Summary: The Apostle Paul is our model in finding financial security. This message declares that Jesus is our most valuable resource.
Honoring God with our Finances
Philippians 4:11-13, 18-19
A few of you in the congregation may have lived through the Great Depression of 1929. October 24th, 1929 became known as the Black Thursday. That’s the day when a collapse of the American economy caught most of the country’s financial community off guard. Earlier that same year Herbert Hoover in his inaugural address had predicted that, “the final triumph over poverty is close at hand.”
Trading on the stock exchange had been normal on the 24th, but by eleven that morning orders to sell seemed to take over. A sell panic swept the floor, driving down prices before a group of powerful bankers pooled their resources and bought shrewdly to restore confidence. By the closing bell the market leveled off.
Friday was normal and Hoover urged calm. “The fundamental business of the country” he said, “is on a sound and prosperous basis.” But the following week the market once again tumbled and continued to slide into November as many large and small investors went under. Banks folded, destroying people’s savings. Wages were slashed. The unemployment rate rose to 16 percent.
During the Great Depression a number of frightened businessmen jumped out of windows to their deaths. With the crash of the market came the crash of many lives. The closing bell sounded and many were terrified that they had lost it all.
People who went through the depression lived with a much more careful mindset about money than their children and grandchildren. Those who went through the Great Depression were afraid it might happen again.
Our Scripture text for today gives God’s promises on “How to Overcome Financial Insecurity.”
Philippians 4:11-13 and verses 18-19.
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.
At the moment I have all I need-more than I need! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable to God and pleases him. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
From this passage we learn that
I. Financial Security is an Attitude of the Heart.
The Apostle Paul could say, “I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little.” Anyone with this attitude can say, “I’m okay whether I have a six or seven-figure income or I’ve been without work for a long time. “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. “I can make it not on nothing, but almost nothing. I also know how to live when it’s like the heavens just opened up and money is raining down in buckets.”
What was Paul’s secret to financial security. It wasn’t conditioned to his bank account. He had this assurance, “I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
Financial insecurity is the fear of not having enough to provide for those who love. It is the fear of not having enough even to meet your basic needs without going further in the hole, or owing so much money you have no idea how you will ever be able to get out of debt.
How do you overcome financial insecurity? By having the same kind of heart attitude the Apostle Paul had. He did not write the Philippian letter on Mona graphed Hotel stationery. He was writing from prison. He is not fretting and moaning about his situation. He is testifying that the risen Christ is taking care of his needs.
You overcome financial insecurity with the Love of God. The song sung by children reminds us of God’s love. “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.”
In this passage in Philippians Paul is telling us that we need to
Learn to have an attitude of contentment.
Are we content with what God provides or do we go so heavy in credit card debt that we end up paying hundreds of dollars in interest.
Contentment is not based upon what you have or don’t have. Paul happiness was not based upon having money in the bank, a promising retirement, or a nice home. He could say, “I have learned how to be happy with a lot, and I’ve learned how to be happy with a little.”
Paul could be happy with a lot or with a little. He could be happy in both situations because his contentment was of the heart.