Money seems to be a common topic in many conversations in America today.  Our economy is hurting and therefore many people are financially hurting as well.

As Christians we know that God is our source of security, not the economy. Nevertheless, many Christians have found that their finances have also been adversely affected as a byproduct of the negative economy. So how do we trust God in the midst of pay cuts, layoffs, rising bills, and declining home values in our own lives?  How do we keep our faith strong in the midst of financial trouble?  Here are a few ways God shows us in His Word to keep our faith strong.

Watch Your Focus
The biggest thing that has helped me in recent times of financial trouble is focusing on the right thing, which is not the circumstances, but rather God and what He’s doing in me.  2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 

I’ve come to realize that our circumstances are temporary, but our faith and trust in God is eternal. I’ve seen income both grow and shrink in my family over the past few years, and I’ve come to realize that I can’t bank on that income -- God is the only thing that really stays constant. 

I’ve also realized that I haven’t really let my faith grow during previous times of financial trouble, as evidenced by the fact that I worry every time the income goes down again. This time, I’ve decided to focus on how our current situation can help me grow closer to God because that is all that really matters.  After all, God knew this would happen and He knows when it will be over.  And even though I don’t know when it will be over, whenever that is, I want to be stronger in faith and closer to God as a result of the situation. 

Once we switch our focus to what really matters, then the temporary situation doesn’t seem all that bad because we realize it’s just money.

Have a Joyful Attitude
If we let our circumstances put us in a rotten mood, we are no fun to be around! When I recently found out about a large financial setback in my family, I turned into a huge sourpuss! I was sad and depressed, and I wanted to eat lots of ice cream. Not only was I not fun to be around, but I brought my husband down too. I was so sad that I didn’t even want to read my Bible because I didn’t want to feel better.  I wanted to wallow in my sorrow (ever been there??) 

But the morning after I learned of the setback, I decided I should read my Bible because pity parties get old after a while. The chapter I happened to be reading that day was Philippians 4, which was just what I needed. At the beginning of the chapter I read verse 4: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” God might as well have come down from heaven and written that for me personally that day! That verse not only lifted my mood, but helped me apply these next few points.

Be Thankful! 
No matter what we have, it’s so easy to complain about what we don’t have. If we would just stop focusing so much on what we don’t have, we can see the blessings of all that we do have, like family, friends, church, and even the physical things that God has previously blessed us with. Paul reminds us in Philippians that prayer with Thanksgiving is the key to eliminating our worry and anxiety. “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.  And God’s peace which transcends all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6.