up.”

C. We will never experience financial stability until we accept the fact that opportunities will always outnumber our resources.

D. We have bought the false notion that more will make us happier.

E. But, Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase…”

F. You see, in Luke 12:15 Jesus said, “…Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he posseseth.”

G. The things that promise us happiness only consume our financial resources that, had we saved for future emergencies, would have alleviated the pressure of sudden needs arising without resources to cover them.

H. These “things” never produce happiness, only a desire for still more things.

I. Ecclesiastes 1:8 says, “…the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing.”

J. It doesn’t matter what, or how much we have; we always want more, or something else.

K. Contentment is the foundation for contingency planning.

L. I Timothy 6:6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

M. Proverbs 22:3 says, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”

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