With high inflation, interest rates going up and the cost-of-living crisis regularly in conversation, it’s easy to feel anxious and uncertain, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
While costs may go up and down, God is unchanging. He is our provider, and he isn’t in crisis.
Remember the disciples in the boat? Just like them we have a choice: to keep our eyes on the storm or on Jesus – who he is and what he has done.
While serving with Food for the Hungry in Bolivia, I felt God might be calling me to move from Cochabamba to La Paz. For various reasons I did not want to go. My get-out-of-jail-free card, I thought, was: I can’t afford it. Just the rent would be six times what I was currently paying. I felt God’s voice almost immediately retort back, “Seriously?! After all I’ve shown you about trusting in me financially, are you really trying to play that one?”
He was right. I had plenty of stories of God’s provision, but I was still, like many Christian workers, living on just enough. Needless to say, I ended up in La Paz and all my basic needs were supplied.
There have been plenty more stories since then. While waiting for the completion of the purchase of our first flat this year (a miraculous provision in itself), the thought of losing our five-year fixed rate mortgage offer stressed me out. The process was taking so long and thinking about how much more we’d have to pay each month if we missed the June 30th deadline was too much. You might think, after my experience of God’s provision in my life, that the increased interest rates constantly blaring out from the media wouldn’t move me. But it did. Two weeks prior to the deadline God spoke to me clearly through Proverbs 3:5 ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ (NIV). When I meditated on these verses, the words ‘all’ and ‘heart’ struck me. It doesn’t say trust with your thoughts, but trust with your heart. Our heart is where we feel things. I felt the Lord was highlighting that when you choose to trust in him with all your heart, there’s no room for other emotions like stress and fear. While easier said than done, each time that stress rose back up, my peace returned when I chose to look back up to Jesus. I had to do it regularly. I had to trust that if we lost our mortgage deal, God’s promise that he is our Provider is true, whatever the interest rate.
I felt significantly better when the mortgage did complete on June 27th – three days before the offer expired. But I appreciated God’s reminder to keep choosing to trust in him, sometimes more than once in the same minute, and I really valued his peace which replaced my concern.
Things will come along which will tempt us to look down and fear. Legitimate things. But God’s Word is clear and we have a choice to look up and trust.