Trusting God, Not Credit Cards

Written by Bobbe Brooks Fischle

Do you struggle to trust God rather than money for your future security? Pray with an mentor who will support you without judgment.

My friend Janet and I chatted and sipped cappuccino at the coffee shop. I complained about an insufficient salary and mounting bills since my son had entered college.

Due to across-the-board cuts, I had lost a good job. After much praying and searching, I took the only thing I could find: a job with lower pay and fewer benefits. In my former position I was financially comfortable and didn’t have to worry. But my new position was mediocre, and my financial responsibilities were great.

Janet and I occasionally made a spiritual comment, but the underlying theme was complaint rather than praise–and worry rather than trust.

Our conversation turned to the past, and we reminisced about the financial hardships we had experienced years earlier. We both agreed that as difficult as those years were, we had frequently seen God miraculously answer prayer and provide our needs.

Remembering God’s provision

I remembered one particular occasion when I cried, “Lord God, things are so difficult–I don’t have dish soap, or shampoo for the children’s hair.”

Later that morning a friend visited. When she did so, she always brought a gift, and that day she carried a brown grocery bag.

“I’m so sorry—this is all that I could bring,” she apologized as she pulled out a large bottle of baby shampoo. “And this,” she added and pulled out a large bottle of dish soap. Then she handed me a bag of freshly baked granola cereal.

Tears streamed down my cheeks. God was the only one who had known my needs. He wasn’t far off in Heaven somewhere– He was with me and He cared. That day I realized He was concerned about my personal needs and He would answer my prayers. I began praying and He began answering.

Plastic or prayer?

However, through the years I began to trust in my own capabilities and career and, at times, I trusted other people. Janet also talked of how in the past the Lord had provided for her needs. Then she asked, “Why do we have so much trouble trusting Him now?”

I said, “We don’t want to have to trust Him—instead we make impulsive decisions. When we face a financial crunch, we rarely pray and expect God to provide. Instead, we worry about our bills, we borrow money, we pull out our credit cards, and we get deeper in debt. We focus on the problems– instead of on God.” When Janet and I said good-bye, I was discouraged and wondered if other Christians experienced a similar lack of trust.

Misunderstanding God’s goodness

I was a single mom with a son beginning college, and finances were critical. Maybe I wasn’t in the right job. I had to find out. My search began the next morning as I read Hebrews 11, seeking the definition of faith and how I could apply faith to my life:

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see . . .. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:1,6 NIV).

Hebrews 11 is filled with examples of men and women who saw God work miracles amid their circumstances, people “whose weakness was turned to strength” (Hebrews 11:34 NIV).

How could I turn from worrying and complaining to trusting and living the life of faith depicted in Hebrews 11? I prayed and wondered. If Daniel could face a den of lions and if Moses could lead the Israelites out of Egypt1, I knew that I could trust God to guide me.

With an updated résumé I went out to look for a job with excellent pay and benefits. A few weeks later Janet and I met over another cup of cappuccino. We were eager to hear each other’s progress.

I said, “Janet, you’re not going to believe my discovery. After studying the job market and making some contacts, I found the very best job for this season of my life—is the one I have!”

I had misunderstood God’s goodness. My complaining had discouraged me, and I felt defeated. My job, which I had thought was inferior, was really God’s gift to me. Instead of complaining about what I didn’t have, I began to be thankful for what I did have, including the benefits and opportunities of my job.

A new, more creative lifestyle

I realized that my limited income required a change in lifestyle.

  • I used to think that “sale” meant, “buy”. I had to change that attitude—and I tore up a mountain of credit-card applications.
  • Limited funds were pressing me into an uncomfortable new lifestyle and financial planning. Following a tight budget would be essential if my son and I were to live within our means.
  • Budgeting stimulated creative new thinking. Instead of discarding faded sportswear, I dyed it and renewed the outfit. A “dollar” store became a favorite place to hunt for needed items. Rather than purchasing expensive greeting cards, I bought fine paper and made cards with my computer.
  • For special occasions, I made gift baskets with delicacies from the kitchen. After years of not sewing, I resumed doing so and made gifts with a personal touch.

As I applied Bible promises and principles to my circumstances, I began to appreciate the job about which I had previously complained. With an industrious spirit and a more disciplined attitude toward spending, I was able to cut my expenses significantly.

I realized that the pressure of being “squeezed” had produced benefits. Through prayer, sacrifice and determination to resist impulsive measures, I can live debt-free, have peace of mind, and trust and know God better. When Janet and I complained about unstable finances, ingratitude dulled our vision. Doubt and fear consumed and defeated us. We talked about faith but lived in doubt; we focused on circumstances instead of on the Source of faith.

When I focused again on God instead of on my problems, and resisted credit cards and quick fixes, He showed me that He is greater than all my needs. Living life filtered through His promises changed me—beginning with my attitude—and instead of just talking about trust and faith, I began to live it.

Want More?
Coping with your husband’s job loss
Peace in the face of foreclosure

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14 Responses to “Trusting God, Not Credit Cards”

  • Chris says:

    angela…i regret to hear of your situation. it would be great to first be assured of your saving faith in jesus christ because that is the only way to be sure Gods promises opérate on our behalf. if you are truly born again christians, then another factor here in seeing Gods provisions and blessings is obedience to his Word and will in your lives. deuteronomy 28. its hard without knowing more details of your spirital lives to know if you are meeting the conditions of John 15 that jesus stipulated for receivng an answer to prayer so that is something you might pray about. one thing you didnt mention was house payment which is normally the biggest expense we have so you might consider that also and possibly move if your house payment is any more than 25 percent of your net monthly income. the book of proverbs is key to living a wise life and avoiding debts at all cost. romans 13.8, proverbs 6. if you would like more information on being sure of your salvation in jesus log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above. praying now that jesus would give you his instructions as recorded in the bible so that you can live happily and prosperously in him always for his glory and honor amen!

  • Angela says:

    I was Googling for some articles related to “When God DOESN’T provide” and being forced to use credit cards, and I ran across this. Five years ago, my husband lost his high-paying job and was out of work for 6 months. He literally submitted his resume anywhere he could, every single day. When he finally did receive a call back after 6 months of searching and praying, he took the job, even though it was LESS THAN HALF of what he had been making at his previous job. He took it, because we had completed depleted our savings and we have a young child to feed. We cut out all kinds of things from our lives … we quit eating at restuarants, we switched to a bare-necessity prepaid cell phone service for $20 a month (for both of us), we cancelled our cable tv, so on and so on. Because all we had was enough to pay for the literal necessities. Since then, we have incurred a lot of debt due to mandatory (and very expensive) repairs for things in our home – major appliances, and also both of our vehicles are very old with very high mileage, and require constant COSTLY repairs. We have to have 2 cars because I work as well. There is nothing left we can cut out of our monthly expenses unless we stop paying the utilities and stop eating. I am being literal. My point is, the times that these major, mandatory and costly repairs (and by costly I mean hundreds or thousands of dollars), we had no money in the bank to pay for it. And God did not magically drop the money into our laps for the needed repair. So we had 2 choices: 1) Not get the car fixed, and I can lose my job for not being able to get to work, or 2) Use a credit card and get the car fixed and keep my job. It’s that cut and dry. Trusting in God to drop a load of cash in your lap everytime a mandatory expense comes along is a nice thought, but the REALITY is that we have been through that scenario AT LEAST 11 times in the past 5 years and the simple fact is that God does not wave a magic wand and do that. So in order to continue to have BASIC NEEDS met, some of us are literally forced into debt when God chooses not to provide a way out of it.

  • Giashamena says:

    God, did put money on, and helped me get cash too! Praise God! Thank you Jesus!

  • Kate says:

    SV we appreciate your comment.

  • SV says:

    Thank you for sharing this. When it comes to money – there’s just something about it that can grip us so tightly… But God’s love and wisdom will always grip us tighter!

  • Shelley says:

    Thank you all three for your responses, as you seek his grace, may the Lord bless you all.

  • Esther says:

    I thank God so much for this message. I just got disappointed today by a very good friend who always helps..through it all i had put my trust on men. Am a married woman, kenyan. My husband has no job,our boys depend on my little income i earn from an Epz company.I choose to believe God for my overdue rent. I say in you lord i put my trust.Thanks alot

  • S.H. says:

    Thank you for this post. You confirmed the conclusion to which I believe God has led me. I have been unemployed for a long while, but had an income until recently. I received a large income tax refund in February that I was not expecting. I saved the money just in case I needed it to get me through the summer. I was hoping that I’d have a job by now, but I don’t. I believe the money was a blessing from God for this time, but I have not used it. I have used my credit cards instead. I have paid rent for the past two months with a credit card. I fear that when the money runs out, I will have nothing. My situation is dire, but I’m going to pay bills with my savings, even empty my small retirement account if need be. I am trusting God to provide. I hope that I am not testing him in putting my credit cards aside. There people everywhere who have financial problems, even believers. Believers go hungry, are in shelters, and suffer tremondous injustice. I am not special. I pray that God has mercy on me and reaches down to help me in my time of need.

  • Anthony Laurel Benitez says:

    Hello Sharon

    I really appreciate your prayer and it works. Thank for your time. I will share to you my experience if have time. Anyway this lenten season Im on leave for 8 days. Again thank you

  • Sharon says:

    to anthony– prayer–father God i pray for this person right now for your hand of provision to come over this person so this person can their bills next week God you are the great provider, in teh bible it says that you will provide our every need i pray that for a miracle for this person so they can pay bills and live and you will get the glory also help thos person pray bring other people along thns peson’s path to encourage this person. i pray all of this in JESUS name amen i feel for you i trusted in our credit card more than God years ago we went bankrupt from me trusting in our credit cards God healed me and i had to trust in God after that its hard to trust God but it can be done

  • Anthony Laurel Benitez says:

    Hello

    Thank you for the good news. I am in deep trouble as of the moment I have bills to pay next week.. and I dont know where to get money to pay.. same sitution here.. please help me to pray..

  • june s. wetzstein says:

    Thankyou so for christian page this will help me a lot Love June.

  • Claire Colvin Claire says:

    Debbie — if you would like someone to talk to further about the situation you’re facing try clicking on the blue “talk to a mentor” button above. Your email will be matched with a mentor who can walk with you through your situation and pray for you. It’s free if you want to give it a try.

  • Debbie says:

    Hi,

    I know it’s no coincident that I came across this article. I literally just finished typing an e.mail asking for HELP and ADVICE with my current financial situation. Mine is very similar to yours. Lately, I’ve been trusting my credit cards and not GOD. Somewhere I’ve lost my focus and it has not been on God. I’ve been complaining and worrying about my financial situation and not trusting and praying to the only one who has the solution and is very well able to supply all my needs.

    Thank you. I read your article in the nick of time!

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