The last 12 months have been interesting, to say the least. As we have been building our emergency fund, the world disasters in 2020 have constantly reminded us just how important it is to have a plan for financial emergencies. These disasters have caused a shift in many people’s views on planning for financial emergencies. Many have stopped believing that “this will never happen to me” and have started planning for “what if this happens to me or my family?” Personally, the year 2020 gave me a much greater appreciation of low-risk investments.
Last year, I posted about going back to basics in personal finance. And yes, it’s been more than a year of living in Singapore and I need to post something about this journey now that more than a year has passed. But this isn’t what this post is about.
In this post, I’m going to share a personal revelation about how God normally provides, at least to me and my family but I believe is equally true for most people. I’m hoping that this will help you not only plan for these what if’s, but also to prosper with financial worry-free life. And that revelation is this:
God provides in His perfect time, and that timing is usually in advance!
If everything is the LORD’s, then what is our role, and why do we have so much control over most of this stuff? I believe that it’s simply God’s design when he created us. When God created man, he commissioned us to take care of the land and cultivate it.
And ever since then,
- God continually creates an environment where we can thrive (see Romans 8:28),
- God continually provides us with the resources and skills needed to thrive in these environments (see Deuteronomy 8:18), and
- God continually asks us to seek Him and so we know if we are in the right environment (see Jeremiah 29:11-13)
- And as we seek Him, eventually truly realize that His will is good, pleasing, and perfect (see Romans 12:2)
It is simply for the best that we are stewards and not owners of everything that is in our care. God loves to provide. He loves to provide so much that He made it one of His identities. This is where we get the name “Jehovah Jireh” which means “The LORD will provide.”
Note: Stewardship is a big topic, so if you need to grasp this concept more, I suggest you ask your church. In the meantime, here are some verses of what the Bible says on stewardship.
If God truly wants us to live a prosperous and full life, how does He do it? I believe that most of the time, He does this by providing us with everything we need, in advance.
Agriculture is one of God’s favorite ways to illustrate how we should live our lives. Here are some examples:
- Prosper by being like a tree planted by streams of water (Psalm 1:3)
- Prevent pests from devouring the fruits of our labor (Malachi 3:11)
- Persevere through Sowing and Reaping (Galatians 6:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 9:6)
- and many more https://www.agriculture.com/family/26-bible-verses-for-farmers
Following this analogy, I believe that God usually provides for us by giving us seeds which we should cultivate and grow for a future purpose.
- Our tangible assets such as properties, furniture, toys, and gadgets that we have acquired because of a past provision,
- Our sources of income (salary, sales revenue, investments) that we are continually receiving due to opportunities that we have encountered in the past,
- The skills and talents that we now have due to seeds of interest and promise that we have cultivated through education and/or training,
- and some assets that we have inherited, which came from seeds that our parents and ancestors have cultivated for many decades.
I’m not saying that this principle applies to every scenario 100% of the time, as there will always be exceptions. Our God is so powerful that He can turn stones into food, and even the Devil knows this (see Matthew 4:3). His ways and thoughts are higher than mine.
I believe our God likes to provide in excess not just for our needs but also for our enjoyment. He wants us to be generous, to refresh others, and to give freely (see Proverbs 11:24-25) and so is He to us. He is happy when we are happy! As a loving Father, He likes to surprise us by giving us things we really want and things that we do not expect — and this isn’t only about critical needs but includes material things like a new phone, a new TV, a new car, an extended family vacation, etc. You will continue to hear of many such stories because our God is an active and loving Father (See Romans 8:31-39). How I love and thank God for spoiling us with these “luxuries.”
All I’m saying is that most of the time, that “perfect time” is provided early and in advance. And that the provision comes in in seed form. Therefore, a healthy perspective of how we look at the things that we have today is this:
The things that we have today came from the seeds of the past that have grown and borne fruit.
The things that we have today are seeds that God has provided for our future.
Let me conclude by saying that it is such a joy to live a life that continuously reaps and sows. It helps us live with a great sense of security and peace knowing that God has been providing for all our needs — past, present, and future, and therefore helping us live a worry-free life.
We are enjoying life because of the seeds that we have sown in the past. And we are forward-looking and optimistic because of the seeds that we are sowing today, for the future. This is my amateur illustration of how I see this kind of life.
*Illustration from icons created by macrovector_official
Thoughts for reflection and application in the next post.