While we worked through this, we regularly asked the question: What is abundance? Were we supposed to go through financial strain to teach us the value of money (and abundance)? What does the Bible really say about abundance? And what do we need to do to obtain abundance? “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” – James 1:12
The three years following 2008 was life changing for us. We experienced a miracle! We had the healthiest baby girl one could possibly imagine (we really had zero funds for doctors, etc.), and we managed to keep our house, both cars, basically everything (the sheriff of the court showed up more than once, but never took anything). And anybody capable of doing maths would agree that it was humanly just not possible for us to do that. To top it all, in the toughest financial period of our life, we managed to pay off all debt incurred before the recession, as well as forced ‘survival’ debt due to the recession. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” – Psalm 106:1
You may think that it was easy for us to keep the faith, because we were very religious people with a strong relationship with God, right? But it was the exact opposite! And that is probably the greatest testimony of this whole story. I surrendered my life to our loving Father in 2007, but at this point in 2008 my husband had not yet made the decision. And somehow Dad used this event in our life, to change my husband’s heart. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you EVERYTHING you need. (Matthew 6:33).” I can gratefully testify that today we are living a life filled with richness, but not richness from this world!
To us abundance received new meaning. Because during extreme financial difficulty, we discovered the true meaning of life. The blessing of a life filled with love, joy & peace. And the treasure of the Holy Spirit, to be able to show forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) to a broken world.
My conclusion: God does NOT give His hardest battles to His strongest soldiers. Why? Because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. It may be financially, physically, family matters, in your relationship, the death of a beloved, something at work or even a combination of some of the aforementioned. But one thing is for sure - We all have some cross to bear. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12)”. And because our Lord and Savior is bigger than any of our hardships, He sure does know how to use a situation to His advantage! Our life was turned upside down between 2008 & 2011, but by grace He carried us through it, with a great testimony to share today. Everything changed for us during that trying period. What was meant to break us, shaped us! What should have destroyed us, made us stronger. And what could have harmed our faith, changed our perception! We discovered the true meaning of endurance, the worth of friends & family and the value of just being there for each other.
So may we never lose sight of the bigger picture – God is still in control! And even if there is an economic decline in 2016, by His grace we will make it through it. I refuse to allow the enemy to steal my joy, and I refuse to live in fear because of what the economists are saying. And I know that God is not the cause of greed, anger and sadness in this world (so let’s not be angry with Him because of it!), but that He is the Giver of peace, joy, love and abundance! “The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” – John 10:10